Factory Reset Protection (FRP) is a security method that was designed to make sure someone can’t just wipe and factory reset your phone if you’ve lost it or it was stolen. Starting with Android Lollipop, FRP is “standard” in vanilla Android, and most of the companies making our phones have implemented it in their own models. It’s a good thing — it makes a stolen phone harder to use, which makes it less appealing to thieves, and anything that can protect our data on a phone we’ve lost is welcome.

How it works

It can become a problem if you sell, trade, or even give away a phone without factory resetting it, though. How it works explains why.

You have to be signed in with the “owner” account of the phone (the one you used to set it up) in order to factory reset it. That means if you give me your phone, I can’t reset it without you being signed in. There are random workarounds on the…

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