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Encrypt your data

Encryption stores your data in a form that can be read only when your Nexus phone or tablet is unlocked. Encryption can add protection in case your device is stolen.

To get the most protection for your encrypted device, always require your PIN, pattern, or password when your device starts.

What data gets encrypted

On an encrypted device, all your personal data is encrypted. This includes things like your email, texts, contacts, Google Account data, app data, photos, media, and downloads.

To set removable media to be encrypted and decrypted with a device, format them as internal storage for that device. For example, insert new media and tap Setup and then Use as internal storage.

Some devices are encrypted by default (Nexus 5X, 6P, 6, 9)

Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9 devices are encrypted by default.

You can choose whether to require your PIN, pattern, or password to decrypt these devices when they start. By default, this setting is on. If you use an accessibility service like TalkBack, or a Bluetooth-paired accessibility device, keep in mind that you'd need to enter your PIN, pattern, or password at start-up without help from your service or device.

You can choose to encrypt some devices (Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10)

You can choose to encrypt Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 devices. They aren't encrypted by default.

To encrypt a Nexus device that isn't yet encrypted:

Step 1 of 2: Before encrypting your device

On Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 devices, the encryption process can take an hour or more, and may restart the device several times. To successfully encrypt your device, you'll want to take these key steps before you start:

  1. Schedule an hour or more.
  2. Plug your device into a charger.
  3. See which version of Android you have.

Important: If the encryption process gets interrupted, you'll lose some or all of your data.

Step 2 of 2: Encrypt your device

Encrypt devices running Android 4.4 or below

To encrypt your Nexus 4, 5, 7, or 10 device running Android 4.4 or below:

  1. If you haven't already, set a lock screen PIN, pattern, or password.
  2. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  3. Under "Personal," tap Security.
  4. Under "Encryption," tap Encrypt phone or Encrypt tablet.
  5. Carefully read the on-screen information.
    • The "Encrypt tablet" or "Encrypt phone" button will be dimmed if your battery isn't charged or your device isn't plugged in.
    • After encrypting, you can turn off encryption only by factory data reset, which erases all your data.
    • If you use an accessibility service like TalkBack, or a Bluetooth-paired accessibility device, keep in mind that you will need to enter your PIN, pattern, or password at start-up without the help of your service or device.
    • If you change your mind about encrypting your device, tap Back Back.
  6. Tap Encrypt phone or Encrypt tablet.
  7. Enter your lock screen PIN, pattern, or password. Tap Continue.
  8. Tap Encrypt phone or Encrypt tablet again.
  9. When the encryption process finishes, you'll need to enter your PIN, pattern, or password.

Note: After encrypting, you must always enter your PIN, pattern, or password to decrypt your device running Android 4.4 or below when it starts.

Encrypt devices running Android 5.0 or above

To encrypt your Nexus 4, 5, 7, or 10 device running Android 5.0 or above:

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Scroll down to "Personal" and tap Security.
  3. Tap Screen lock.
  4. Tap PatternPIN, or Password to choose your screen lock.
  5. You'll be prompted to "further protect this device" by requiring your PIN, pattern, or password when your device starts. The first time that you choose this setting, it will encrypt your device.
    1.  Select Require to start device.
    2. Tap Continue.
  6. Set your PIN, pattern, or password. Tap Continue.
  7. Confirm your PIN, pattern or password. Tap Ok.

Note: You can choose whether to require your PIN, pattern, or password to decrypt your device running Android 5.0 or above when it starts. If you use an accessibility service like TalkBack, or a Bluetooth-paired accessibility device, keep in mind that you'd need to enter your information at start-up without help from your service or device.

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Amy

Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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