Encrypt your data
Encryption stores your data in a form that can be read only when your phone or tablet is unlocked. Unlocking your encrypted device decrypts your data. Encryption can add protection in case your device is stolen.
- All Pixel phones are encrypted by default. So are Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices.
- You can choose to encrypt Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices.
To get the most protection for your data on an encrypted device, always require your PIN, pattern or password to unlock your device when it starts. Learn how to set a screen lock.
Understand what data gets encrypted
On an encrypted device, all personal data gets encrypted. This includes things such as your email, texts, contacts, Google account data, app data, photos, media and downloads. Some non-personal data, like file sizes, aren't encrypted.
Include removable media in encryption
You can set removable media, like SD cards, to be decrypted and encrypted with an encrypted device, when that device is unlocked and locked. To include removable media in device encryption, format them as internal storage for that device.
For example, insert new media and tap Setup Use as internal storage.
Decrypt your data using accessibility features
To help you enter your PIN, pattern or password to decrypt your Pixel phone at start-up, you can use TalkBack, Switch Access and other updated accessibility services. Pixel phones can't use Bluetooth-paired accessibility devices until after you decrypt.
On encrypted Nexus phones and tablets, if you choose to require your PIN, pattern or password at start-up, you'd need to enter it without help from either accessibility services or Bluetooth-paired accessibility devices.
Encrypting your Nexus device may take an hour or more and your device may restart several times. If the process gets interrupted, you might lose the information on your device. We recommend these steps before you start:
- Schedule an hour or more.
- Plug your device in to charge.
- Know which Android version your device is running. Learn how to check.
- Open your device's Settings app .
- Tap Security or Security & Location Screen lock.
- To choose your screen lock, tap Pattern, PIN or Password.
- You'll be asked 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.
- Select Require to start device.
- Tap Continue.
- Set your PIN, pattern or password. Tap Continue.
- Confirm your PIN, pattern or password. Tap OK.
You can choose whether to require your PIN, pattern or password when your device starts. Learn how to set a screen lock. 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.
- If you haven't already, set a lock screen PIN, pattern or password. Learn how.
- Open your device's Settings app .
- Tap Security & Location.
- Under 'Encryption', tap Encrypt phone or Encrypt tablet. (If your battery isn't charged or your device isn't plugged in, you won't be able to tap this option.)
- Carefully read the information shown. It's important to know:
- 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, you'll always 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, you can tap Back .
- Tap Encrypt phone or Encrypt tablet.
- Enter your lock screen PIN, pattern or password. Tap Continue.
- Tap Encrypt phone or Encrypt tablet again.
After encrypting, you'll always need to enter your PIN, pattern or password when your device starts.
Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback about the page below.