The new privacy feature will roll out gradually to Galaxy devices starting with the Galaxy S22, allowing users to block access to their data while their devices are being serviced
Samsung Electronics today begins the global rollout1 of Maintenance Mode, a new privacy feature coming to select Samsung Galaxy devices, following a successful pilot program in Korea and initial launch in China. Maintenance Mode can relieve user anxiety that comes with giving a personal device to someone for repairs, by letting users block access to their personal information, such as their photos, messages or contacts.
“Our whole lives are on our phones, from credit card information to family photos. With Maintenance Mode, we are giving extra reassurance that Galaxy users can keep their privacy, even if they hand their phone to someone,” said Seungwon Shin, VP and Head of Security Team at Mobile eXperience Business, Samsung Electronics. “This is just the latest example of our constant efforts to introduce new ways to make people feel safe and in control, so they can explore new mobile experiences with peace of mind, knowing we have their back.”
Maintenance Mode is a way of creating a separate user account when you hand in your device to be repaired so they can operate core functions without being able to access to any of your private information. All the user needs to do is select Maintenance Mode in the “Battery and device care” menu within “Settings” and reboot their smartphone. As soon as it’s rebooted, all their personal information including their photos, documents and messages will be restricted.2
Once Maintenance Mode is switched on, the person who was entrusted with the device won’t be able to retrieve user-installed apps either. Data or accounts generated when using Maintenance Mode are automatically deleted as soon as the owner exits Maintenance Mode. They will be able to download apps on Galaxy Store, but those will be automatically deleted along with any data or accounts created as soon as the owner exits Maintenance Mode.
Samsung Galaxy devices are protected by Knox, Samsung’s defence-grade security platform, which offers a multi-layered approach to protection. Through open collaboration with trusted industry partners, any potential threats can be discovered and neutralized more quickly. Integrated hardware and software security safeguards in all areas of the device, from the chips inside to the apps users download. Real-time protection ensures security is constantly enforced, day and night. With this industry-leading security in place, users can be assured of their privacy. Samsung Galaxy devices enable control and transparency, with features such as Security and Privacy Dashboard and Permission Manager, so users can easily determine what happens to their data.
Samsung is constantly evaluating and pushing for new ways to keep users safe. In 2021, Samsung introduced Knox Vault, which isolates the most critical information from the rest of the device. This month, the company revealed Knox Matrix, its vision for the next level of security across multiple devices. By continuously innovating to provide the most secure and private experiences that customers can trust, Samsung is committed to leading the industry in mobile security.
Maintenance Mode was successfully trialed on the Galaxy S21 series in Korea in July and then launched in China in September 2022. It launches globally today, gradually rolling out over the next few months on select models running One UI 5. The rollout will continue throughout 2023, with availability expanding to more Galaxy devices. Stay tuned for more information on local availability.
1 Availability may vary by market and model. Maintenance Mode is available on selected Samsung Galaxy devices running One UI 5 or later versions, including Galaxy S21 and S22 series. Timing of availability may vary by market, model and network provider.
2 As a precautionary measure, users are encouraged to back up any personal data before activating Maintenance Mode.