In short: Samsung is currently implementing a new privacy-focused feature on some Galaxy devices after a successful pilot program earlier this year. The maintenance mode is designed to reduce anxiety when transferring the device for repair. With its help, users can block access to confidential information, including photos, contacts or messages.
To enter maintenance mode, simply go to the battery and device care menu in the settings to activate it, and then restart your phone. The mode essentially creates a separate account that gives the user (in this case, a repair technician working on your phone) access to basic work functions, while limiting access to personal information.
When the owner returns the device and exits maintenance mode, all applications and data created in this mode will be automatically deleted.
Reports that repair specialists take photos from customers’ phones are not so rare. The incident is likely to go unnoticed, but sometimes the perpetrator exposes himself by posting photos online, sharing them with friends, or even sending them directly to the person to whom they belong.
Seungwon Shin, vice president and head of mobile security at Samsung, rightly emphasizes that most users have their entire lives stored in their phones, including credit card information and personal family photos. Shin said the new feature is another way to make customers feel safe and in control of the situation so they can continue to explore new mobile capabilities.
The maintenance mode was tested on the Galaxy S21 in Korea back in July and debuted in China in September. It is currently being distributed worldwide on some devices with One UI 5, although Samsung has stated that availability will depend on the market, device model and network provider. It is expected that the implementation will continue during 2023.
Samsung recommends that users back up any personal or critical data before activating maintenance mode. Those dealing with top-secret data may want to delete them completely from their phone before handing them over to a third party. Better yet, don’t even store it on your phone to begin with.