Samsung's Maintenance Mode protects your personal data while your phone is out for repair

The company has begun rolling out the feature globally.

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Back in July, Samsung began testing a new privacy feature on Galaxy S21 phones in Korea. Dubbed Maintenance Mode, the tool allowed users to secure their personal information – including photos, messages and contacts – when sending their device in for repair. Now Samsung says the feature is ready for primetime.

Starting today, the company has begun rolling out Maintenance Mode to Galaxy devices with One UI 5 installed. Broader availability will follow in 2023. In other words, Galaxy S22 users will receive access to the feature first.

Once Maintenance Mode arrives on your phone, you’ll find the option to enable it within the “Battery and device care” section of the Settings menu. It will create a separate account on your phone for a technician to use while working on your device. In addition to protecting your personal information, Maintenance Mode prevents a technician from seeing what apps you have installed. They can use the Galaxy Store to download any diagnostic software they need, but once they’re done, your phone will automatically wipe any new data and apps. When your phone is back in your possession, you can disable Maintenance Mode by authenticating your identity.