How To Permanently Remove Nudes on Phone (iPhone/Android)

This article is a judgment-free zone, so we won’t spend time debating the wisdom of capturing and sharing nudes on phone conversation strings, in photo apps, and more.

Instead, we’ll simply walk you step-by-step through the process of ensuring that these photos—and just as importantly, their metadata—are completely erased from your device and are inaccessible by anyone else who may use it.

By following the instructions below, you’ll be free to sell or repurpose your old phone if you wish, or simply enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your intimate photos (as well as any other private data that may exist on your device) have been permanently buried in the sands of time.

Removing Nudes on Phone: iPhone

To erase unwanted photos and other content from your iPhone, follow the below steps to get a good footing in your removing nudes on phone pursuits:

Unpair your Apple Watch

If you own an Apple Watch, you’ll need to unpair it from the phone you’re working to clear. Set the devices next to each other and open the Apple Watch app on the phone. From the My Watch tab, select the (i) button and then Unpair Apple Watch. Don’t worry about losing the data on your watch, as it will be backed up automatically.

Back up your phone

To ensure you’ll continue to have access to any files on your phone you want to keep, back up your content by going to the Settings Menu. From there, select Apple ID, tap iCloud and then iCloud Backup, and choose Backup Now. You may need to connect to Wi-Fi in order to complete the backup.

Sign out of your Apple account

Failure to sign out of your Apple ID could result in the erasure of your backup file. Under Settings, go to Apple ID and select Sign Out.

Turn off your messages and FaceTime

Also under Settings, go to Messages and move the button next to iMessage to the Off position. Go back to the Settings menu, tap FaceTime and slide the button to Off.

Delete photos and apps

Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t provide a method for deleting your photos and apps en masse, meaning you’ll have to delete them one by one. Depending on how many photos you have stored on your phone, you may need to set aside a considerable chunk of time for this step.

Reset your iPhone to factory settings

This step will eliminate any trace of your existence—including deletion of your passcode and Find My iPhone settings—and create a clean slate on your device. Go to Settings and select General. Under Reset, tap Erase All Content and Settings. It will take a few minutes to process, after which your nudes and all other data will be deleted from your phone.

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Removing Nudes on Phone: Android

Because a variety of brands and devices run on the Android operating system (owned by Google/Alphabet), the specific steps for your device may vary slightly from the process below, but this information should at least give you a solid framework for clearing your device.

Secure your data

As with the iPhone, Android users should back up their data to ensure future access if desired. Go to the Settings menu and pick System, then Backup.

Turn off theft protection

Android devices include Google’s Factory Reset Protection (FRP) feature, designed to deter thieves by making it difficult to reset your device without your permission. To deactivate this feature, go to Settings and then Security/Screen Security, where you’ll move the Screen Lock switch to the Off position.

Sign out of your Google account

Signing out of Google will prevent the inadvertent deletion of your backed-up data after you reset your phone. In Settings, select Accounts, tap Google Account, and then Remove Accounts.

Activate encryption

Because resetting your device may not completely delete all of its data, enabling encryption will prevent anyone else from accessing any data that remains. Go to Settings, select Security, and then Advanced. Under Encryption and Access Data, make sure Encryption is set to On.

Upload dummy data

Android phones are designed to store old data until new data is saved over it, so uploading some innocuous filler data will allow you to overwrite any previously-existing content. An app like Secure Eraser can be used to upload generic content to your device, or you can simply select random videos until you have filled the available storage space.

Reset to factory settings

Now that your history has been erased from your phone, you can restore its factory settings by going to Settings, then System and Advanced. Under Reset Options, choose Erase All Data.

Cut ties with Google

Even after all that erasing and resetting, your phone is likely still linked to your Google account. Delete your phone from your Google account by going to Google Device Management, clicking on the three-dot icon, and logging out of the phone.

Final Thoughts on Removing Nudes on Phone

No matter what types of photos and other media you’ve captured and stored on your mobile device, that content can never be considered completely shielded from third-party access unless it’s stored in an encrypted app or another digital security vault.

If your Apple or Android device will be going to a new owner—or you simply want to make sure that your private photos and other content stay private—you’ll need to complete all of the steps listed above before letting your phone out of your sight. Otherwise, you might just see your nudes or other content resurface online sometime in the future.

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