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It's a pain to hand over your favorite Android phone to a service center for repair work. Even for quick repairs, there's a concern that the technician could go through your private photos and files stored on the device. And due to this, you are forced to factory reset your phone before you submit your phone for repair. Samsung has a unique solution to this problem with Maintenance mode, which keeps your private data safe and secure when you submit your phone for repair.

Below is everything you need to know about Maintenance mode and how to use it on your Samsung Galaxy device.

What is the Maintenance mode in Samsung Galaxy Phones?

Maintenance mode in One UI 5 and One UI 5.1 protects your privacy by keeping the data on your phone safe from prying eyes. The mode is intended for use when you send your phone for repairs, as you don't have to format it in such scenarios. Instead, enable Maintenance mode and submit the phone to the service center without worrying about the technician accessing your personal data.

Create a backup of your important data before submitting your phone for repair.

Maintenance mode prevents access to your accounts, photos, files, and other data stored on the phone. It relies on Android's built-in ability to create a guest profile, which helps keeps your private data safe. Without Maintenance mode, you'd have to factory reset your phone, erasing all your apps and data on it before handing it over for repair.

With Maintenance mode enabled, the technician only has access to preinstalled apps, like Samsung Gallery and Samsung Messages. All preloaded Samsung and Microsoft apps that can be uninstalled from your Samsung Galaxy phone are not available.

One UI Home app drawer on the Samsung Galaxy S23
Samsung Galaxy S23

The Samsung technician can download apps from the Galaxy Store without logging in to their Samsung account. They can also change the system settings, sign in to their Google account, access the Play Store, and run diagnostic tools without issues. The phone also connects to mobile and data networks if a SIM card is installed.

Once Maintenance mode is turned off, any data from installed apps or diagnostic tools are lost. The device is restored to the same state it was before the mode was enabled. Any files stored on the internal storage while in Maintenance mode are also deleted.

Maintenance mode creates a separate guest account on your Galaxy device, which the repair technician can use for their testing work. This is also why multi-user support is missing in One UI 5 and One UI 5.1 despite the option being available in the initial builds.

The feature is only useful when minor repair works are done on your device. It won't be of any use if there are significant issues that require a logic replacement or a complete system format. In such situations, you must back up your data before handing your phone to the service center. Otherwise, you risk losing all your data.

Maintenance mode compatible devices

Samsung trialed Maintenance mode on the Galaxy S21 series in South Korea in July 2022 before expanding it to China later in the year. Initially, the feature was available on selected flagship and premium Galaxy devices running Android 13-based One UI 5. But since Maintenance mode was announced, Samsung has expanded its availability to more of its devices, including its tablets.

Samsung will continue to expand Maintenance mode availability to more of its phones and tablets in the future.

How to enable Maintenance mode on your Samsung Galaxy phone or tablet

Before you turn over your phone for repairs, follow these steps to turn on Maintenance mode:

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Scroll down and select Battery and device care.
  3. Tap Maintenance mode at the bottom of the list.
  4. Confirm your choice by tapping Turn on.
  5. A prompt asks you to create a system log before enabling the mode. This provides the technicians with additional details to troubleshoot the problem. It doesn't contain any personally identifiable information.

When your phone reboots, it will be in Maintenance mode, with all your personal data locked away from prying eyes. You can then hand your Galaxy phone or tablet to a technician to complete the necessary repairs.

How to exit Maintenance mode

A Maintenance mode overlay displays on the screen in the lower-right corner to remind you that the mode is running.

  1. Expand the notification shade on your Samsung Galaxy phone.
  2. Tap the Maintenance mode is running banner to exit the mode.
  3. Confirm your selection by tapping Exit from the page that opens.
  4. Verify your identity using your fingerprint or entering the phone's unlock pattern or PIN.
  5. This additional step prevents the technician or any other unauthorized person from exiting Maintenance mode on your phone.

After this, your device reboots in normal mode with all your app data and files intact.

Consider creating a log if your Galaxy phone or tablet has a peculiar problem. This helps the Samsung technician troubleshoot the problem better. Creating a log can take a few minutes.

Samsung's One UI skin is packed with handy features

Maintenance mode is another example of why One UI is the best Android skin. Samsung keeps improving the usability of its skin with every new release. Following the release of Android 13-based One UI 5 last year, the company dropped One UI 5.1 with several new features and usability improvements alongside the debut of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and its smaller siblings.