How can I encrypt or decrypt my microSD card?

Last modified : Jun 19. 2020

Encrypting the data on your microSD card adds an extra layer of security. It locks the information on your SD card to your device in it's current state. If it's lost, stolen or removed, the files won't be read even if it is moved onto another device or computer.

 

It is important to remember to decrypt your microSD card before a Factory Data Reset, or if you are switching to a new phone. The data on your SD card will not be able to be read or decrypted after a reset or in another device. The only option to use the microSD card again is to wipe it completely.

Please Note: This guide is designed for Australian variant Galaxy devices, if you have an international device and require further support click here to reach out to your Samsung Subsidiary. Screenshots were captured from a Galaxy Note9 operating on Android OS Version 9.0 (Pie), settings and steps available may vary depending on your Galaxy device and Android OS Version.

Android OS Version 9.0 (Pie)

Android 9 icon

How to Encrypt your microSD card:Click to Expand
1 Open the Settings app and tap Biometrics and Security

For Galaxy devices operating on Android OS Version 8.0 (Oreo) and below head into your Settings > Lock screen & Security to encrypt and decrypt your SD Card.

Head into your Settings > Biometrics and security
2 Scroll to the bottom and select Encrypt SD card
Select Encrypt SD Card
3 Select Encrypt SD Card
Select Encrypt SD Card
4 Enter in your Pin, Pattern or Password to proceed
5 Encryption will begin. You can continue to use your device normally. The encryption process will show in the notification panel.

It can take a long time if there is a lot of data to encrypt on the SD card.
As an example, on a card with 60gb of data, it will take around 100 minutes to complete (1% per minute)

Encrypting SD card
How to Decrypt your microSD card:Click to Expand
1 Open the Settings app, and select Biometrics & security

For Galaxy devices operating on Android OS Version 8.0 (Oreo) and below head into your Settings > Lock screen & Security to encrypt and decrypt your SD Card.

Head into your Settings > Biometrics and security
2 Scroll to the bottom and select Decrypt SD Card
Tap on Decrypt SD Card
3 Tap Decrypt SD card to begin the process
Select Decrypt SD Card
4 Enter your lock screen pin, pattern or password
5 Wait for the decryption to finish - you can keep an eye on the progress in the notification panel. Make sure to keep the device charged during the process as it can take some time.
Decrypting SD Card

Android OS Version 10.0 (Q)

Android 10 icon

How to Encrypt your microSD card:Click to Expand
1 Open the Settings app and tap Biometrics and security
Head into your Settings > Biometrics and security
2 Scroll to the bottom and select Encrypt or Decrypt SD card
Select Encrypt or Decrypt SD Card
3 Tap on Encrypt SD Card
Select Encrypt SD Card
4 Enter in your Pin, Pattern or Password to proceed
5 Encryption will begin. You can continue to use your device normally. The encryption process will show in the notification panel.

It can take a long time if there is a lot of data to encrypt on the SD card.
As an example, on a card with 60gb of data, it will take around 100 minutes to complete (1% per minute)

Encrypting SD card
How to Decrypt your microSD card:Click to Expand
1 Open the Settings app, and select Biometrics and Security

For Galaxy devices operating on Android OS Version 8.0 (Oreo) and below head into your Settings > Lock screen & Security to encrypt and decrypt your SD Card.

Head into your Settings > Biometrics and security
2 Scroll to the bottom and select Encrypt or Decrypt SD Card
Tap on Decrypt SD Card
3 Tap Decrypt SD card to begin the process
Select Decrypt SD Card
4 Enter your lock screen pin, pattern or password
5 Wait for the decryption to finish - you can keep an eye on the progress in the notification panel. Make sure to keep the device charged during the process as it can take some time.
Decrypting SD Card

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