What is a wipe?

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Today, in many areas, words taken from other languages ​​are used: this is especially true for IT. So here the concept of “wipe” appeared – sound tracing paper (from the English wipe – “wash”). It is applied to operating systems, online games and image boards – forums with the ability to attach images.

What does wipe mean

Reset Smartphone

In the context of gadgets (computers, tablets, smartphones), this is a way to completely erase data without the possibility of recovery. Bits that contain information are reset to zero, nothing remains of the file: no shell, no content, no traces of presence in the database. All settings are also erased. The wipe is better known under the names “hard reset” (hard reset) or “reset”, but the latter concept is too narrow.

In online games

All information about the character that the gamer uses is stored on the server. This is a huge amount of data, increasing in the process of passing levels, scoring points, using spare lives. Wipe server in the game – erasing all this information. Often it is performed when the character dies. Either a gamer or the administration of an online game does this..

The meaning of the wipe is to get rid of excess data that worsen the server’s performance due to the high load, from which crashes begin, the game freezes. A wipe is also carried out before introducing additional rules, the appearance of new gamers, in order to balance the chances of all participants to win, add excitement.

In the imageboard

On sites created in the format of forums, wipe are actions that are taken to maximize lower the thread (topic, discussion thread) down. It needs to be brought to a critical point, after which the system itself will delete the data that has lost its relevance. Wipe is performed by adding new posts with pictures on a specific topic to the discussion field. Due to this, threads with a long publication date are shifted and erased..

Views of wipe

  • Partial. This deletes the data in the selected disk partition. The procedure is carried out when there are failures and errors in the operation of the device, and the “problem area” is known.
  • Full. Erasing with overwriting the entire disk, which then requires you to reinstall the operating system. This is a longer and more complicated procedure, you should prepare for it: save all important data, accounts, make a backup of the system.

Why do I need a complete reset

Reset Mobile

Simply deleting files, even by reformatting the drive, does not protect the device completely. Traces of their presence remain, and an experienced hacker will be able to recover information. If you decide to sell the gadget, it is better to wipe it: in the process, the database will be overwritten, which will exclude the possibility of fishing out deleted files.

Other situations:

  • The device freezes, there are malfunctions. These problems can be caused by viruses, inept attempts to “repair” applications and files, and clogging of the cache. No swipe here.
  • Prevention. Databases should be cleaned of garbage once a year, especially with the active use of the gadget. To cope with this, only a complete reset to the factory settings with overwriting the disk helps.
  • Before flashing the phone. They do this only on Android; for iOS, such actions are not needed. Hard reset is performed to put the new version of the operating system on a clean base and to eliminate conflicts, errors in work.

How to make a wipe on Android

Wipe on Android

There are several ways to reset all settings on phones with this operating system. If the device produces a lot of errors, wipe through the Reset button. To press it, you need a thin clip or a needle. The button is held for 15-30 seconds, during which time the device restarts. A deeper hard reset on Android is performed through special codes or the Recovery menu. The last option is available “out of the box” only on Samsung devices.

Via smartphone menu

  1. Go to “Settings”, select “Recovery and reset”.
  2. The next item is “Reset Settings”.
  3. Confirm that you agree to delete all data – the system will display a warning.
  4. If necessary, additionally mark “Clear SD-card”, if there is one and also gives errors. Wait for the process to complete..

Reset settings through recovery

Reset settings through recovery

  1. Press 3 buttons: center, volume up and off, hold until reboot starts. On the newest Samsung models, the combination consists of power, volume up and Bixby buttons.
  2. When the screen saver appears, leave only the last 2 keys pressed and hold until the logo appears on a blue background.
  3. Scroll through the Recovery menu using the volume buttons and select “Power” with the “Power” button. There are several options: wipe data deletes all programs and data, personal settings are a deep wipe. Wipe cache partition cleans cache – temporary application information. If you just worry about minor bugs in programs, it’s better to start with it.

In the engineering menu using a digital code

  1. In the Phone application, enter * # * # 3646633 # * # * and press the call button – this will open Engineering Mode if the manufacturer has not blocked access to it. So, the function is truncated (or missing) on ​​devices with a Qualcomm processor. Be careful when performing the following steps because there is a risk of breaking system files.
  2. The code for the full wipe is * # * # 7780 # * # *, and for a partial wipe * 2767 * 3855 #. On some phones in the engineering menu, you can not enter combinations of numbers, but find the Wipe item and click on it.

How to clean your computer hard drive

Microsoft and Apple in each gadget by default put software with the function of a complete data reset. On MacOS, this is Disk Utility; on Windows, Recovery. There is another option: download a program that makes a wipe. Many of them are free and easy to use. Such software will appeal to those who want to manually set the number of rewriting cycles (the more there are, the higher the chances that no one will restore the data) and make other settings.


Wipe on MacOS

Before starting the procedure, it is recommended to copy all important data to iCloud or to an external drive, make a backup through Time Machine. Do not forget about the “Keychain” – accounts and passwords: this eliminates the need to re-drive account data. ICloud features, especially Find My Mac, should be turned off.

Wipe algorithm:

  1. Reboot the computer. At startup, press Shift + Option + Cmd + R and hold until an apple appears on a black background. This will confuse the recovery partition..
  2. In the window that opens, select “Disk Utility”. When the program starts, click on the boot disk on the left. The default is Macintosh HD.
  3. On the toolbar, select “Erase”. In the window that appears, enter a new name for the disk and set the format macOS Extended (journaled). If the APFS format was originally installed, you do not need to change it.
  4. Confirm the action. Exit the program after completing the procedure, return to the “Utilities”.
  5. After wipe, select 2 line in the menu – reinstall macOS. The latest available version of the system will be downloaded from the Internet. If you are selling a computer, press Cmd + Q to leave these actions to the buyer.


Wipe on Windows

If the system starts, the circuit is simple:

  1. Go to Start and Settings. Select Recovery.
  2. The option “Restore the computer to its original state” will appear on the right. Under it there is a “Start” button, which performs a system reset.
  3. Following the prompts, save important files or completely reset the computer’s memory. Next, select simple data deletion or absolute reset.
  4. Wait for the operation to complete: the computer will restart several times during this time and reinstall the system.

To see what a wipe is without a chance of recovery, the procedure is carried out through BIOS:

  1. When you turn on the computer, often press F1, F2 or Del – the key depends on the specific device. Wait until a blue screen appears with the BIOS header.
  2. Open the Exit tab, select Load Setup Defaults.
  3. Use the Y button to confirm the action, wait for it to complete. On modern machines, this can even be done with the mouse cursor..

Wipe programs


The most popular utility for Windows is CCleaner. It has 4 algorithms for deleting data with varying degrees of thoroughness of getting rid of information. The user selects the type of cleaning (full or partial), the number of passes overwriting. The speed of the procedure is low, depending on the amount of data on the disk and the wipe algorithm.

Program management is simple:

  1. After starting, select “Service”.
  2. Below find Drive Wiper or “Erase”.
  3. Determine partial (only free space) or complete deletion of everything, choose the level of protection.
  4. Wait for the procedure to complete.

Another program is DBAN. It is less known, but also free and easy to use. Software developed for Windows, MacOS, Linux. The program performs a disk erase automatically or gives the user access to the process settings. Algorithms are here, as in CCleaner, but the software does not have the Russian language and graphical interface. The choice of commands occurs by pressing the key combinations: their options are written at the bottom of the window. Another minus – the program does not work with SSD.

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