The new Repair Mode lessens the necessity of factory resetting your smartphone before delivering it to a servicing facility.
Samsung recently introduced a new functionality known as Maintenance Mode for its Galaxy devices. This mode is designed to be used by device owners before handing their device over to a service technician at a service center. When activated, Maintenance Mode by Samsung essentially creates a new user profile, securing the main user’s data. This feature aims to eliminate the need for users to back up and reset their smartphones when sending them in for service, simplifying the process of logging into a fresh device and reconfiguring everything.
According to a recent report, Google is also working on a similar feature for its Pixel devices. However, it appears that Google is taking a different approach by integrating this feature natively into all Android-powered smartphones. Referred to as “Repair Mode,” the code for this feature was discovered by Mishaal Rahman. It can be activated and deactivated using the user’s preferred authentication method. Google’s approach differs from Samsung’s Maintenance Mode in that it simulates a factory reset.
Google achieves this through a mechanism called Dynamic System Updates (DSU), which was introduced in Android 10. DSU allows the device to boot without overwriting the existing installation, thus preserving the user’s data. The actual data swap occurs during the subsequent boot, replacing the original system with the new data image. It was only with Android 14 that it became possible to swap out just the data partition, leaving the original data intact. This is likely what occurs when a user activates Repair Mode on a Pixel device.
Once Google activates the new Repair Mode in the source code, smartphone manufacturers will have the option to use their own version of repair mode or opt for Google’s native Repair Mode. When a user sends their phone for service, the technician will essentially see a factory-reset phone, which can then be used to test hardware during servicing. Google is expected to introduce Repair Mode as a feature in the December Pixel feature update.