Android Factory Reset

Here is a detailed guide on how to use Android Factory Reset Option properly so read the article till the end to properly reset your android phone. In today’s cut-throat rat race of technology, keeping yourself updated is a must. As new technologies are evolving, the hardware supporting them is also evolving. Older or outdated models do not support new generation technologies. For example, we are about to step into the world of 5G pretty soon.

Millions of android users are still using devices that do not support 5G. They are bound to get a new phone when 5G rolls out, to experience the speed and luxury that it provides. Consequently, they will have to either sell or recycle the old device, without compromising their security in the process. If they decide to sell their device to the buyers as is, they’re in big trouble. The buyer will have access to all the data of the former owner. Today, nothing is more precious than ‘user data’.

Android Factory Reset
Android Factory Reset

Every application or service you use wants to collect your data for its own good and to provide you with a more personalized experience. However, if your data falls into wrong hands, you know how much trouble you’re in. This data may include your personal photos and videos, important and confidential documents, or your banking credentials. Hence, it is very important to delete these data and make your device ready for selling or recycling. This is where factory reset comes to the rescue. In this article, we will discuss factory reset in android, its merits, demerits, precautions, and different ways to perform a factory reset.

What is Factory Reset in android?

If you break down the terms it comprises, you will very clearly get the meaning. The word ‘reset’ denotes resetting something to its original form. Hence, ‘factory reset’ essentially means resetting your android device to its factory settings. This is done by deleting all your personal data from the device and restoring it back to its state when it was ‘created in the factory.’ The term factory reset is also known as hard reset or master reset or hardware reset. It is similar to ‘formatting’ a disk in a computer.

Performing a factory reset on your android will wipe all user data from your device. This includes all your personal data like photos, videos, screenshots, audio, documents, and other media. All third-party applications along with their associated data are wiped off your device. Everything including browser history, saved passwords, saved bank credentials, etc. are deleted. You will also be logged out of your Google accounts through which you were signed in, on the device. However, data stored on cloud storage platforms will not be affected in any way. For example, the photos you have uploaded on Google Photos will not be deleted when you perform a factory reset.

They will be completely safe and you can access them again through Google Photos from any device after signing in. Similarly, the media files or documents that you have uploaded to other cloud storage platforms like Google Drive, will not be erased after a factory reset. You can still access the files from Google Drive by signing in from another device or even the same device.

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What are the merits of Factory Reset?

There are multiple merits of factory resetting.

Get rid of some common frustrating errors 

 First and foremost, factory resetting your android device lets you out of many frustrating situations. Although Android is a very popular OS platform with millions of users, there are some frustrating errors that users face. Some android packages and applications keep crashing. The notification saying “com.android.XYZ has stopped” keeps popping up on your screen. This makes you unable to do anything on your device. Android apps also stop responding and similar frustrating notifications keep popping up. The first method to solve such problems is generally clearing the cache of the device or booting the device in safe mode. However, if no fix works, factory resetting the device does the work (at the cost of all your data). Hence, a factory reset is the last resort to any app crashing problems and system and software issues.

The black screen of death

When you face the black screen of death, your device screen gets frozen. There are multiple fixes that you may try to get out of this situation. If none of them works, factory resetting your device will escort you out. Performing a factory reset will make your device functional again, in case the problem didn’t occur due to hardware issues.

Makes your phone ready to be sold, if needed

   The most important use of factory reset in android is to prepare your android device to be sold or recycled. When you sell your android phone to someone else, you definitely don’t want him to access your personal data. You don’t want him to access your Google account and bank account and impersonate you. Factory resetting deletes all data from your phone, hence making it ready to be sold. Once a factory reset is done, you are signed out from all your accounts. All documents, media files, and saved passwords are deleted and so the new user won’t have any access to them.

Improves the speed and allows smooth working

   Factory reset also improves the speed of your android device. You will get the feel of using a new phone.

To get rid of any suspected virus

Factory resetting your android device helps it get rid of any malware or virus. It also removes the critical and harmful effects caused by any virus on your device.

Why is it essential to erase all personal data from your mobile phone?

If you do not erase your personal data from your phone before selling it, the new user will have access to it. This can be embarrassing, indiscreet, and in the worst case, troublesome and dangerous. You do not want a stranger to glance at your personal pictures and videos. You do not want a stranger to have access to important and confidential files. In the worst-case scenario, if the new buyer is a hacker, he may commit a heinous crime with your data. This may start with blackmailing and end up with making your bank account empty!

Again, if you do not delete your data before selling your device, you will be signed in to Google. The new buyer will have access to your Google account and other sites where you have signed up with Google. The buyer will also have access to your personal and business chats, and even deleted messages can be recovered. If you are also signed in to your internet banking account, or applications providing financial services like Google Pay, Samsung Pay, PayTM and so on, it’s going to be a massacre for you.

The new user can spend all the money impersonating you and empty your bank account, hence making you bankrupt. Thus, there is a very big risk of identity theft on selling your phone without removing your personal data. It is very essential to delete all your personal data and saved passwords before selling or recycling your phone. So, performing a factory reset is the best choice here.

What are the demerits of Factory Reset?

Till now we have been discussing how a factory reset is important to prevent identity theft and get you out of frustrating android error situations. Like every other thing in the world, factory reset has its own demerits. Following are the demerits of the same.

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Factory reset removes all your data.

 This may be a boon when you are planning to sell or recycle your device, but a bane in all other cases. For example, if you are facing some frustrating android error and no fix is working, a factory reset is the last option. However, you don’t want your data and important files, and chats to be removed since you are not planning to sell your phone. So, if you don’t already have a backup, and now cannot make one because you are stuck, factory resetting will permanently erase all your data.

 Loss of password

 People generally log in to their accounts and save their passwords. Then they tend to forget it. If you perform a factory data reset and then attempt to log in but do not remember your password, you’re doomed. In this regard, if you have the means to recover your password, then you are safe.

Loss of data if not backed up

 if you have not backed up your data and chats, you will lose them permanently.

Precautions to take before performing a Factory Reset

Following are the precautions that you need to take before performing a factory reset on your android device.

Make sure that your phone has a sufficient amount of charge

 The process of factory reset takes a considerable amount of time to finish. So, it is recommended to plug your device into the charger during the process. This will ensure that the battery won’t run out during the factory reset process.

Make sure you have backed up all your important data before performing a factory reset.

 As you already know by now, factory resetting your phone will erase all personal data. Not only that, it will also remove all applications and sign you out from everywhere. So, make sure that you remember the passwords of all your important accounts. Also ensure that you have sufficient means to recover your password if forgotten. For example, you can keep yourself logged in to Gmail on any other device like your laptop or PC. This way, even if you forget the password for any site, you can ask for a recovery link to your Gmail.

You have multiple options to back up your data

You may store your important files and media on the hard drive of your laptop or PC. Also, You can upload them to cloud storage platforms like Google Drive and then retrieve them later.  Google Drive only allows you to store 15 GB of data for free for one Google account. If you need more storage space, you have to buy more space. Other cloud storage platforms that you may use are Mi Cloud, Dropbox, Mega, pCloud, etc. When you factory reset your android phone, the data stored in these cloud platforms are not deleted. However, either the cloud applications are deleted from your phone or you are signed out of them. Make sure to keep the login credentials handy to be able to log in and retrieve your data.

How to Factory Reset your android device?

There are generally two ways to perform a factory reset on your android device. The first way is the simplest, through ‘Settings’. The second way, which is using Recovery mode, may be used when you are facing critical errors like the black screen of death. This method is used when you cannot open Settings to perform a factory reset. Let us see how to factory reset an android device.

Performing a Factory Reset from Settings

Following are the steps to factory reset your device from Settings. The exact steps differ on different devices, but the overall pathway is the same.

  1. Firstly, take the necessary precautions as discussed previously. Make sure to plug in your device and have a backup of your important data.
  2. Open Settings on your device.’
Open Settings on your device
  1. Go to ‘System’ or ‘General Settings’, or just scroll down if none of these options are there.
System’ or ‘General Settings
  1. Find ‘Backup & Reset’ or ‘Reset options’ and click on it.
Reset options
  1. Then, click on ‘Erase all data’ or ‘Factory data reset’.
Factory data reset
  1. Select ‘Erase all data’ to confirm when the prompt appears, and wait for the process to finish.
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Performing a Factory Reset using Recovery Mode

This mode comes in handy when your screen is frozen, or you can’t open Settings due to a system crash. Following are the steps to perform a factory reset using recovery mode.

  1. If you are facing the black screen of death, wait for the battery to drain off. Or, try to hard reboot your android device. In other cases, like system malfunction or app crashing, simply long press the power button and then press ‘Reboot’ to restart your phone. In short, you need your phone to be switched off before beginning this process.
  2. Long press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time. If nothing happens, plug in your device and then follow the same. The backlight of your screen should turn on before you can proceed.
  3. When the backlight turns on, you’ll see “Start” pointing at your power button. Since you are not using the consumer UI of your device, you cannot navigate through touch. You will have to use the power and volume up/down buttons to navigate instead.
  4. The power button is used for making selections. The Volume up/down buttons are used for navigation.
  5. Press the Volume Down button multiple times to select “Recovery mode.”
  6. Then, press the Power button. The recovery mode will get selected.
  7. Your android phone will now restart with an animation of the android robot in trouble.
  8. Press and hold the power button. Then press the Volume Up button simultaneously (without leaving the Power button).
  9.  Use the Volume up/down buttons to navigate and press the power button to select “Wipe data/factory reset.”
  10. Now, press the power button again when prompted to confirm the factory data reset.
  11.  Sit back and wait for the process to finish. Once done, restart your phone. All your data will be erased, and any critical system malfunction will be fixed.

Read Also: How to factory reset android phone when locked

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed factory reset in Android. There are similar processes for factory resetting in Windows PC or Apple devices. The main aim is to get rid of any system error or erase all data on wish. It is very important to perform a factory reset on your device especially if you are selling it. You must also take the necessary precautions so as to not lose any important data.

Frequently Asked Question

Q.1: Will all your data be deleted permanently after performing a factory reset?

Ans- Before performing a factory reset, it is highly advisable to take the backup of all your important files, photos, documents, etc in some other working device beforehand. In case you do not do so and perform a factory reset in your android device with important information still stored in your device, then you will lose it permanently.

Q.2: How often should a factory reset be performed?

Ans- Please keep in mind that performing a factory reset means all your data is to be deleted. It is not advisable to perform a factory reset very frequently. If the user is experiencing any of the listed issues in their android device then they may perform a factory reset in order to get rid of those particular issues.

Q.3: Does performing a factory reset mean losing your text messages, songs, etc?

Ans- Yes. When the user performs a factory reset then every text message, song, photo, document, etc will be deleted permanently from the memory of your device. Again! Highly advisable to take backup of any important information beforehand.

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