It is often one of the most effective and, at the same time, one of the most drastic solutions that we suggest to our readers. The so-called Factory Data Reset of Android devices allows you to restore your smartphone or tablet equipped with the Google mobile operating system to the factory state (hence the name), i.e., without any data belonging to you and with all the settings, starting from the most basic to the most complex, reset and replaced with the default ones.
Why do we suggest to our readers such a drastic solution to their problems, and why, regardless of whether or not there are user experience problems, is it reasonable to do such a reset from time to time? For the simple reason that, as happens, for example, on a Windows PC or macOS, the system tends to become heavier and slower over time. Restoring the system to its initial state allows you to start from scratch and have a fluid and clean design of all the problems accumulated in the previous months.
Furthermore, some combinations of applications or settings or even system changes made by smartphone and tablet manufacturers can give rise to particular bugs that are practically unsolvable, and the only solution is the one we are talking about in these first paragraphs. So let’s see together how to reset Android in a few practical steps thanks to the features integrated into the system itself.
Before performing a factory data reset, let’s see some steps to save your data. First of all, considering that if you have an Android device, you are almost certainly using an email account, perhaps from Google, it is good to set up the so-called Backup Account. Go to Settings -> Backup and reset -> Backup account . From here, you can select one of your accounts on which to save installed settings, apps, and games so that in the event of a reset, you can restore the device almost to its current state.
We did not use ” almost ” at random. In reality, this Backup does not save the data of your games or applications; it will just remember the software installed at the time of recovery by reinstalling everything through the Play Store. Backup is a rather complex issue, and it deserves a separate guide. Suffice it to say that root permissions are required for the complete Backup, that to back up WhatsApp, you can rely on Google Drive, and that for the Backup of Photos and Videos, you can rely on Google Photos.
Some devices, such as the recent Samsung smartphones, are equipped with their recovery system that uses proprietary accounts and which allows you, for example, to save the arrangement of the elements of your home, apk files, settings, and so on. You will have to manually check your device for the presence or absence of these features. You can always find them under Settings -> Backup and reset.
How To Reset Android
Once you are sure of the decision to proceed with a factory data reset, the steps to follow are elementary. However, we remind you again that by doing it, you will lose apps and games, in addition to the data saved on them, personal information, documents, photos, videos, music, contacts stored on the device, and so on. If you skipped the previous paragraph, we recommend that you take a look at it.
It is also good to know that the data on microSD, or the external memory of your device, will not be deleted during the procedure. If you need to save photos, videos, or documents, you can use the microSD as a backup tool. In reality, we have already listed most of the steps to perform a factory data reset, but let’s see them anyway for safety:
- Enter the settings of your Android smartphone or tablet;
- Look for the item Backup and restore or Privacy; it depends on where your device manufacturer has placed the option;
- Scroll through the items and look for Factory data reset or Phone reset;
- Scroll to the bottom and accept, provided that you have first made sure you have saved all the valuable data;
- You have to wait for the procedure to finish and the device to restart.
Hard Reset Android
There is another procedure to reset an Android device completely, to be used in an emergency as a permanent block of the device, perhaps during a software update or even during a factory data reset. The procedure is called Hard Reset, and to use it, you need to access the recovery of your device, a software external to the operating system that allows you, among other things, to delete data and settings.
To access recovery, you need to restart your device in recovery mode. This operation is usually carried out from a smartphone off with a combination of keys that could be Volume Down + Power button + Home Button at the same time. However, the procedure changes from smartphone to smartphone: our advice is to search directly on Google with a search string in the style of ” Recovery device name.
” Once in recovery mode, you can navigate through the menu items using the volume rocker and confirm with the power button. Select the Recovery item and then search for and select the Wipe Data / Factory Reset option. At this point, select Yes from the menu that will open and wait for the operation to complete.
Android Recovery Without Data Loss
In the first paragraph, which is the one dedicated to the preliminary procedures, we have already explained some hidden dynamics behind the factory data reset and Backup. You lose all the data on your Android device (except for those on microSD). Restoring Android without losing data is, therefore, virtually impossible. Suppose you have backed up via your Google account and typically use cloud services such as Play Games, Google Photos, WhatsApp, Dropbox, or similar, technically, once you log in with your credentials.
In that case, you will find everything in their place. The only way to perform a reset and only then bring the smartphone to the same state in which it was left before carrying out this operation is to use applications that require the permission of the root, such as Titanium Backup.