Factory reset sounds like a scary phrase to some people that may not fully understand the process and why it should be done. Have no fear! All articles in this series are going to be focused on demystifying Android fundamentals and providing tutorials on how to utilize these features. Everyone reading about tech out there is NOT necessarily a power user… I’m not talking to you guys here. I’m talking to everyone who wants to learn more about how to use their new Google phone, or droid! Over the years Android has become much more user friendly, but it’s still the go-to platform for those that don’t want to let a corporation decide what your device should be able to do and what it should look like. That level of customization also means that many features are buried deep within the software. I’m here for the new folks! We’re going to uncover Android.
What is a factory reset?
A factory reset deletes all USER data from the device. Upon restart your phone will require setup as if it was just freshly unboxed. This means that you should back-up all of your data prior to the reset because it is going to delete all of your photos, music, documents, and apps. Don’t worry though, a back-up feature is built in to the software. Your app purchases are safe even if you accidentally delete your data without a back-up. Google remembers your purchases and you can download the app again from the Google Play Store.
Why should I factory reset my Android Device?
- Poor performance over time. When you are installing apps, uninstalling apps, storing files, and removing files… sometimes the system just misbehaves. A factory reset will take the device back to it’s original state back when Android knew what was going on inside your device. Like any computer product, they tend to slow down over time.
- IMPORTANT: Before you sell or give a device to someone else. There is a lot of personal data stored inside your device. A factory reset removes all user data.
- After a major software update from your device manufacturer. This isn’t always necessary, but if you are experiencing any quirkiness or problems post update a factory reset should be done to give the new software version a fresh start.
How to factory reset your Android device
1. Navigate to your device settings.
2. Locate Backup & Reset under the Personal tab in your device settings.
3. WARNING: You’re about to delete all of your user data. Backup any files you haven’t already saved if you don’t want to lose them.
4. Tap Factory data reset
5. You will see a warning about the impending purge of your internal storage. If you have completed your backup and are ready to reset, scroll to the bottom of the page and tap Reset Device.
6. You may get a prompt asking if you want to erase your external memory card (microSD card) at this point. Erase it if you want, pull it out prior to starting this process if you want to keep the data on it.
7. The device will now boot into Recovery Mode and wipe all user data from the device. This may take some time. Just be patient and wait for the device to reboot to Android again.
Your device has now been reset to factory condition. You can start fresh with your device again, or you pass it on to someone else. Not sure how to backup the data on your device? Click the Android Basics tag below this post to see the other articles we are writing in this series which will include backing up your data.