Frequently asked Questions about Hard Resetting an Android

Thinking about hard resetting your Android smartphone or other Android device? This guide provides answers to some commonly asked questions about factory data resets, what they are, what they do, and how to prepare your phone before performing a factory reset.

What is a Factory Data Reset?

A factory data reset or factory reset is a type of hard reset which removes information from a device.

What is a Hard Reset?

A hard reset is a tool used to remove, erase, or delete all user data from a cell phone. It removes all imported, installed, or added information and puts the phone back to its factory default settings.

There are many types of resets available for smartphones some of which erase information from the cell phone such as the Hard Reset, Factory Data Reset, Master Resets, etc. while other resets such as a Soft Reset, or a Second Level Reset, etc. do not effect or erase data from the device. You can read more about other types of resets for cell phones at Mobile Phone Resets.  

If I do a factory reset will it erase my SD card?

This is one of the most frequently asked question concerning factory data resets. By default a hard reset WILL NOT erase or remove the information saved on your external memory card. It is important to know however that when performing a hard reset, depending on the smartphone you are using, there may be an option to format the SD card which WILL erase the data saved on your devices external storage. This option, when available, is typically not selected by default but when available and you do not want to erase your memory card during the reset make sure that the option to do so is not selected. If you don’t see this option then your SD card will not be touched by the factory reset.

As an extra precaution however, you can always properly remove the SD card from the device, and then perform the hard reset. With the memory card removed from the phone during the hard reset there will be no chance of losing any data.  

What gets deleted during a hard reset?

All user data and custom settings will get erased from the phone after performing a factory reset. Basically everything added to the phones internal storage that did not originally come preinstalled on the phone will be deleted and wiped clean.  

If I do a factory reset will I lose my pictures?

Yes, any and all pictures that you have taken with your camera or any images saved on the phones storage will be erased after performing a hard reset. So make sure to save your pictures to a computer or a memory card before resetting your smartphone or Android device. If you have pictures that you need to backup to a memory card and would like some assistance with the backup process then How to Save Pictures to a Memory Card from an Android Smartphone should help walk you through it.

If I do a hard reset will I lose my text messages?

Yes, all text message threads, both sent and received will be erased when performing a hard reset. Messages can be difficult to backup by default. If you have important text messages on your phone that you need to save before performing a reset then check out How to backup and save text messages on an Android phone for some suggestions.

If I perform a hard reset will I lose my music?

Yes, any music that you have downloaded to your phones storage or have uploaded from a computer will be erased from the phones internal storage. Make sure to copy any important music or audio files to a computer or memory card before performing a reset.

If I do a factory reset will I lose my contacts?

Yes… any contacts saved to the phone will be erased. Luckily Android smartphones create a backup contact list to the primary Gmail account associated with the phone and contacts are often automatically backed up online by default. I highly suggest that you save a copy of your contacts to a memory card as well though so that you have a hard copy of your address book should you need to recover them for any reason. If you would like an example of how you may create a backup of your contacts to a memory card you can click HERE.

If I do a factory reset will I lose my apps?

Yes and No.

Any applications that came preinstalled on your Android and that came with your phone originally will remain on your smartphone as clean and fresh installs with their default settings.

So for example:  Android phones come with a Camera application by default. After performing a hard reset on the device the phone is still going to have a Camera application but any customization such as custom settings to the camera will be lost. So if you had turned on the Flash to be used for every picture taken, or had adjusted the default resolution, or changed the size that you wanted your pictures saved as, or changed the save location of your media taken with the camera, or the cameras zoom settings, or focus, etc. these settings will all be reset to default.

Any third party applications that did not originally come on the device, such as applications from the Android Play Store (formerly the Android Marketplace) will be removed from the phones storage.

Will I lose app data such as points or levels from a game if I perform a hard reset?

If information such as points, coins, unlocked levels, unlocked characters, rewards, tokens, etc are saved to your phones internal storage then a factory reset will cause that data to be lost. It depends on how the application was written when it was developed.

If the application saves your app data online or onto your memory card (external storage) as opposed to the phones internal storage then your apps information and data will be safe. If this is the case you WILL have to re-download the application onto your phone after the reset but once its downloaded apps will often search an existing memory card for preexisting information and restore it to the app automatically. If the information was stored online then you may have to log onto an account to regain access to the apps information but it should restore as well.

It all depends on the application in question and how well it was written. If you are concerned about losing data for an app then before hard resetting your device you should contact the app developer directly to ask about whether or not you need to backup the information, if so, how to backup the information and most importantly how to restore the information after the reset.

Will a hard reset affect the software?

Although a factory reset will put the phones settings back to their factory default it will not technically put the phones software back to the original software that it was released with. The software and OS (Operating System) will not be directly affected by a hard reset.

Will I have to update my phone again if I perform a Factory Data Reset?

No, the software on your Android device will remain the same and will be same Android version that it was before the reset. A hard reset will not touch the OS or its current version of Android.

So for example: If you purchased a phone that originally operated on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and you updated your phone to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and then upgraded it again to the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and then needed to perform a hard reset. After performing the reset the phone would still be running on the latest version of software; in this case it would continue running on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and would not go back to any of its earlier versions of software.

If I do a factory reset will it unroot my phone?

No it will not unroot or remove any custom ROM or software changes made to the phone.

If you install a custom OS and want to remove it from the phone you will have to reinstall another custom OS, which may include the original Operating System. A hard reset will not remove a custom OS and will not change the device back to the originally installed software.

If an error occurs during the rooting or flashing process and your Android device begins to have issues or is not functioning correctly then a hard reset will not typically solve that problem either. You can however often fix such issues by re-attempting what you were trying to do originally.

For example: If you were unlocking the bootloader on your phone and your phone stopped powering on correctly a hard reset probably won’t help your phone turn on properly again. You might be able to fix it by re-locking and then if you choose, re-unlocking the bootloader again.

So USE CAUTION when changing the software on your Android device. A hard reset isn’t always a fix all solution in those types of circumstances.

Will a hard reset remove my phones unlock pattern?

Yes, your phone will be in like new condition and you will have to setup the security features on your phone once again. Including the creation of a new unlock pattern.

If I reset my phone will it remove a virus?

Although viruses are not too common on the Android OS yet, knowing that a factory data reset will erase any bugs, glitches, or viruses is a good thing to know.

Since a hard reset erases everything added to the device… Yes, factory resetting your Android is one of the best ways to get rid of a virus or an unwanted app and can wipe out most types of undesirable software or content that has found its way onto your cell phone.

If I factory reset will I lose my service?

Nope, no service issues should occur when doing a factory reset. In fact some service issues can even be fixed by performing a hard reset.

Will I lose my wireless plan?

Nope, your plan and all of that type of information is stored by your wireless service provider and it doesn’t reside on your phone so you don’t need to worry and a hard reset will not affect your wireless plan or wireless contract.

Will a hard reset relock an unlocked cell phone?

If you’re Android has been unlocked so that it can connect to and use the service of a different wireless carrier than it was originally intended for then a factory data reset should not re-lock the phone.

So for example: If you have an AT&T Android cell phone that had been unlocked so that it could be used on another GSM wireless network, let’s say for this example T-Mobile, then resetting the phone will not cause the phone to be strictly an AT&T device again, you will still be able to use the device with T-Mobile.

Note: if for some reason your cell phone doesn’t seem to want to connect to your wireless carrier like it did before performing a hard reset then reboot the phone and try again. If it still has issues then you can use the same unlock code that was used to unlock the phone originally.

Will a factory reset delete my voicemail messages?

Standard voicemails are stored by your wireless service provider and don’t get saved to your phones storage or its memory card. As such voicemails should not be affected when performing a hard reset on your cell phone.

If I reset my phone will I lose my number?

You will not lose your own phone number by performing a hard reset on your cell phone. As mentioned above, you may need to create a backup of your address book if you don’t want to lose other peoples numbers.

How can I backup my cell phone before doing a hard reset?

Since a hard reset erases everything from the phones storage you are probably going to want to backup much of your information before performing the reset. If you would like some tips to do this then I suggest reading How to Backup and Reset an Android smartphone for some additional information and suggestions.

How to perform a factory data reset

There are actually a few ways that you can perform a hard reset on an Android. One of the best methods is to perform a factory data reset through your phones settings.

This is going to depend upon what type of Android device you are trying to reset as well as what version of the Android OS it is currently running on.

Some of the more common methods of resetting an Android phone through its settings can be read by clicking HERE.

How to hard reset a frozen or unresponsive cell phone

If your cell phone is not responding properly and you cannot access the factory data reset option through the phones settings then there are still some options available. Before turning to a hard reset as the solution make sure that you try to restart the phone. If the phone will not restart or if a restart doesn’t resolve the problem then if possible try to remove the battery from the phone while the phone is powered on, wait 10 seconds and then reinsert the battery, turn on the phone and see if a literal battery pull or simulated battery pull has helped. If not then you can consider performing an Alternate Reset on your Android device.  

How to hard reset a locked cell phone?

If your phone is locked and you cannot access the phones content much less its settings then performing a factory reset through the settings is not going to be an option. Most Android phones will allow you to perform a hard reset on the device by accessing an Android recovery menu and selecting a “Wipe data/factory reset” option. The methods used to access this Android Recover menu or Fastboot menu will depend on the make and model of Android device as well its current version of Android. For a list of common methods to access these options check out How to Hard Reset and Android phone.

Got a Question about hard resetting your Android?

Got a question about hard resetting an Android smartphone? Don’t see the answer above? Feel free to ask in the comment section below. If it’s a good question not only will I try to provide an answer ill even add it to the article.

Has this guide helped to answer your question?

I hope this article has helped answer any questions that you might have had about hard resetting your Android cell phone or even an Android tablet. If so and you found this article informative and helpful then let me know that you liked it by pressing the Facebook Like button or Google + buttons below. Feel free to also leave a friendly remark in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading, I hope you have a fantastic day.

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86 Comments

Service

You said that if I factory reset I won't lose my service, does that apply to non contract phones (like Straight Talk)? Because my Android doesn't have a SIM card slot.

LG L1 II E420 Hard Reset

I sincerely followed all the detailed instructions you provided on hard resetting an android phone. I have an LG e420 and this sounds crazy but I totally forgot the password. So by your instruction, I turned it off, then I held both the Volume buttons and the power button, nothing happens. I tried holding just the Vol up button and the power button then it gives me the display "Recovery Mode". It's as far as I got to. There wasn't anything more available. No options, nothing to scroll down to. Please help me. I'm so close to hammering it.

“Put the Hammer down”

Hi Lloyd Vincent,

Unfortunately not all Androids are created equal and different makes and models as well as their current software version can all affect the methods used to hard reset a cell phone.

You’re on the right path though. If you forgot your phones password then a hard reset through the Android system recovery is going to be one of the best options available.

As far as resetting the LG Optimus L1 II Dual E420… I did some research and I can understand the frustration as I was unable to track down or confirm the proper hard reset key combo either. Check out method number 9 on that hard reset list again for a more detailed description but a common reset method for LG Android phones (which includes the LG Optimus series) is the Volume, Home and Power buttons. Hopefully this key combo will allow you to reset your LG remove the password and let you start using your cell phone again.

If that key combination works then let me know and if it doesn’t then make sure to try the other methods listed on that page. I tried to include as many as I could. Once you do find the proper reset method please let me know which technique worked as now you have piqued my interest. Good luck my friend and I hope to hear back from you soon.

Factory reset fails

My samsung galaxy Android fone has a virus problem evident in d non responsivness of a thin horizontal section of d screen to touch & other unusual behaviour such as sudden zoomin up & down,auto display command etc.I tried hard factory reset which eventually erased all info on my device & stil d virus problem exist.What do I do? Pls I need ur advice urgently.

It sounds like it might be hardware as opposed to software

Hi Philip,

From your description it sounds like your touch screen is failing, defective, or malfunctioning. A problem with the actual touch screen could result in non-responsiveness, an incorrect response such as zooming or selecting the wrong spot of the screen, and all kinds of other annoying issues. Since a reset should have helped to remove any bad software from your Samsung and yet this is still happening it’s likely a hardware problem as opposed to a software problem.

Does your cell phone have any signs of liquid or physical damage? What kind of Samsung Galaxy do you own?

If your phone will let you then try to run a test on your touch screen by using the Device Diagnostic Tool. Do this… Open your dialer as if you were going to type in someone’s telephone number and instead of a telephone number type in *#7353#. A screen should pop up showing you a bunch of options. Each of these options lets you run a diagnostic on your Samsung. What you want to look for is an option to test your touch screen. In my Samsung Galaxy S4 I have two options, a “TSP Dot Mode” and a “TSP Grid Mode” both of which allow me to test the touch screen on my Samsung. I like the TSP Grid Mode the best though as it allows you to drag your finger across the entire screen to try and pinpoint dead and unresponsive spots.

If you find some bad and unresponsive spots on your screen after using this tool then your touch screen is malfunctioning and you will need to look into having your touch screen (or your phone) repaired or replaced.

I hope that helps Philip, if you have any more questions just let me know.

hard reset is not working for removing virus from samsung note 2

hi, there. My mob gets virus or Trojan.
I did soft factory setting and it did not work. And then I did hard reset twice.
Still my mob acting strangely, such as opening web-site, change to vibrate setting and calling randomly.
I downloaded 360 security, mobile security & antivirus. But they are not showing up as download apps.
I tried 5-7 times. so far no success.
Any help and knowledge please!

You might have to replace it…

A factory data reset or hard reset should clean a virus off of the phone. If you have tried performing a reset and then tried the phone without ANY third party applications for a few days and your phone is still acting strangely then short of flashing a new OS with a program like Odin there is not much more that you can do to try and fix it yourself.

Believe it or not you are not the only person to have that issue on their cell phone. I have seen it multiple times over the last few years and it can certainly be very hard to resolve. Just make sure to try a hard reset and then try the phone as a clean slate without downloading anything for at least a few days afterwards. If you do a reset and then download all your apps and programs etc right away then it could be one of those programs causing problems. If you use the phone as a blank slate and you don’t have any issues then you can start slowly downloading apps again. Then if you download a bad app and the issue happens again you can narrow it down to that app and go from there.

I myself (and this is my own personal opinion) don’t recommend firewalls or anti-viruses for smartphones just yet. Many can cause more problems than they solve.

I wish you the best of luck Sam. If there is anything else I can try to do for you just let me know.

Will I lose updates to system apps

If I reset my xperia z1 compact will I lose the updates I made to the system apps? and all apps that were later introduced by Sony?

YES, you will have to update all of your apps again

Terrific question Carl and the answer is yes. A hard reset will remove any third party applications that have been downloaded to the phone and will reset the pre-installed applications that came with the phone back to factory default settings. When an Android phone reboots after a reset it will often prompt you to install the available updates but you can also do so through the phones settings once you have completed the phones initial setup process.

Hard Resetting the HTC One

Hello,

Some Android smartphones (especially HTCs) have a separate storage that will not get touched by a hard reset unless you specifically tell the phone to do so. This option is usually located on the prompts when you are about to reset your Android and before actually performing the reset (if your phone has this feature) it will have an option asking you if you want to “Erase Everything” which includes pictures, music, videos, etc. If you keep this option unchecked or not selected then your media files should not be touched when performing a reset. Just remember that this feature doesn’t exist on every android smartphone so before confirming a hard reset I always recommend that you attempt to create a backup of your phones information just in case.   

As far as that message… where exactly are you seeing "Yes -- back-up phone_storage"?

The message is in "Recovery", not in the Android OS

Hi

For the HTC One the message is in "Recovery", not in the Android OS/Sense 5.5. "Recovery" can be displayed by booting phone while holding POWER+Vol Down, which displays the bootloader. If you then select the "Recovery" option in the list, then when the Phone Exclamation Mark icon appears press and hold Vol Up before tapping POWER. Here, if you select the "Wipe phone/Factory Reset" option, you are presented with the options "No", "Yes..." and "Yes -- back-up phone_storage".

That said, I needed to do something so I selected this option and the phone simply spontaneously rebooted without actually doing anything (the same reboot that it was doing when it loads Android). So I don't actually know if this actually leaves the "virtual" SD card (which I believe is a /sdcard/ symlink mount that is actually at /data/media/).

I do know that selecting "Factory Reset" in the bootloader wipes the entire phone including the "virtual" SD card :(

hard reset

I don't know how and why my samsung note 3 keeps on resetting itself. It happened twice now and it's really irritating knowing that I have my phone settings customized the way I like it. The phone was just sitting down away from me while I was sleeping when the issue occurs. Now, I really don't want to customize my settings unless I know that it wont happen again. I hope you could help.

Trying to fix a phone that’s hard resetting itself

That issue stinks. It’s rare and can be hard to fix. Here is what I recommend that you do. Backup all of the data and information on your cell phone (do it manually and not with an app or third party software). After backing up your phone perform a reset (or two) on the phone to try and wipe everything out completely and start again from scratch. Once you have a clean slate after the reset then restore your backed up information to the phone and cross your fingers.

There is not really a guarantee that this will fix it (like I said this issue can be really stubborn) but there is a good chance that it will fix it so I recommend you definitely try it. If you need help with the backup then you can refer to this backup and reset guide for help.

If resetting the phone doesn’t work and it happens again then you will likely need to look into your phones warranty options and get it replaced. If you no longer have a warranty on the device then as a very last attempt to resolve that issue you might be able to flash a fresh copy of firmware to the device as well.

I hope that helps Michael, I got my fingers crossed for you and wish you the best of luck.

Samsung straight talk droid number change.

Hi,

I had to change my number on this phone. It's a $45 a month straight talk. I was going to do a factory reset on it, but i am afraid that I'm going to lose my new number. If i do this reset, will i lose it?

A reset should not cause you to lose a newer telephone number

Hi Amber,

I mentioned this briefly in the “Service” section in the guide above but I can see the concern as you had changed your telephone number from the original.

No, a factory reset should not cause you to lose your new number and should not cause the phone to revert to its original telephone number.  

Apps do not restore

All of my purchased apps are still on my Google Play Store, but they never returned to my phone after I did a factory reset. I may have missed an option during the setup that activated this.

Do I need to go the store and manually re-install all 92 apps? (Not to mention setting up all of the folders that I lost on my pages...grrr)

Managing apps after a hard reset

Hi Mark,

Some phones will restore applications for you after logging into your primary Google account after a hard reset. If your phone did not do this for you then yes you will likely need to re-download these applications manually. Luckily the Play Store should recognize that you have already purchased the applications and will not charge you again to download them. If there is any information from the application stored to an SD card the app should also find this data automatically and restore that information by itself (this Automatic restore feature is often shown on the Backup and reset screen before performing a hard reset).

I hope that helps answer your question Mark. I am not sure what you meant when you said you would need to setup up “all of the folders that I lost on my pages” but if your referring to your shortcut icons on all of your phones home screens/pages then the screenshot feature on your phone will be a powerful tool if you ever need to reset your phone again.

Oh, and one minor side note. Keep an eye on the apps that you are downloading. I am not sure why you needed to hard reset your cell phone but Apps can often be the cause of smartphone issues and of your “92” apps you might have one or two troublemakers that need sorting out. But I digress.

If you have any more questions Mark then don’t hesitate to ask.

This article was very informative

This article was very informative and very easy to understand. Thank you very much.

Can i lock my stolen android phone?

Hi, my android GT-S8262 phone is stolen in Nov,15 2014, i don't exactly remember if i activated remote controls but I have a working gmail address which I registered to use play store and it is always . In addition my phone is locked by pattern. I know that hard reset can unlock the pattern. But I want to know that even after hard reset will my gmail address remain registered to track and lock my phone?

That is a terrific question Tsehay

Sorry to hear that your Samsung Galaxy Core was stolen. I hate when people steal things. Ok… check out https://www.google.com/settings/dashboard log into the primary Google Account that was associated with your stolen Samsung Galaxy, scroll down to the “Android” section. If you click on it you may be able to see if your cell phones information, if you do then things are looking good. In that same “Android” section there should also be a link to “Manage active devices” click on this option (if available) and then take a breath and cross your fingers.

If you’re lucky then you might be able to even “Locate device” and see an approximate location of your cell phone (when I locate my S4 its pretty dead on accurate). Hopefully the phone was accidently left at a restaurant or your church or school or a friends or families house (*shifty eyes*) and you can run down to that location and get your phone back. Just PLEASE don’t take the law into your own hands (ever) especially if your cell phone was in fact stolen. That being said… there is also a “Set up Lock & Erase option” within those settings and if you don’t think that you can recover your phone you might want to use this option as a precaution.

All in all there is only one way to find out if you can still track your cell phone and that is to give it a try. Remember to also call your wireless carrier to report your phone stolen (if it was stolen) so that the cell phone gets banned from using mobile service from here on out. Good luck Tsehay, if there is anything else that I can do to try and help just let me know.

Lollipop

I upgraded to Lollipop for my google nexus 5 phone and I don't like it. Will a factory reset go back to the previous operating system (Kit Kat)?

Lollipop Lollipop Oh Lolli Lolli Lolli

Hi Heidi,

I briefly covered this topic in the software portion of the article above ;) but a Hard Reset or Factory Data Reset doesn’t touch the OS (Operating System). If you upgraded to the Lollipop then your Nexus 5 is going to keep running on lollipop. Even if you Factory Reset the device it’s still going to be on Lollipop and wont revert back to the previous KitKat software.

If you absolutely hate the new software though and just can’t stand to use your phone any more then there are ways to go back to KitKat but you might need to grab your pocket protector and push up those glasses to do so ;). Android is very customizable and instead of rooting your phone to install a custom version of software you can simply install the stock KitKat software back to the phone and then not upgrade to Lollipop when prompted to do so.

There are many tutorials online to walk you through this process BUT a BIG word of caution… warranties are funny when it comes to software manipulation and customization and you don’t want to accidently void your phones manufactures warranty. Also when following a how-to guide on how to do this you must READ those guides very carefully because when your messing with the software that runs your phone if you don’t do things properly you can run into some very serious software related problems that can sometimes be a challenge to fix. Using Lollipop is a lot less stressful then a cell phone that won’t power on, or that powers on to the android logo over and over in a constant loop, or freezes when powering on or gets constant error messages that pre-installed apps are crashing, etc. etc.

I just thought that I would mention that so that you can get a better understanding of some of your options and choose what option you would prefer.

Out of curiosity… I have not updated to the Lollipop yet myself… what don’t you like about it? Is it something negative or are you like me and just dislike change :).

Thank for the advice.

Thank for the advice.  In terms of lollipop, it feels too cluttered.  Changing the settings feels really complicated and not intuitive.  And I don't like how they let you know your messages...before, whether you were logged in or not, the icons for the messages (email or text) would show in the top left corner.  Now, you either have to log in with your password to see if you have messages OR they can show up in big ugly blocks on the front of the phone without logging in.  I also think the battery drains faster than it used to.  It's ok...but it's the little things like extra unnecessary steps and aesthetics that drive me a little nuts ;)  It probably will just take a little bit of getting used to, and you're right, it is probably not as bad as messing with the software!  Thanks for the advice. 

Your welcome Heidi

Thank you Heidi for taking the time to come back to the site and for posting such a detailed explanation of why you don’t care for the Jelly Bean update. You didn’t have to so I appreciate that.

I suppose that I too will update my phone soon and I too will need to get used to these little changes as well. Getting used to change is something that I don’t always enjoy either ;) but change can be good too and when it comes to cell phones it often means better security and more features.

Thanks again Heidi, enjoy your phone (as much as you can anyways) and I hope you have a fantastic evening.

Motorola Razr HD Maxx - Data Wipe

I have performed a hard wipe on my phone to prep it for resale, but when I restarted it to make sure it was clean it pre-populates my phone number in the "Your New Phone Number" page during the "Setup Wizard" screens. The phone isn't activated, but I don't really want my number there when I sell the phone. Any thoughts?

I have an idea or two…

Hi Austin,

I have a couple of thoughts as to why this might be happening…

You said that your phone isn’t activated but do you have a SIM card in the phone? If so then it might be showing the telephone number associated with that SIM card... Try removing the SIM, rebooting and if necessary resetting the phone. Then check to see if your telephone number is still popping up.

If your cell phone doesn’t have a SIM card then it might be getting programmed OTA (Over-the-air) through your wireless carrier. This would be a bit odd if you no longer used that wireless providers service but if you still had an account and you currently just have a different phone associated with that account then this could be a very possible scenario.

A factory data reset wipes all of the user data from the phone so it’s got to be pulling your telephone number from somewhere. You just got to find out where the phone is syncing that information from and then prevent that from happening. So start with the SIM card, I have a feeling that this might just be the resolution that you’re looking for and it may be as simple as taking the SIM card out of the phone.

Factory Reset Sony Xperia T phone

If you accidentally reset to factory settings could you retrieve photos and videos or are they deleted forever?

A hard reset is intended to permanently erase all user data

Yeah, the purpose of a factory data reset is to reset all settings and delete all the user data from the phone and it is intended to be permanent. It’s also hard to “accidently” reset a phone to factory settings as you often have to confirm the reset but if your phone crashes or unexpectedly needs to be hard reset for whatever reason and you couldn’t backup your data (like if you forgot your cell phones unlock pattern, etc.) then you MIGHT be able to recover the information from the phones hard drive using a data recovery tool. I talk about this in more detail HERE but when it comes to the recovery process nothing is certain and the longer you wait the harder it is to recover any data.

Phone is stuck at the boot screen, because of rooting...

Hello there, I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year 2015.

Well, I have been stuck with a huge problem with my phone for some days and while trying to fix things by myself, I unknowingly messed up everything. I cannot even inform my parents about that, because they will never spend money for purchasing another phone or trying to repair that one...

Here's the whole story:

I was gifted with a SD card last December, and I wanted to transfer everything there.
But then I found that Whatsapp would not move, and that my internal storage was still very low despite having moved some applications to my SD card.

Then I stumbled upon an article on the web which was about rooting the phone to be able to force applications to move to the SD card. Of course, I followed the steps, rooted my phone and I was satisfied with the result! However I was still intrigued by the fact that my internal storage was extremely low (Despite having uninstalled updates from Google Play, youtube, Street view, etc)

I finally decided to take the risk and uninstall some pre-installed apps as well...Unfortunately, I checked the Samsung Home box by mistake (Which I believe is the source of the problem) and as a result, when I press the Home Button, the wallpaper does not appear. I am directed to either my contacts or the Internet. Thinking that it was a minor problem, I switched off my phone and switched it on again. Now, the phone is stuck up to the display of the Samsung logo only - I cannot even switch it off again, I have to remove the battery for it to turn off.

I cannot inform my parents about that because they don't understand this, plus I will land into deep trouble as a result of my foolishness.

Furthermore, I had stored important notes in my calendar and did not synchronize it with my Google account, I fear that I will have to lose all of them.

Please help me sir, I am lost, I wanted to unroot my phone, but I didn't get the opportunity; now I am left with only the reset option.

I am very, very scared sir, please help me.

Thank you in advance.

Accidently deleted files on internal storage

Hi

I accidentally deleted all files on the internal storage, when setting up syncing with DropSync for my Dropbox. I set up a folder sync directly to the internal storage, which removed all files on the internal storage and synced the selected folder from Dropbox to it instead. Stupid. Well, couldn't find an answer to my question; If I accidentally deleted/removed files residing on the internal storage, will they be recreated when doing a factory reset. I'm only thinking of necessary system files/original files placed by Sony, not files I've placed there. I've lost a few files, but none important, since I've only used the phone a couple of days. Don't wanna waste time on recovery tools, since no important files for me are lost. But will all other files be recreated?

Br

Frank

It depends

Hello Frank,

You asked a very interesting question… I suppose that it depends on what files/folders you removed from the phone. If your Android is rooted and you have Super User access and you start editing files and folders then the results could be disastrous and could even lead to a nonfunctional smartphone. If you do not have super user access then you shouldn’t be able to do too much damage and chances are very good that a reset would restore these lost files/folders to your phone. At least restore them to their original state anyways.

If you do have Super User access and changed “necessary system files” which are required by the Android operating system to function properly on your Sony smartphone then a reset might not help as a reset won’t touch the phones operating system. To solve that problem you would likely need to reinstall or flash a fresh copy of software to the device.

This might even be a simple task if your phone is supported by Sony’s own Flash Tool. If not then you can look into using a tool like Odin.

Im out of luck?

So if someone does a hard reset to my galaxy tab 3 I can no longer can use my Google account to trace it. Looks like it because Google is not giving me a location.

That’s highly probable…

Hi Ray,

It sounds like you might be right… Once someone performs a hard reset on an Android cell phone it removes all user data from the device including the primary Google account associated with the phone and you will not likely be able to track your phone using the Google Dashboard as the Google account you are using to try and track it is no longer on that phone. :(

Gmail and factory settings

Hi, i bought a new s5 and only installed my Gmail. After realizing that the phone was not working properly, i restored it to factory settings and returned it to the shop. Now it occurs to me whether or not my email and password have been removed?

Yeah you should be ok

Hi R,

Yes, if you performed a factory data reset then it would have removed anything that you added to the phone after you got it. Including any email accounts. So rest assured your email and password should no longer be on that Samsung Galaxy S5 and as far as the next person is concerned it will be as if they were the first and only person to ever use that phone. It will be like its brand new right out of the box.

Used Ccleaner then had a problem with inherent apps..

Hello. I just recently used Ccleaner to clean data on my Android Jellybean 4.2 phone. After the cleaning, I tried to access the camera but it won't load up. I also tried to access Messaging but it won't load up. I tried all the other apps that were already installed when I bought (which is two days ago) it but they all won't load up. So I tried to hard reset my phone. It was successful but when I rebooted it, the same apps won't load up. So it practically didn't solve my problem.

Did the hard reset completely damage my phone? What should I do? Thanks.

That’s strange

Hi Madel,

A hard reset shouldn’t have “damaged” your cell phone as a hard reset is just supposed to remove the user data from the device, and if this happened after using CCleaner (which is a program that I love using on my PC but I have not yet tried it on my cell phone) then it sounds like CCleaner is the culprit in this case.

Are you getting any error messages when the App(s) fail to load up? Did the hard reset finish properly? When your phone restarted were all of your custom apps gone? Did your phone go back to stock? I have personally seen where a hard reset didn’t go through properly and not only did it leave data on the phone it didn’t solve the issue that prompted the reset in the first place. If this is the case (it’s rare but can and does happen) then you might have to try a few more resets to make sure that the phone gets reset properly.

Where did you download the CCleaner app from if you don’t mind me asking? I’m assuming it was from the Play Store? Do you remember what information you used CCleaner to “clean” on your phone? Did you play with its App Manager at all? If so, are the apps that are having issues the same apps that you used CCleaner on? Were any of those apps System Applications (such as the “Camera” application or “Messaging” application?

To be honest if the CCleaner did affect something on your cell phone I am very surprised that a hard reset didn’t resolve the problem. I suggest trying another reset (or two) to see if it takes properly this time.

If not, and I was in your shoes, since the phone is only a few days old I would take it back to the store or contact the place that you purchased it from and tell them the truth; that your brand new smartphone is malfunctioning and that you would like them to fix it or replace it. You should still be covered under the buyer’s remorse policy so long as you take care of this right away. Take it in, and if they cannot fix it then chances are good that they will replace it for a working unit. Note: try to get a buyers remorse claim as opposed to a warranty claim. Warranty claims usually result in a refurbished cell phone as a replacement which will be unfortunate if your cell phone is brand new.

Just don’t wait around, make sure you take it in right away. You might have bought a lemon after all and the longer you wait the fewer options that you are going to have to work with.

I'm not getting any error

I'm not getting any error message, it just goes black. When I rebooted it, all of the apps I installed were gone. I even had to go through the tutorial on how to use the phone. I did download it from Play Store. When I used Ccleaner, I just opened the app, and used the default settings since I've been using it on my computer too and it was fine.

I could use the Messaging app now but I still couldn't use the camera and other apps like the music player. Whenever I check the Storage in the settings, everything is "Calculating..". I also can't install a new app. The download finishes but it won't install. Whenever I check the App Info, all the details are "Computing..". :(

Recovering deleted information even after a hard reset

Hello,

From a technical standpoint trying to recover information or data from a hard drive (even a hard drive of a cell phone) after that data has been erased or deleted manually or after a hard reset has been done is possible. It’s certainly not guaranteed to happen and can be difficult depending on how much time has passed and how much information has been recorded to the drive afterwards. More unlikely than likely but it is technically possible.

If you plan on selling your cell phone or want to make it very difficult for someone to recover deleted information then you might want to use the following tips on how to permanently erase data from a cell phone to keep your information out of the hands and away from the prying eyes of others.

Help Doctor... Note 3 with virus.

I have a note 3. I think it has a virus. I had 300 audio recordings on my note and they all deleted by themselves. Advertisements pop up in random spots where I didn't even have a web page open, like when I'm leaving an app going to the home screen- a random add will pop up on the screen. It also glitches and runs slow when doing different tasks or using the keyboard. I don't want it get worse and loose more precious info. Also if I back up stuff how do I know I'm not backing up a virus too.

Trying to get a virus off of your Samsung

Hi Drew,

Unwanted advertisements on your cell phone can certainly get annoying and losing information from your phone is even worse. From your description it could be a virus or it could just be an annoying application that’s causing mischief (or both)…

Let’s see what we can do to try and prevent this from happening any more.

I suggest that you continue to use your phone as usual (for now) but start keeping an eye on your running applications. If you find that one of your applications seems to continue running when you are not actually using it then that app might be running in the background not only slowing your phone but causing those pop-ups to occur. If you notice an app that always seems to be running or that is running when a pop-up occurs then try removing/uninstalling/disabling that app to see if it helps solve some of your performance and advertizing issues.

I recommend uninstalling the app(s) completely from the phone and then using the phone without those apps for some time to see if it resolves your issue. You might have to try one app and then another until you pinpoint the app that’s causing mischief. Once you find the troublemaker you can uninstall it and just keep it off of your phone.

If that doesn’t work and something like a virus has found its way onto your phone then you can try a hard reset. A reset is a last resort of course as it will remove all of the information that’s been added to the phone and not just the virus but if you cannot pinpoint and remove the cause of the problem then a reset can be a powerful troubleshooting tool.

Now you obviously do not want to lose more information so… if you want to skip right the Backup and Reset as a preventative measure then that’s going to be up to you. You are going to want to backup your information first of course though which brings us to your other question, how to backup your information without accidently backing up any malicious software along with it.

Chances are that your media files (like your audio recordings, camera photos, camera videos, etc) are virus free and you can probably copy these files from your android cell phone to its external memory card without too much concern. If you downloaded any of these media files from the internet or if you don’t want to take the slightest chance of saving infected files then you can scan them with a virus scanner through your PC. I suppose you could try a virus scanner app but I don’t know of any that I would be able to recommend as I don’t use one on my Samsung Galaxy.

Try to get into a good habit of backing up your information every once in a while. You don’t want something unexpected to happen to your cell phone and wind up losing all of your important information. Many of the better memory cards are water proof, temperature proof, shock and vibration proof, impact proof, etc. and can help keep your information safe. If you have not already invested in a good memory card then I recommend that you get one and then setup your Samsungs camera storage to save information to that memory card by default, and to copy your current information to the card as well.

If you do all of these things then I think you and your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 should be in great shape. Let me know if you have any more questions or if there is anything else that I can try and help you with Drew.

I need help...

Does a factory reset need full battery to work? Also, does it make a lot of noise?

Some phones do, some don’t…

Hello Jack,

Some phones do require the battery to be charged to a certain amount before a reset can be attempted. It’s never a bad idea to have a full charge on your battery when performing a hard reset or when choosing to encrypt an Android cell phone.

As far as noise… your phone is going to want to restart after the factory reset is complete. Many phones make a startup noise when first powering on but other than that the phone shouldn’t really make any noise during the reset itself.

Nope as long as you use the same Gmail account

Hi Tanner,

Nope you will not have to pay for the app again as long as you download the application with the same primary Google account that you used to download it originally. The Play Store should recognize that the Google account already purchased the app and you shouldn’t be charged for it again.

If you try to download it under a different Google account then you may have to pay to download the app again as the Play Store would likely think that it’s a different person/account that’s trying to download the app and you would most likely have to pay to download it.

Will the thin lines disappear if I do this?

My sister's tablet developed these vertical and horizontal thin lines. I want to perform this task because someone said that it might go away, but I'm not really sure if it will. In your personal opinion, shall I factory reset the device or get a new screen instead? I wanted to give it a shot but I'm kind of worried what would happen since it's not my device and I'm not sure of the data in it, my sister said I should do it but I'm still scared though.

Probably not…

Hi Gill,

Lines on a display screen (such as a straight line of dead pixels) are often the result of a hardware problem. A hard reset can help fix software related issues but it won’t help resolve hardware issues.

If you are deciding whether to perform a reset or to replace the display screen then heck do the reset for good measure. If the reset doesn’t work then you can replace the display screen. Just make sure that you backup all the important information before performing the reset. You are going to want to create a backup either way.

I am going to get a little off topic here but that specific issue might indicate a problem with the connection between the display screen and the phones motherboard. The flex cable that connects the two components might be lose, out of place or damaged. If it’s loose then simply applying pressure to the connection might help to solve the problem. But I digress.

If the device is less than a year old then the phone might still be covered under warranty. If it is then a warranty claim might be the best choice of action. If it’s not covered then you could backup and then reset the unit and if that doesn’t work (which it might not) then you can move onto repairing or replacing the screen itself.

Files in internal storage are still around after factory reset

Hi, your article was very informative. However, I have one question; you said that all music stored in my tablet's internal storage will be erased after a factory reset. I've done a factory reset on my android jellybean tablet, and to my surprise, songs I've downloaded from an app called Anime Music (which I uninstalled days before the reset) are still saved in my phone's storage. There are also folders of books I've downloaded through Aldiko still in there, although when I tried to open them, there was an error message that the file wasn't supported. This is my second factory reset, and the first one worked like a charm. It got rid of some adware that was eating up my battery. I followed the same steps as my first reset, but, well why are these files still around? Did I miss something? Any new ideas would be appreciated.

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