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Apps [General] - About factory resetting an Android device

Author: Robert Taylor Reference Number: AA-00562 Views: 2329 Created: 2018-02-28 12:22 Last Updated: 2018-02-28 12:22 0 Rating/ Voters

What is a "Factory Reset" on an Android device?

Android Factory Reset is a feature that erases all device settings, user data, third-party applications, and associated application data from an Android device's internal flash storage.

This effectively returns the device to the condition it was in when shipped from the factory (ie. when you first took it out of the box).

Why would you want to do a Factory Reset?

If your device has been in use for an extended period of time (ie. a few years), a lot of junk can build up. You might have old apps installed which you no longer use. Your phone might be full of photos you've taken which are already synced to a Cloud account, so you don't need to keep them on your device, etc.

This can lead to lower performance on your device, particularly if the device storage is very full.

Sometimes, a particular app will not run properly on your device, and a Factory Reset can help to alleviate whatever issue is causing problems with the app.

Of course, you can perform periodic maintenance on your device to help to keep it clean and smoothly running, but sometimes, there's nothing like a factory reset to do a "clean sweep" on your device and start from scratch again.

In many ways this is similar to many users' experience on a Windows PC. It's sometimes amazing how much better a PC performs after doing a full format and re-install of Windows, and all your apps. Sometimes it can seem like a brand new machine afterwards!

How do I perform a Factory Reset on my device?

Normally, the Factory Reset function will be somewhere in your device Settings panel.

It will differ depending on what brand and model your device is, what version of Android is on that device, and whether the manufacturer uses stock Android, or has their own user interface on top of Android (many manufacturers do this!).

Some examples:

Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 5x and Pixel2 phone (Android 8)

Settings -> System -> Reset Options -> Erase all data (factory reset)

Samsung Note 8 phone (Android 7)

Settings -> General Management -> Reset -> Factory Data Reset

Lenovo TAB3 tablet (Android 5)

Settings -> Backup & Reset -> Factory data reset

LG K500K Phone (Telstra Branded - Android 6)

Settings -> General -> Backup & Reset -> Factory data reset

As you can see from the above examples, where you find the Factory Reset option will vary depending on the device and Android version, but you can see that it's usually in a similar location within the Settings menus.

If in doubt, use Google search to find information specific to your device!

Should I be worried about doing a factory reset?

Doing a factory reset on your device will completely remove everything on your device. All your data (photos, documents, emails, contacts, etc.) will be gone afterwards.

However, you can take precautions to make sure you do not lose things when you do a factory reset. On your phone for example, you can make sure that all your contacts are synced to your Google account. This means that they are already backed up in the Cloud attached to your Google Play account. In many cases, your photos are synced to your Cloud account as well.

Most devices have a backup option built in, usually located in the same Settings panel where the Factory Reset option is.

If you do not know how to be sure that your data is safe, search on Google, and / or ask a knowledgeable friend or relative for help.


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