[Fox News] How to factory reset your Android device

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Sometimes, our smartphones give us issues that a simple restart just can’t fix. Other times, you may want to purchase a new phone and pass your old one to someone else. 

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Both these scenarios would call for you to do a factory reset on your phone, and this is much different than simply turning your phone off and turning it back on again. 

Let’s go over what exactly a factory reset will do to your phone and the steps for doing so on an Android.

A factory reset, also known as a hard reset or master reset, is a software restore of an electronic device to its original state by wiping your phone of all the data, including all of the settings and applications that were previously stored on the device. This includes your photos, videos, music, and more.

It essentially makes the phone start anew, as if you were just using it for the first time. Factory resets can fix many chronic performance issues as a last resort, such as freezing, but it does not remove the device’s operating system.

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If there’s nothing wrong with your Android and you just want to sell it or give it to someone you know, you should still factory reset it before handing it over to anyone. If you don’t factory reset a phone before getting rid of it, then all your data will be in the hands of this new phone owner.

Not only will it clutter the phone that the new owner doesn’t need, but it could also give this person access to your personal and private information. And if you don’t know the person who’s gaining ownership of the phone, then there’s really no telling what they could do with that information.

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Although factory resetting is a great option, a recent study from the University of Hertfordshire, in conjunction with Comparitech, revealed that it is still possible to recover photos, emails, text, and other documents from a reset Android device.

This is because Android uses a system called indexing to keep track of where all files are stored. If the operating system doesn’t completely rewrite new data over the sectors containing the contents of the file, the files can still be brought back with a file recovery system.

If you want to truly wipe your Android clean, you should follow these steps before you do a factory reset.

You’ll want to make sure that any data you’d like to keep, such as your photos, videos, etc., are fully backed up before resetting your phone. Google can help you with this because you can sync all your stuff to your Google Drive. Here’s how to do it.

How to sync everything to your Google account

Settings may vary depending on your Android phone’s manufacturer 

How to sync everything to your Samsung Account

If you don’t want to sync to a Google account, you can use a Samsung Account to back up your data.

Settings may vary depending on your Android phone’s manufacturer 

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Encryption will make sure that all your personal data is put into an unreadable format so that anyone who tries to restore your data won’t be able to access it. It would typically require a hacker to have a special password or PIN to decrypt the information, which will make things that much harder for them. You can encrypt your Android manually by following these steps.

How to encrypt your Android data

This feature may not be present on every Android device, and some Samsung phones don’t have an SD card slot.

Before factory resetting, you’ll want to remove all your accounts associated with your Android phone, as they will not be automatically removed from doing a factory reset. Here’s how to do it.

How to remove your accounts

Settings may vary depending on your Android phone’s manufacturer 

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Now that you’ve completed the necessary steps, it’s time to factory reset your Android. Here’s how to do it.

How to factory reset your Android device

Settings may vary depending on your Android phone’s manufacturer 

Factory resetting your Android can be essential not only to your phone’s overall performance but also for the safety of all your private data.

No matter what your situation is, the process should be simple and easy, and I hope my tips can help you. Just make sure that you’re only using the factory reset feature if you absolutely have to so that you don’t lose any of that precious data.

What’s the most frustrating part of having to factory reset your phone? Is it a process you’ve tried before? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact

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