Generally Android smartphones are reliable, and you can fix most of the issues by configuring the settings. However, there are also occasions when resetting the phone is necessary to fix a problem like frequent app crashing. Similarly, factory reset is a good option before selling the phone to ensure all your data is erased and cannot be accessed by someone else. Whether you want to fix a problem with your phone or erase all of your data, here is a complete guide to resetting Android phones, including the factory reset.
Reset Options in Android
To access all the resetting options in Android, go to “Settings > System > Reset options” section. You can find the following resetting options:
- Network – reset network connections like Wi-Fi, mobile, Bluetooth, etc.
- Apps – delete app preferences and set to initial state.
- SIM – delete downloaded SIM data.
- Factory reset – delete everything and set to factory settings like when you purchased it as a new phone.
We will explain all these options in the following section. However, you can choose one of these options based on your need. As mentioned, do the factory reset before selling your phone. Similarly, resetting network is an option to fix unstable Wi-Fi connection problems.
Note: The menu path may be different in your phone depending on the manufacturer. If required, you can refer the instruction manual of your phone to find where the resetting page is available.
1. Reset Wi-Fi, Mobile & Bluetooth
Resetting Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth might help to fix networking issues which you cannot solve by other ways. Moreover, you can use this option when your permanently relocate your office or house and want to delete all saved Wi-Fi passwords and other network related keys from your phone. In addition, resetting Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth will delete all the paired Bluetooth devices and reset the network settings of apps. However, this will not delete any personal information, and all your media files will remain intact.
- To do the network resetting, press the “Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth” option on the “Reset options” page.
- You can choose to erase downloaded SIMs as well.
- You will also see the networks associated with SIMs. If required, select “Erase downloaded SIMs” option to delete and reset SIMs networks.
- Once you are ready, press the “Reset settings,” and the phone will run the network resetting process.
Note: After doing network reset, you need to connect to new or old Wi-Fi using the password like first time setup. Therefore, make sure to keep your Wi-Fi password ready before resetting network settings.
2. Reset App Preferences
You might have changed lot of settings while using the phone. For example, you use Firefox browser to open webpages instead of the default Google Chrome. Android gathers all your custom settings over time and remembers that. At some point, you want to reset all app preferences and use the Android default app preferences.
- To do that, choose “Reset app preferences” on the “Reset options” page.
- A message box will appear on the screen, prompting that this action will reset preferences for disabled apps, disabled app notifications, default applications, background data restrictions for apps, and other permission restrictions.
- Press the “Reset apps” button to start the process. You will not lose any app or personal data.
3. Erase Downloaded SIMs
This option is handy when you want to erase all data stored on the SIM.
- Select “Erase downloaded SIMs” on the “Reset options” main page.
- A dialog box will inform you that it will delete the SIM data, not the mobile service plans.
- Press the “Erase” button to delete the downloaded SIMs.
- It works on eSIM as well which is a digital SIM to utilize carrier services without having a physical SIM on your phone.
- You can contact your service provider to get a new SIM.
4. Erase All Data (Factory Reset)
Factory reset will erase all data on your phone’s internal memory, including media files, apps, Google account, system, app settings and data, and any other data. Therefore, make sure to make a full backup of your phone to avoid losing any valuable data before running a factory reset. Learn more on how to take a complete backup in Android phones.
- Tap on the “Erase all data (factory reset) items which is the last option on the “Reset options” page.
- You will see a list of currently signed in apps at the bottom of the factory reset page. Check the list and sign out of the apps if required.
- Additionally, you can select check the “Erase downloaded SIMs” option to delete all the data on your SIMs.
- Once you are sure about it, touch the “Erase all data” button at the bottom to start the resetting process.
- This process will take time, depending on the data available on your phone and its model.
We strongly recommend to fully charge your phone before starting the factory reset process. You can also plugin to power input for peace of mind because any interruption during the factory resetting process may fail the Android loading. If that happens, you need to reinstall Android on your phone which will make everything complicated.
Note: Factory reset will not erase any data stored on the external memory of your phone like SD card. Therefore, make sure to manually erase the data on your external memory storage.
Using Shredder Apps
Factory resetting will permanently delete all the data without recovery option, thanks to latest Android’s encryption feature. However, there are some recovery apps which can get the data back even after deletion. It is especially of concern for the SD cards or if you are using an older version of Android. When you decided to delete the data completely, consider using a file shredder app for an extra security layer. These file shredder apps run a unique algorithm to shred all the deleted data on your phone’s storage, making it irrecoverable. Below are some of the popular file shredder apps which you can try for this purpose.
- Secure Erase iShredder
- Shreddit – Data Eraser
- Data Eraser cb
- Andro Shredder
- Andro Shredder
Resetting Android phone is the last option you should consider while troubleshooting to fix any issues. You can choose the required resetting option like network reset instead of doing factory reset. However, factory reset is the solution before selling the phone or for deleting the complete data.