What is a factory reset?
A factory reset is used to put your cell phone back into the state it was in when you purchased it. This is with the exception of the original operating system which may not be available after the phone has been upgraded. In this case the phone will be reset to factory setting but using the most recent firmware installation. A factory reset will usually remove any data which is stored in the phone itself. There are some exceptions to this rule.
Why would I perform a factory reset?
Most often factory resets are performed for one of the following reasons.
- Forgotten password- If you are unable to recover your password performing a factory reset will allow you to use your phone again.
- Security- If you are selling your phone or giving it to someone it is a good idea to erase any personal information before doing so.
- Malfunction- In some cases performing a factory reset may fix software problems that you are having with your phone.
Will a factory reset erase everything on my memory card?
In most cases the answer is no. Some phones do have an option to wipe all data including anything stored on the memory card. However, if you do not want to lose anything which is saved on your memory card then by all means remove it before performing a factory reset. It is better to be safe then sorry and there is no reason not to remove your memory card and simply replace it after you have performed a factory reset.
Is this the same as a hard reset?
A factory reset is different than a hard reset or a soft reset. The latter two will reboot your phone but should not affect any of the data which is stored on your device.
How do I perform a factory reset?
Each phone is different so this can be a complicated question to answer. Most cell phones have an option somewhere in the settings menu which indicate that they will clear all information from the device. IPhones can also be reset using the restore option in iTunes and most Android devices can also be reset using a menu selection or by removing the battery and holding down a combination of buttons while replacing the battery. Be careful when attempting to factory reset any device as failure to follow the correct procedure can cause a variety of problems including “bricking” your device. As you can imagine a brick is far less useful than a cell phone.
Factory reset your cell phone at your own risk!