We are all familiar with the saying “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This also applies to the world of technology. Initiating a factory data reset or a hard reset is not all fun and games, it comes along with a few negative side effects. For that reason, I plan to share with you six of the possible negative effects of a factory data reset.
Recently I was reading the article “How To Reset Your Android Phone and What To Expect” written by Avram Piltch. He does a fine job of covering the basic steps, but he fails to mention the potential pitfalls. While I have previously mentioned the Top 5 Benefits Of A Hard Reset On Android Smartphone, the plan is to also help you understand the negative effects. Additionally, I hope to help you understand when it is the perfect time to complete a factory data reset.
Not all of the problems listed are dire, they are more of issues to keep in mind before completing a factory data reset. A factory data reset is not a simple click and reset, it affects how your phone runs and the information that your phone contains.
The 6 Most Common Bad Effects of Factory Data Reset
- Risk Of Losing Valuable Data
One of the most common questions about completing a factory data reset is what valuable data is actually removed from your smartphone. The answer is all. A factory data reset completely cleans your device’s memory, deleting any personal information that may have been left on the device. Sometimes, an Android user forgets to back up their data before they complete the reset. When this happens, it is nearly impossible to retrieve the lost data. One suggestion is to attempt using a data recovery service to try and recover any data that was forgotten about. Although, this method is not 100% guaranteed to work.
The best attempt to recover data is to not lose it at all. Setting up an online data backup, like through a google drive or other online database, where the data is backed-up automatically after set-up is the best option. Set-up the account when you first set-up your Android Smartphone as you will be more likely to forget if you wait any longer. Another option is using an external HDD or MMC card. Most Android Smartphones have the capability of using a backup memory card. Investing in a card that has a large space, to support continuous use, where you can store any important data is a good alternative option.
- Restores All Settings To Default
The key to understanding and appreciating the capabilities of an Android Smartphone is personalizing the settings to suit yourself and your preferences. These personalizations mimick the personality of the Smartphone user and it always takes some time to adjust these settings to the perfect modifications. Like any Smartphone user, I personalize my settings as well.
When you complete a factory data reset, your phone resets back to the default factory settings, as if you had just purchased your phone. If you’re really attached to your personal settings like I am, you can choose to back them up before resetting. Just like information and photos, settings can be backed-up as well. There are a few websites and apps that are meant specifically for saving personal settings or include it in their overall backups. After backing your phone up one last time, you’re ready to complete a factory data reset.
- Battery And Processor Life Loss
A factory data reset can be very beneficial and important for an Android Smartphone user, but that doesn’t mean you should do it too often. When you complete multiple factory data resets within a small amount of time, you have the possibility of creating a harmful effect on your Smartphone.
Frequent factory data resets have been shown to decrease your battery and processor life, leading to shorter battery time and a slower phone. Some are addicted to the idea of having a “fresh” phone that doesn’t have any data holding it back. Keep in mind the potential damage to your phone and remember that if a factory data reset is not essential, you should take another plan of action.
- Android Smartphone Death Risk
Along with the possibility of using a factory data reset too frequently and causing battery and processor problems, Android Smartphones also come with a death risk. Whenever you do a factory data reset there is the possibility of your phone going dead. As in, never working again. This is not solely an Android problem, but it is a very prevalent smartphone problem. Normally, this risk comes when you attempt a factory data reset when your phone is below 20% battery charge.
The easy solution to this problem is making sure that your phone is charged before taking action. On the other hand, it is not always the top thought in our heads when our phone is acting up and we’re looking for a quick solution.
- Loss Of Valuable Apps
Finding the perfect apps that fit our everyday lives takes days of trial and error, specifically for those of us that are very picky. One of the side effects of doing a factory data reset is the loss of any apps that you downloaded that were not apart of the original default set-up.
Just like with issues #1 and #2, a backup should be kept to prevent the loss of your favorite apps. If you’re not too attached to your apps, then there is no need to worry.
- Loss Of Valuable Time
Factory data resets may be quicker now than they were a few years ago with processors become quicker, but they still take time to complete. To make sure that your factory data reset has enough time to complete, you should set aside approximately two hours of your time.
Not only do you have to wait for the factory data reset to complete, now you need to completely redo your phone setup. You need to have time to reinstall all apps and allow your data to restore. Allow extra time if you also like to personalize your settings, that way you’re not trying to reset them as you go along, but you have set them how you like them. This prevents future frustration as working with a phone that is not how you’re used to can cause a few issues.
This is not necessarily the worst part of completing a factory data reset, but it is something that you should be aware of beforehand.
**Original Article Published July 2015, Updated June 2023**