A full factory reset on most devices means wiping it clean of any data. It will return the device to the same condition as it arrived in the box. This is a useful trick for troubleshooting a device that is experiencing issues or when selling the device on. However, if you’re troubleshooting, it would be nice if you could reset Android without losing data.
Some handsets allow you to do this while others don’t. Some Samsung phones and tablets allow you to reset Android settings without losing data while many other devices will not.
See if you can reset Android without losing data
1. Navigate to Settings, Backup and reset and then Reset settings.
2. If you have an option that says ‘Reset settings’ this is possibly where you can reset the phone without losing all your data. If the option just says ‘Reset phone’ you don’t have the option to save data.
3. Back up your device before tapping either of them, just in case.
Perform a backup before resetting Android
You can still perform a factory reset without losing data, by syncing contacts to Gmail first.
1. Navigate to Settings, Accounts and then Google.
2. Toggle the switch next to Contacts to the on position.
3. Wait for the syncing process to complete. You should see a message ‘Last synced on…’ Your contacts are now synced with Gmail.
4. Log into Gmail and make sure everything is there.
5. Perform your factory reset and allow the phone to reboot.
6. Navigate to Settings, Accounts and then Google.
7. Toggle the switch next to Contacts to on.
8. Wait for the sync process to complete.
9. Navigate to Contacts on the device and make sure everything is present and correct.
You can also save photos, music and files to the SD card if you have one or to the cloud if you don’t.
Check out these useful tutorials that offer more information on saving and syncing data:
How to restore contacts after a factory reset on the Galaxy S7
How to recover photos accidentally deleted on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
How to recover lost data on your Android Smartphone