How To Format An Android Phone

By Subodh / July 29, 2014

In the last few years, smart phone revolution has changed the ways people communicate drastically. While the smart phones are made by several companies, a majority of them are driven by Google’s hugely popular Android OS. The versatility and affordability of the OS and phones driven by it has made it the default choice for billions of smart phone owners worldwide.

Need To Format An Android Phone

There is no denying the fact that Android is a popular and versatile mobile OS, but the usefulness of a platform also depends on the way it is used. There are instances of Android device users messing up with core settings or not handling it in the recommended way. It is also prone to malware invasion and hacking attacks, though not on the scale of Windows.

For these reasons, you may need to format an Android phone. It may also be prudent to erase the device to factory default state when you decide to sell or exchange it for a newer phone.

Below Listed Are The Methods To Format Android Device The Proper Way

Step 1: Backing Up The Data

Before you format your Android phone or tablet, it is necessary to take backup of the data. This includes all those images, music files, videos, and documents. Most users keep Android’s default Backup and Restore enabled on their devices. However, if you want backup options not dependant on Google, there are third party alternatives.

Step 2: Doing Factory Data Reset

Android factory reset

To return the phone or tablet to factory default state, you need to go to Settings and then go to Privacy. You need to remember some companies use a modified version of Android and this setting can vary from one device to another. For example, in some Android devices, you will get an option called Backup and Reset under settings.

After this, you need to click on the option Factory data reset. This will lead you to the confirmation screen. You will get a prompt to erase the content of the internal storage. Select the option and tap on the option Reset Phone/device.
The phone will shut down and a reboot will occur.

Step 3: Erasing The SD Card

Performing Factory Data Reset is going to erase some of the data and Apps but you have to ensure your personal data is also erased. This is particularly relevant when you want to sell or exchange the device.

To erase the SD card, you need to go to settings once again and choose Storage. Tap on Format SD card or external storage and confirm it. In some Android devices, you can format both the internal drive and SD card at one go. If you are paranoid about data privacy, insert the formatted SD card into an adapter and insert in your laptop’s card reader slot. Use Windows disk wipe utility to format it again.

Resetting An Android Device That Is Off

In certain situations, you may need to format the Android phone when it is not powered on. To reset the device, power it off.
Then, press the device’s recovery button. Again, this can vary from one phone to another. In any case, you will have to press and hold the combination buttons for a few seconds to invoke recovery mode. The commonplace button combinations are:

  • Home + Power
  • Volume Down + Power
  • Volume Up + Home

Wiping Android Phone Remotely

Despite taking precautions, your Android phone may get stolen. While you may not retrieve the device from the thief, it is certainly possible to wipe the device remotely so that your private data cannot be accessed by others. Fortunately, you need not use any third party app for this. Google has made a utility for Android users for remote device wipe. This is easier for Android phone owners who have Kitkat installed.

In the app drawer, find Android Device Manager. Under this, you will find ‘Remotely locate this device’ activated by default. However, you have to activate ‘Allow remote lock and erase’.

Next, you need to visit the ADM website. Log in to the Gmail account you use and go to ADM site. On the site, you will get a drop down menu to select device. Select the device and click on ‘Enable Lock & Erase’. After enabling it, you can click on the Erase button to start wiping device remotely. Remember that the process, once started, cannot be rolled back. After the remote erase is over, you will get a notification email from ADM.

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