133 thoughts on “How to Backup and Reset an Android Phone”

  1. all my contacts in my phone book disapeared after “B”
    what should I do to retreave my phonebook from my desktop?

    1. I’m not quite sure what you mean…

      I’m not quite sure what you mean…

      After performing a factory data reset your phone does erase your contacts aka your “phonebook” along with everything else including messages, pictures, media, games, third party applications, software glitches, bugs, viruses, corrupted files, and everything else from the device. That’s why backing up your phone is so important and that is why the main bulk of this guide is how to backup your phone before you reset it.

      In the “Saving Contacts” section of this article (Step 5) I don’t mention how to save contacts to a computer or desktop. I do mention how to save your pictures to a computer though if that is what you are asking. If you’re trying to retrieve your pictures from the desktop then go back up to Step 4 and simply do the same thing but instead of copying them from the phone and pasting them onto your computer you will need to copy them from the computer and paste them onto your phone (or memory card). Just review Step 4 Method 1 and I don’t think you will have any issues.

      I reviewed many ways to save your contacts in the article as well. Just check out Step 5 and it should get you on the right track. Your best bet is to log back into your primary Gmail account this should automatically sync your contacts back to your phone.

      I hope this answered your question, if you still need help then don’t hesitate to leave another comment with as much information and being as specific as possible so I can better assist you. Thank you for reading and commenting I hope that your phone is back to 100% working order, and have a fantastic day.

    2. Halorie Walker-Sands

      Thank you so much for posting this guide. Without people like you who know what they’re doing, people like me would be lost. So, again, very much appreciated, this guide is (because that makes sense). I feel a little bit smarter now that I know how to factory reset my phone and back up my data. 🙂

  2. hi, I have a Nexus S 4G and
    hi, I have a Nexus S 4G and my phone and people contacts icon has disappeared, How do I get them back?

    1. How to restore those missing icons

      Hi Carmen Rijo,

      If the Phone and Contacts icons disappeared from the phones main screen after performing a reset then that is not very common at all since those two icons are on the phones home screen by default and a hard reset or factory data reset sets the phone back to its factory default settings.

      It’s an easy fix though; here is how you can get your icon back to your main screen.

      Open your applications; usually there is an “Apps” icon on your main screen. Once you have accessed the applications look for the icons that you would like to re-add back to your main screen. Remember that your Apps are arranged alphabetically so Contacts will usually be located towards the top on the first page of your Apps list (on my phone Contacts is located between Clock and Downloads) while the “Phone” might be located on the second page of your apps list. Just remember that the list is alphabetically organized and you won’t have any problem finding your Phone and Contacts.

      Once you find the icons you want to put back on your home screen all you have to do is press your finger down on the icon and keep pressing the icon, holding down the icon for a few seconds, and the phone will allow you to drag or pin it to the home screen. It’s as easy as that.

      Thanks for visiting the site Carmen, if you have any more questions then don’t hesitate to ask.

      1. Creating a shortcut icon

        If you are a visual person, like myself, and would like to see step by step instructions demonstrating the advice above then I am sure that you will find how to add a shortcut icon to the home page of an Android cell phone very informative and helpful.

        Thanks for the terrific question Carmen and thank you everyone so far who has taken the time to press the “Facebook Like” and “Google +” buttons underneath this guide as well as those readers kind enough to leave a comment expressing their gratitude or by leaving a friendly remark in this comment section. I appreciate it. Enjoy your working cell phones and as always if you have any more questions, suggestions, or friendly remarks then don’t hesitate to post them.

  3. Backing up SMS without an app
    If you can’t download an SMS back-up app you can always screenshot important text messages.

    1. Excellent point

      Very good tip Ruairí O’Neill!

      If you only have a few text messages that are important that you need to save then you can simply pull up those threads or messages on your phone and take a screenshot of them. This is also a good suggestion for anyone that might be having problems with the internet on their cell phone or for someone who is unable to download or open applications on their cell phone. In some circumstances your phone won’t let you download or access an application therefore you wouldn’t be able to use an application to backup your messages but you would still be able to take a Screenshot.

      Just make sure to move the screenshots of those messages from your cell phone to your SD card or computer before the reset, that way the screenshot will remain safe and you will get to keep a copy of the message.

      It’s nice that you brought up the Screenshot idea because it’s also a powerful tool for getting all your cell phones customization back to the way you like it as well.

      If you have extra programs on your phones desktop or have rearranged the icons on your phones main screens then you can simply take screenshots of your home pages and after the reset you can rearrange everything back to the way that you had it and remove any guesswork from the equation. Sometimes it can be a hassle re-customizing your phone after a reset, as you had everything exactly the way you like it and then you have to kind of start over from scratch as its back to default. By taking screenshots you won’t have to stumble around on your phone looking for things.

      So good point and excellent suggestion Mr. O’Neill, I am adding it to the list under “Step #6: Checking your Apps and Texts”.

      Does anyone else have any tips or tricks that they use and recommend when performing a reset on an Android phone?

  4. will it be as perfect as it should be?
    My data connection is on E and not 4G. It is very slow. It has the speed of 0.12 mbps. Will it be fixed?

  5. freezes on the white htc reboot screen
    hi I was wondering if you had any info on what to do when my htc inspire gets stuck on the rebooting screen? my phone has been freezing up or rebooting by itself and every time it comes back on everything is back to the way my phone was on nov 4th. and all my apps stop and force close. I have tried uninstalling every app changed background picture sd card in or out. when phone comes on all apps are back, all txt messages after nov 4th are gone. I have tried to factory reset either by settings or volume down and power button or volume up and power button over 50 times and every time phone stops at the htc screen…my phone is not rooted never been dropped or wet or left in the sun. I just want it to work like it should..any info would be great

    1. How to fix an HTC cell phone that’s stuck rebooting

      Hi Roger,

      I know the HTC Inspire pretty well, and have heard of that problem happening before. There are a few things that might be occurring to cause this very annoying issue.

      If your phone is locked up and you cannot power it on as its getting stuck on its reboot screen then I recommend that you read How to fix an Android phone stuck or frozen on a white HTC loading screen which should point you in the right direction. If you can get into your phone, try to open things, access your settings then your issue is a little different and I suggest you keep reading the suggestions below.

      Let’s start with the basics and go from there…


      The HTC Inspire came with an 8GB memory card because it only had 1GB of Internal storage which is ridiculously LOW. The worst part is that storage and memory problems, like some of the issues you are experiencing, don’t usually creep up on the phones owner until months after they have had their phone and by then it’s too late to return it. There are a ton of these little things that can pop up after owning a cell phone for a few months. After we get your phone fixed I recommend reading 70 things to know before buying a Smartphone, it could save you a big headache later own down the road.

      Not to say the HTC Inspire is a terrible phone, as it’s a very good phone for first time smartphone owners and is programmed to save information to the SD card by default (because it has to or it would run out of space) so when an HTC Inspire malfunctions it can usually recover most of its users information automatically and actually prevent a headache.

      When you hard reset or factory data reset an Android cell phone the memory card is typically untouched, unless you specifically tell the phone to format the SD card the information shown on your phone is going to remain because it’s likely saved on your memory card and a reset is only removing the information from your phone.

      Memory card

      Now, if you have not purchased another memory card for your Inspire since you first purchased it then 8GB of storage is not as good as it used to be and might be full. Another thing to do after we fix your phone is to look into choosing the best memory card for your smartphone which will not only help keep your information safe but keep your phone functioning properly.

      That being said your issues are likely a storage/memory problem and here is what you should do.

      Check your storage

      If you can navigate your cell phone and open its settings then I recommend you go into the Settings and locate your storage option. It might be labeled as “Storage” or it might be labeled as “SD card and phone storage”. Find this option and check to see how much Available storage is left on your internal memory and how much available storage is left on your SD card.

      If your SD card shows a number ending in “MB” or worse “KB” such as 64MB Available storage for example then your memory card is full and your phone cannot function properly simply because it cannot contain any more information, its plump full.

      If this is the case we are going to have to do some cleaning.


      Whether you have a little bit of storage space left or not I strongly recommend that you go through your phone and uninstall and remove anything that you do not need on our phone any more.

      NOTE: I have seen when phones are so full they do not allow a factory reset to be performed! Or in your case they cannot even boot up properly. So we need to clean some stuff off your phone and memory card.

      The best bet it through a computer. If you have a memory card port on your laptop or PC then turn your phone off, remove the memory card from the phone and then plug that memory card into your computer. Transfer your important files like your DCIM folder to your computer by opening the memory card like you would a flash drive and then right clicking the files you want to save from your SD card tapping copy and then finding a place to store them on your computer (I recommend the desktop) and then right clicking that location and tapping paste. It will copy them from your memory card and paste them onto your computer.

      Note: When you first plug the memory card into the computer most Windows computers will give you some options to choose from and “open folder to view files” is the option that I recommend as it will show you all files and not just media files like pictures or videos. It will help you locate and save files more efficiently. Just fyi.

      If you do not have a memory card port on your computer then you can keep the memory card in the phone and connect the phone through USB. You should be able to use the USB cable that came with the phone as it functions as both a charging cable and data cable. If you use this method you will also be able to backup information from your phones storage as well.

      Check out the article above for more backup methods. It’s loaded with suggestions and instructions. Your goal is to have every piece of important information saved to somewhere other than your phone or memory card.

      Start with a clean slate

      OK, now that your information is saved from your memory card and cell phone you need to clean it off your phone. Go into your storage option again and there should be an option to “Format SD card” which will remove all the information from your memory card and allow you to start fresh again. You will get a warning message warning you that the format will erase the card.

      Once your memory card is cleaned, go into your phones settings and “factory data reset the phone” if there is an option to format the SD card then for good measure you can select that option and format the card again.

      When the phone reboots from the reset, it should boot properly and correctly, and when it does go into the settings, find your storage option again, and check to make sure that the SD or External memory storage now has a GB at the end so it should show something like 6.79GB for example.

      Use your phone for a bit to make sure it’s responsive and working properly and then log into your primary Gmail account again and it will restore a lot of your information to your phone automatically, Including your contacts calendar etc. The Inspire is an AT&T phone so you can save up to 250 contacts to your SIM card which I recommend you do before the reset just in case your Google account has any issues recovering your contacts you will have a secondary backup. If you get duplicates, which is always better than missing contacts in my opinion then you can read How to clean duplicate contacts from an Android cell phone for some help in cleaning up your contact list.

      Watch the apps you put on the phone, as I think that applications still get saved to the phones storage by default and will likely fill it up pretty fast.

      I hope that helps Roger. If you have any questions or if you have any more issues with your HTC Inspire then let me know and ill see what I can do to try and help. Thanks for visiting my site, and let me know the results one way or the other. I look forward to hearing from you.

  6. Restore Contacts
    I reset my phone but not all of my contacts were restored to my phone, even though all of them are on my gmail account. How do I get all of my contacts on my phone after resetting it?

    1. Re-syncing contacts after a factory data reset

      Hi Skye,

      It can take a few minutes to re-sync all the contacts back to your cell phone, but it usually happens all at once. If the phone seems to have stopped syncing and your missing contacts then those contacts might have been saved to somewhere other than your Gmail account.

      A common place to locate missing contacts and have them re-sync with your cell phone are social networks and even other email accounts. Make sure that after you reset your phone you log into any other email accounts you had on your phone before the reset as well as any social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc.

      Android phones are programmed to look for and sync our contacts from those other accounts as well.

      As far as contact backups though I try to keep a monthly backup on my 32GB SD card just in case my Gmail doesn’t want to sync properly or to avoid any complications later on down the road. If your phone has a SIM card you can also save about 250 contacts onto that as well. But you probably already know that as I mention it in the article above.

      It’s always a good idea to have 2 backups just in case.

      I hope that helps Skye. If you have any more questions then don’t hesitate to ask.

  7. I have an htc rezound phone
    I have an htc rezound phone and i already resetted my phone but my problem is i cant find any of my pictures i took with the phone i have all my old photos from previous phones but i dont have any pictures from this phone and i also lost all the music i downloaded with this phone my service is off but i backed it up because it was acting weird and other pictures and music popped up but my new ones and i been having a hard time backing up my phone i know u need internet to backup but when im connected to wifi i try to backup everything then when im connected but it doesnt go through does my service have to be on in order to get everything back.

    HELP :/

    1. Not a good sign…

      Hey A,

      Not a good sign my friend. It sounds like you have a memory card in your phone but it doesn’t sound like the pictures you took were saved to it… not good.

      Let me ask you this, where you using an SD card that you had taken out of your previous phone(s)? If so, and it sounds like you are, did you remember to verify that your phones camera default storage location was set to the SD card as opposed to the phones storage?

      The HTC Rezound comes with a 16GB card and HTC is pretty good at having the default storage location for the camera set to the SD card as opposed to the phones internal storage. That way when you take a picture it gets saved directly to the memory card. This is what you want so that if your phone ever malfunctions, gets damaged, or in your case you have to do a factory data reset, the internal storage may get lost or erased but the external storage (your SD card) is suppose to remain untouched and safe. Unless you manually make the selection to format the memory card as well when performing the hard reset on the phone, don’t worry you didn’t accidently do this because you still have pictures from previous phones that were likely stored to your SD card.

      Here is what I think may have happened. It sounds like you took the 16GB memory card that came with your HTC Rezound out of your Rezound and replaced it with a memory card that you had in your previous phone(s). It sounds like when you removed the memory card though the phone switched from SD storage to phone storage (as there was no longer an SD card in the phone to save pictures to) which is obviously supposed to happen. BUT when you put the other memory card into the cell phone your phone didn’t switch back to SD storage it stayed on Internal phone storage so the pictures that you took with your phone since inserting the other SD card have all been saving to the phone and not the memory card.

      When you did the factory data reset the phones storage was erased including the pictures that were taken and saved, unknowingly, to the phones storage as opposed to the memory card storage. When your phone rebooted it remounted the SD card which is why you can see all your old pictures from your other phones. Your memory card wasn’t touched by the reset and still has those older pictures saved to it. The phone may have even setup the default storage to your SD card for you after the reset as that is one of the phones default settings. I would check though just to be safe. To check just open up your Camera tap on settings (it looks like a little sprocket or gear icon) and make sure Storage is set to SD card as opposed to phone. You can see an example of how to check HERE, it’s a different phone (the Samsung S4 as opposed to your HTC Rezound) so it might be a little different than your phone but the basics will be the same.

      If this is what happened then chances are your pictures are regrettably gone as they do not get saved online to your Gmail account the way your Calendar, Contacts, and App data does. The music and other media files are the same as well; if it wasn’t saved to your SD card then chances are it’s gone.

      Unless you were using a third party app to backup your phone in which case your situation may be a little different. You mentioned that you backed up your phone because it was acting weird but how exactly did you back it up? Wi-Fi will give your phone a data connection and allow you to connect to the internet. If you used an app to backup your phone online then connecting to Wi-Fi, re-downloading that app (you will most likely need to download it with your original Gmail account for it to work properly, but maybe not, just something to consider), and then re-syncing your phone with that app should get your information back. For detailed instructions in that particular situation you might have to contact the app developer. But I digress.

      Good luck with your media my friend, if you have any more questions or if there is anything else I might be able to help you with just let me know.

      1. No im using a new memory card

        No im using a new memory card that I got with the htc rezound my old card is in the old phone so that’s a Lil confusing I thought everything would be saved because I never had to switch it to storage because it automatically saves everything to it card when u switch and every time I took my sd card out all my pictures and music would be gone so that’s looking at them being saved like say if I was selling my phone I take the card out and everything would clear out I can’t remember when I did it tho but could it be my phone cause it was breaking and my touch buttons don’t even work anymore just the screen.

        1. Hum… that’s possible

          Hi again A,

          If your pictures and music would disappear whenever you removed your memory card then yes, those media files were saved onto your memory card. Just make sure to unmount your SD card or power your phone off before removing your memory card as not doing so can cause corrupted files and lead to problems later.

          As far as hardware issues… that’s a possibility as well. If the physical buttons have stopped working then there is the possibility of a hardware issue that can be causing problems and preventing your cell phone from communicating with your SD card like it’s supposed to. If possible you can try using your memory card in a different phone or plugging your SD card into a card reader on your computer (if your computer has one). Just to see if your media is there on the card but not being read by your phone.

          Were you able to check your camera settings and verify that the storage location was set to your SD card and not your phones storage? Just to check? You can also check the “storage” option under your setting to make sure that your memory card is reading properly. If you go into the “Storage” option under your phones settings and there is no option to unmount the SD card even though the SD card is inserted into your HTC Rezound then your phone isn’t reading the memory card properly.

          Check your phones storage though in both the settings for your camera and the phones settings to make sure that it’s reading your memory card and of course storing your pictures to it like it’s supposed to. If it isn’t then try your memory card in another device to make sure that the memory card is working properly. If the SD card is working then it’s likely an issue on the phone and you might have to look into your replacement options.

          Thanks for getting back to me A, an interesting predicament indeed, let me know what ends up happening if it turns out to be the phone or your SD card. SD cards are usually pretty durable though… I’m thinking that the phone might be at fault. Good luck A, and let me know if you have any more questions or if there is anything else I might be able to help with.

          1. Htc
            Thank you, and yes in my camera settings it says storage card or phone storage and it is on storage card and in my sd and phone storage it has unmount sd card as well i tried one of ur tricks by putting the sd card in my old phone but nothing could back up becasue no wifi connection and i still got the same results in my htc phone but nothing was there in my music just the old pictures so im probably going to try the computer next to memory read it plus my old phone was kinda broken but buttons and screen work. Oh yea bye the way all the pictures i downloaded and a video is still in my phone i forgot to put that in as well. And when i tried to save a picture off of my twitter pictures it didnt save on my card when i took it out and placed it in the other phone im not sure how to get it on the card when i have phone storage on and unmount sd card on in my settings and in my gb in total space its 3.7GB and available space its 149 MB and theres another one for total space 10.48GB and available space 10.26GB and heres one at 1.5GB for available space just so you’ll know. And the way i backed my phone up i couldnt because it kept turning off and wouldnt let me get on the phone at all it would just turn off and on thats when i did the reset to try and fix the screen but the operater said everything would be safe.

          2. ?
            I had another question as well would it be safe to do a photo recovery on the computer like how u download it on ur computer or would it cause a virus or mess up your sd card information.

          3. Computer backups are one of the BEST backups

            Hi again A, welcome back.

            Yes, if you want to create a backup of your pictures to your computer every so often then the computer is one of the best places to store your media files just in case you need to recover that information later for whatever reason.

            In many cases saving your information to a computer can keep your information even safer than a memory card. For example, if your phone was lost, or heaven forbid your phone was stolen, then the phone is going to be gone along with the SD card! If those are the only two places that you have your photos saved then you’re in trouble.

            If however you have another backup and your pictures and videos are saved onto your computer then when you get a replacement phone you will be able to restore all your media files from your computer onto your replacement phone.

            So yes, good question A. Saving important information from your phone to a computer is a fantastic idea as it creates a very safe environment for your data, it’s really easy to do (once you figure out how to do it, but you can just reference the backup to computer section of the article above if you need any help with that), and it WILL NOT mess up your phone your memory card or your computer.

            Don’t worry about viruses, as long as you’re not downloading programs off the internet to help you (which you don’t need to do) then there is little to no chance of a virus affecting your smartphone or its SD card.

            I hope that helps A, thanks for visiting the site again and if you have any more questions than please don’t be afraid to ask.

          4. ?
            Okay okay that sounds good and a smart move to save important information. I did some more research on how to get photos back you lost on your phone even if u couldn’t back up your phone i found on one and all i really got was downloading like software photo recovery something like that where u put your sd card in the computer then download the photo recovery and it will show u files to see if u see any of your lost photos . What do u think are those safe to do. Just in case the computer doesn’t work from putting my card in it if i cant find my media could i do this option.

          5. Using a program to recover lost information

            Aw, I see what you are saying. Yes, if you want to try to recover those deleted/lost files then a recovery program might be your best bet.

            I have never had the misfortune of needing to use a recovery program so at the moment I don’t have any recommendations as to what program you should use to try to recover your files. As with any program you choose to download from the internet though you will have to do some research to make sure you can trust the program you’re downloading. You don’t want to download some random program and find out it’s a bad program or that it contains a virus.

            Just read some reviews online as to what program you might want to try and when you do download the program try to download it from a trusted source such as a webpage owned by those who wrote the program.

            I will get around to writing an article, guide or review about recovery programs eventually but at the moment you are going to have to do some digging to locate a good recovery program and maybe even come back to the site and let us know which program you ended up choosing to use.

            Good luck A, don’t forget to let us know how it goes.

          6. Photo recovery
            Hello again i did some research on some recovery options what do u think of these i found about 5 but could use a second opion on picking the best one i thought about wondershare photo recovery or wondershare photo recovery for mac which i have a toshiba laptop i found these ones too at yodot.com htc rezound data recovery, android recovery software, card recovery product of win recovery software and stellar phoenix photo recovery for mac. Please tell me which one u think and thanks for helping me out and sticking with me during this process.

          7. Recovering your media files

            Good to see you again A,

            I have a Toshiba laptop running on Windows Vista myself; it’s been a good computer too. I took a look at the programs that you mentioned and the Wondershare looks like it should work for you. I am not sure what their “free trial” actually offers as I think that the Recovery feature may be disabled in the trial version, but if it allows you to recover everything without having to actually buy it then it looks like it would work pretty well and if you are willing to spend the money to buy the full version then the trial version will at least show you what the program can actually recover to see if purchasing it would be worth it or not.

            If you do decide to look into Wondershare then check out their Android recovery tool “Wondershare Dr.Fone for Android” as it would probably be the best option for your current situation and should work well for your HTC Rezound.

            Whatever recovery program you do decide to use, do a lot of research to find the best software and do it quickly. The longer you wait the harder it’s going to be to recover those lost files.

          8. hello again I tried to save my information
            hello again I tried to save my information on my pc and I couldn’t find mass storage in my phone something popped up but I think it was for my computer then something started loading and on my phone it says usb debugging which I have it on and stay awake for never sleep while charging and allow mock locations and it has a phone for charge only and a chip picture for disk drive like mount as disk drive below it has options htc sync internet connection mode and internet pass through im not sure which one but I have been trying all 3 and It will say finding htc sync on your pc please wait then it will say you don’t have htc support installed for htc sync.

  8. Backed up, reset but nothing on SD card after!!

    I followed all your instructions. I have a HTC Desire HD and it was getting very slow and basically had no internal space.

    I backed everything up via computer and back up app I had. I saved everything on SD card, removed the SD card before Factory reset and after the reset was done, I put it back in, but now the phone is telling me SD card is empty?! Why is that?!

    Thank you

    1. Backing up and hard resetting an HTC Desire HD

      Hi Tamara,

      Yes, the HTC Desire HD is a little limited when it comes to internal storage. 1.5GB can certainly fill up pretty quickly and like you said it can cause your phone to run slow as well as experience other issues.

      Did you backup your phone to your SD card manually using the instructions above or did the backup application that you mentioned do it for you? Did you verify everything was saved to the SD card before removing it and performing the hard reset? Did you make sure that your memory card is mounted and reading properly?

      If you made sure to check your SD card before the restore and you even took the extra precaution of removing the memory card from the phone so that it would not be affected by the reset (good job by the way, not necessary but you can never play it too safe) then there is no reason why your SD card would be empty.

      Luckily you backed your phone up to your computer as well. Where did the backup application save your data? Many backup apps will save your information to the SD card or even better online. Me personally I prefer the good old manual way of backing up a cell phone, that way I know that everything is backed up 100%. No chance involved.

      Backing up to a computer is often the best choice just in case your phone ever gets lost or stolen as the memory card is going to get lost or stolen too but with a computer backup you’ll still have the information stored on your computer and you’ll be able to put that info onto a replacement phone.

      But I digress, what files are you missing Tamara? Just the media files? I am assuming that your calendar, contacts, and maybe even some app data was restored when re-logging into your primary Gmail account after the reset.

      If you followed the instructions listed above then I am not too sure as to why your memory card would be empty. You even removed the possibility of an accidental SD card reformat by taking it out of the phone while you did the reset.

      1. Sorted
        Hello James,

        Thanks for getting back to me.

        Well, after getting the message that my SD card is empty, I connected the phone to my computer, via cable, and saw that everything is still there. I don’t know why the phone wasn’t detecting it.

        I wasn’t really ‘missing’ the data. It just that my SD card appeared to be empty according to my phone.

        I downloaded MyBackup Pro from the Play store and started to restore the apps and data.

        The data was restored without problem but for some reason the app (MyBackup Pro) told me that there is not sufficient space on the SD card to restore the apps?! It would make sense if I was backing up the apps, but I was trying to restore them.

        (Note: MyBack up Pro backs up in two categories: ‘Data’ and ‘Applications and Media’.

        Anyway, I re-downloaded all the apps from the Play store. After restarting the phone, I managed somehow to put all the data back together.

        The organisation of the phone was messed up, I was hoping the backup will save that, too. But if that’s the price of having a fast and good-functioning phone that doesn’t give me Low Internal storage messages and doesn’t freeze all the time, I’m willing to invest time in putting everything back as it was.

        Thanks again for contacting me. I didn’t solve the mystery of SD card appearing empty but it all ended well.

        Also, thank you for a good and comprehensive guide, it was a first one I found that tells you how to back up, reset and restore. Most of the guides deal only with resetting or backing up.


  9. To Reset or Not
    If I do a factory reset will I end up with a chinese language phone that I can’t do anything with? or is it always recoverable?

    I bought a ZTE V967S via Ebay from China. When I got it the box had been opened; I asked the supplier and he said it was for him to check it was working.

    When it boots it is China Unicom logo, though it works fine in Europe.

    However many apps were in chinese and some in english. My big problem has been no access to Play Store in english. Firstly Google does not appear as an option in “add account”. Also the phone is now on the list of supported devices, when I started it was not.

    Now I got loads of problems … “Framework Services” stops, “settings” stops, “can’t establish a reliable data connection”, and obviously I can’t register my phone on my Google Account.

    Should I start over from scratch and reset?

    1. To reset or not to reset… that is the question

      Hi Neil,

      Chinese phones and Chinese electronics can be funny sometimes, especially when it comes to Google and Google Android applications. As Android is an Open Source product and is FREE to use as an operating system on electronic devices many manufactures throughout the world produce Android smartphones, tablets, and other android products as it cuts down on costs and is a wonderful piece of software. Google continues to develop this free software and make it available to the world.

      Google as you know is one of the biggest and most popular search engines in the world and as Google’s search engine is built into the Android operating system it only adds to Google’s wise resourcefulness and of course its awesomeness. The Chinese government however is a little funny when it comes to search engines and censoring what the Chinese people are allowed to access and view on the internet.

      As such many Google products and services are removed from Chinese devices including devices that utilize the Android Operating System. Google has a few articles on its blog covering the delicate balancing act it must do when working with the Chinese government. One such article can be read here. If you want some more information about this topic then you can do some digging on the web, but for now we’ll leave politics out of it and try to answer some of your questions and of course try to find the best solution for your particular situation.

      Those issues do sound software related and if it was ME then I would reset the phone back to default and “start over from scratch”. When you reset it I assume that it will give you language options to choose from as many other Android devices do when setting up the phone for the first time. You will likely see Chinese originally but look through the options presented on that page (often the first page shown) and your language should be an option to choose from and it should be displayed so that you can read it as well. It shouldn’t say ENGLISH in Chinese it should state it in English. You might have to press a dropdown menu to see the other languages available when first setting up your phone so keep that in mind as well.

      A reset should stop those error messages from occurring. If you want to have access to Google services like Gmail, the Play Store, Search, etc. then you can probably review some rooting forums and add these services to your phone manually. Trust me; you are not the only one who has purchased a phone built in China who wants access to these features. In my opinion they are what make an Android phone such a great product. But I digress.

      I hope that helps Neil. If there is anything else that I can try to help you with just let me know.

      1. To reset or not
        James, thanks for your fast response and frankly a great web site. I have a question in to the supplier, but after that will follow your advice and will report cheers or tears! Thanks Neil

        1. Neil Forrester

          Thanks for your encouragement
          Thanks for your encouragement, finally frustration overcame fear and I did a factory reset
          == One tip to others if you want to reset a chinese phone, like mine it may restart in 100% chinese, so practice the keystrokes necessary (blind) to change language before resetting.===

          It did not solve my playstore problems, nor did rooting BUT flashing the ROM did. I have no idea where I got the courage to do this (another first), but I guess one step lead to another. So cheers, not tears!

  10. I cant hear opposite person
    I cant hear opposite person in my samsung grand during normal voice calls.my speakers and mic is working good.I can hear them when I make internet calls.plz help.

    1. Cannot hear others on the Samsung Grand

      Hello Heena,

      Yep that sounds like an issue with your internal speaker. Your microphone is working as other people can still hear you, your loud (external) speaker is working because your speakerphone, ringer, and alarm clock are functioning, but your internal speaker (the one you hold up to year ear) is having issues for some reason.

      Check out How to fix a phones internal speaker for some tips and suggestions which should get you on the right track.

      This is often a hardware issue with the speaker itself (the physical piece/part), I have seen a few instances where it was software related though and a hard reset (or factory data reset) should fix this issue when it’s being caused by a software malfunction. Hardware malfunctions usually require the defective speaker to be replaced.

      Check out that guide about trying to fix an internal speaker though, if you haven’t already, as it should get you pointed in the right direction. If you have any more questions then don’t hesitate to ask.

  11. google sign in
    is it possible to sign in google after resetting using data connection. i dont have any wifi connection, and i want to reset my phone. im afraid i cant be able to sign in in.. i have LG L7.. by the way, THIS is very helpful..

    1. Yes, you can use mobile data after resetting your LG Optimus L7

      In a typical situation where everything works as it should, Yes you can use the mobile data provided by your wireless network as opposed to having to rely on a Wi-Fi connection. I have seen some cases where the phone has issues signing into Google right after the reset, especially if the signal strength isn’t that good (like 2 signal bars or less). It usually happens in the first few screens when initially setting up the phone after the reset. Don’t worry though you can skip this step in the setup process if you have any issues and then log into your Gmail account at a later time when your cell phone has better signal strength or access to a Wi-Fi connection.

      Just make sure to follow the backup instructions listed in the guide above so that your phone won’t lose any of its important information. And when it comes to backing up your contacts I usually recommend saving them to more than one place. Saving them to an SD card or SIM card (if your phone uses a SIM card) would be a great idea as you wouldn’t have to depend upon your Google account to restore your contacts.

      Thanks for visiting the site and I am glad that you found this guide helpful. If you have any more questions then don’t hesitate to ask.

  12. Thank you, I couldn’t get my
    Thank you, I couldn’t get my wifi to connect and stay connected so I had to do a reboot on my phone. I followed your instructions and got my phone to connect to wifi. Thank you for this website!!!!!

  13. Xperia J phone
    Your solutions are great when powering revels many options. My phone suddenly shows just a green phone icon and “emergency Calls”.The only thing you can do is touch the screen, and bring up a keypad. That ignores anything except, presumably, an emergency phone number. So I can carry out few of the instructions you give.
    I have tried removing and, later, replacing the Simcard, removing and, much later, replacing the battery. Also pressing the central home button while pressing the Power switch.
    Any suggestions, please?

  14. blackberry 9700 wifi

    I use a blackberry bold9700 and I can not seem to have access to work wifi though I have the password and everything.
    every time I try to connect it tells me failed to associate with the network..i tried on the same wifi with another blackberry phone and is seems to work with no issue at all. What could be the problem with my phone? And another issue there is a particular place when I try to connect it goes through but the rest I cant access.

  15. My apps wont start
    I did a factory re-set in android and i started re downloading apps such as whatsapp, ereader,pdf and instagram but the funny thing is they wont start. With instagram it says that the ‘file system is reporting a problem .But the apps that i found in the phone when i bought it like facebook work..S.O.S what should i do?i really need the pdf app for school

  16. mobile struck

    When i connect the mobile data my motorola MB865 android mobile getting struck, how to solve this problem?

    1. Hum… can you provide some more information about your problem?

      Hi Deshram Ram,

      I am going to need more information about your problem to help you properly. What do you mean by its getting “struck”?

      The first thing that popped into my mind when I read that your phone was getting “struck” was that it was getting struck by lightning, which I suppose wouldn’t be good for any electronic, or anything for that matter, but especially a smartphone.

      I have a feeling that you meant to say that your Motorola Atrix 2 (MB865) is getting STUCK? And if that’s what you meant what do you mean by it’s getting “stuck”? Is it freezing? Just not loading? Is it just the internet or the whole phone?

      Thank you for letting me know what phone your having issues with because it helps a lot, I just need more information about your problem now to assist you properly.

      I look forward to your reply Deshram Ram.

      1. Motorola Atrix 2 (MB865) is getting STUCK
        stuck mean its getting black screen for a minite or sometime mobile get freezing for some minites .and sometime messge show ir application (ex.facebook ) not responding

  17. wat abt WINDOWS phone 6.1
    i have prob in windows phone 6.1 htc touch viva.. it got hanged.. its doesnt working /switch on properly. .. but i have all my contacts within it.. then hw can i get back it? pls help me..

  18. Thank you soooo much for all your help
    Thank you soooo much for all your help, after spending the past 4 days trying to fix it, your page and advice helped me fix it in literally 5 minutes!!!

  19. Find my phonebook

    I went through all of the steps to save my phonebook and I reset my computer and I cannot find any of my contacts or phone book. In my Google gmail there is not phonebook or contacts. Can you help? You mentioned something about syncing other email accounts, is this necessary?

    1. Locating your Contacts

      Hi Joel,

      When you say that you “reset your computer” I am assuming that you mean you hard reset your smartphone… and when you say that you “went through all of the steps to save your phonebook” do you mean that you manually synced them and checked the sync date?

      Did you happen to save a hard copy of your address book as well either to a Memory Card (best) or SIM card (not always available depending on the phone in question)?

      When saving your contacts it’s ALWAYS a good idea to have multiple backups. Contacts that you can make and receive calls from are the main reason why we own our phones. Creating a periodic backup to a memory card is a good habit to get into and can save you a lot of frustration later on. That being said… let’s see if we can’t locate and restore your contacts.

      You didn’t mention what kind of phone you have or who your wireless carrier is so I cannot give you exact directions but here is what I suggest that you do.

      • Make sure to log back into your primary Gmail account, there SHOULD be a copy of your contacts saved there and as soon as you log back into that account your contacts should restore themselves automatically. If you have ever downloaded an app onto your phone from the Play Store you have/had a Google account.
      • TRY to restore a copy of your contacts from your SIM or Memory Card if you have one. If you never manually saved a copy yourself it’s unlikely that there is going to be a copy there but you never know a friendly store representative or family member might have done it for you and you didn’t even know it. You have nothing to lose by checking.
      • Log into any other accounts that you were logged into before the reset. You mentioned this is your question. It is not “necessary” to backup your contacts to other email accounts or social networks such as Twitter or Facebook BUT Android smartphones are cleaver and once you log into one of these types of accounts the cell phone will often add those contacts to your contact list or phone book to help save you the time of adding them all yourself manually. So if you had other email account(s) or social media account(s) don’t forget to log into them. It may help to restore some of your missing contacts.

      Those are the best three suggestions that I can give to you under the circumstances. I hope it helps but if you have any more questions or run into any problems don’t hesitate to leave a reply to this comment and ask. Just make sure to provide as much information about your phone and what is happening on it so that I can try to provide you with the best solution possible.

      Thanks for commenting, and visiting the site Joel and remember if you have any more questions just ask and ill see what I can do to help.

  20. Thanks for this information.
    Thanks for this information. This article helped make my mobile backup and restore life easier….)

  21. my phone which is huaweiy300
    my phone which is an huaweiy300 has been locked due to several pattern drawn and it ask for gmail account which i dont know. i have important files in it so i have to backup it before hard reset. even i cant go to menu. can anyone tell me a way to solve my problem.

    1. Resetting the pattern lock on the Huawei Ascend Y300

      Hello Nazna,

      That password option is there for a reason. If you could still access a password protected phone without using the password then there wouldn’t be much point in a password in the first place…

      You can check out How to unlock an Android phone when its password has been forgotten BUT all in all I think that you’re most likely in the right place as a hard reset will erase the current password or pattern lock from the phone BUT it’s also going to erase those “important files” as well.

      Try, try, and try again to bypass it with your Google Account info. I know that you mentioned that you “don’t know” your Gmail information but go online to https://accounts.google.com click the “Need help?” link and Google will provide you with some account recovery options. It even has an “I don’t know my username” option incase that’s one of the problems. Hopefully you can gain access to your Gmail account again and then the phone itself.

  22. App/Game Settings
    Just want to clarify something before I do this. First off, thank you for this post and such detailed instructions. If a game is stored on my SD card, all the info about current scores, levels, etc should be retained after the factory reset, correct?

    1. That is correct. It should be safe from a factory reset

      Yes, that is correct Jeremy. If the applications information is saved to the phones memory card then a factory reset should not affect that information.

      The actual application(s) or game(s) that you currently have on your device might not restore themselves automatically so don’t panic if the app isn’t on your phone right after the reset. It is common for the app itself to get saved onto the phones storage while its data (such as high score’s, unlocked characters, coins, levels and other information) can be stored on the SD card. If this is the case and the app isn’t automatically restored then you might have to manually re-download the app from the Play Store. Once the app is back on your smartphone it should automatically search your memory card and restore any information that it finds.

      So, yes. If the applications data is stored to the memory card it will be safe from the factory reset. Just make sure that you don’t accidently choose to format the SD Card as well.

      Good question Jeremy, if you would like to read some additional information about factory resets then you might find Frequently asked Questions about Hard Resetting an Android cell phone helpful as well.  

  23. question about reset and external SD card…
    Hi there,

    I have a Samsung Galaxy (older model phone…) and want to perform the factory reset. I’m a little afraid to actually push the button because it says at the bottom (under what will be erased): “The key for decrypting files on the SD card. (You cannot use files on the SD card after a factory data reset). I recently bought an external SD card and have saved all my contacts, photos, ringtones, etc to it, as you suggest. Will the external SD card be affected?

    I’d really like to do a factory reset. My phone is running very slow.

    Thank you for your excellent tutorials! Any advice would be appreciated!
    Kate <><

    1. Great Question – That Reset warning is little misleading

      What a terrific question Kate. You certainly want to be able to “use files on the SD card after a factory data reset”. What would be the point of backing up your files and other information to your memory card if you weren’t able to access them later?

      Fortunately that warning message is just a tad misleading. It’s a reminder that if you chose to encrypt the data on your SD card the encryption key that your phone uses to access those encrypted files will be erased after a factory reset.

      Typically the average Android smartphone user doesn’t have a need to encrypt the information saved to their SD card. As such you could remove that memory card from your phone, plug it into another compatible smartphone and be able to access all of the information on that memory card. This makes it really easy when you upgrade to a different device, create a backup of your cell phones information, or need to transfer data from one phone to another.

      If however you had important information saved to your smartphone (such as documents or files for work) and you didn’t want someone else to have access to those files then you could encrypt them so that only your phone can access them. Heck an unsavory individual might not know your screen unlock pattern so they wouldn’t be able to unlock your phone but what is to keep them from pulling your SD card out of your phone, inserting it into theirs, and opening your files? An encryption, that’s what.

      So… if you never personally setup your phone to encrypt the files on your SD card you should have no problem accessing any files saved to your memory card after performing a hard reset on your Android smartphone.

      If you want to make absolutely sure that your phones “SD card encryption is turned off” so you won’t have to worry about this being a problem in any way shape or form then you can check this feature by going into your device Settings, find and open the Security option, and there should be an Encrypt external SD card option, tap on that and make sure that SD card encryption is turned off.

      If it’s turned off then you have nothing to worry about. You can double check to make sure that your information is backed up to your memory card correctly and then proceed with the factory data reset.

      So great question, I hope that helps. If you have any more questions then be sure to ask.

      1. Thank you!

        Thank you SO much for taking the time to answer my question! I understand about the encryption now… it really had me worried. 🙂

        I’ve bookmarked this page in case of future problems. I really appreciate all the detail you put into your explanations.

        Thank you so much for an awesome website!

        Kate <><

  24. Easy to use instructions
    Thanks very much, I could follow these instructions and hope my phone is now working again. Only 24 days old and kept turning itself off. I had to take out the battery to be able to turn it back on.

  25. I have an htc one…
    I have an htc one (with orange back cover) from boostmobile. My problem is that I connected my bluetooth to my Toyota tundra and was connected fine but then I was trying to just disconnect the phone part not the audio.and somehow wouldn’t work so I unpaired devices now iI try to find or locate by scanning and i can’t find them to pair. ?? 🙁 is there anyway to make discoverable again to my truck. I turn on and make my HTC discoverable to all devices but can’t find my truck on my cell nor my cell on my truck.. plz help.. plz email so I can get ur answer I don’t know how I would be able to acknowledge your response.. and thank u in advance

    1. Trying to re-pair your Bluetooth connection

      From the description of your cell phone it sounds like you have the HTC One SV… I have seen similar things like that happen on smartphones before and sometimes it can be a stubborn thing to try and fix and get working properly again. Since it was connected and working originally hopefully it won’t be too much of a chore to get up and running again.

      Try to remove the pairing of your HTC One from your Toyota (if possible) then power your phone completely off for a minute, power your cell phone back on, and then try to re-pair the connection. This simple thing can often help to fix a troublesome Bluetooth connection so before doing anything else make sure that you try this suggestion a couple of times.

      Did you adjust or change any of the settings through your Toyota Tundra or was it pretty much all through the phone itself? What have you done so far in order to try and fix it yourself? Out of curiosity, since you are posting a comment under a guide on how to backup and reset an Android smartphone, did you try to backup and reset your HTC yet? If there is a lingering setting on the phone then a reset will wipe that setting off the device BUT a hard reset is kind of a last resort as it erases everything else off of the phone as well. So hold off on a factory data reset for now if you haven’t done one already as it’s often a LAST RESORT.

      Let me know if you were able to re-pair the Bluetooth connection yourself and if not then let me know what you already tried to fix it and we can go from there. Thanks Jacquelyn I hope to hear back from you soon.

  26. Trying to back up contacts
    Thank you for this article which was very helpful and allowed me to finally get photos from my HTC One S to my laptop, by using windows to let me open and view folders and then copying and pasting the DCIM folder. I had downloaded HTC device manager, but even though it launches every time I connect the phone by usb to the laptop, it then tells me it cannot detect my phone, and so I cannot use it to back up. However, I have had no luck backing up my contacts. In my gmail account only 9 contacts are listed. I did “sync now” but got nothing more. There are more than 200 contacts on my phone (listed under “people”) and I don’t understand why they are not being synced. Is there any other way of getting my contacts from the phone to the computer, apart from copying them out manually? Thanks for all your tips.

  27. Phone Internet
    The advice here saved my phone i was able to get my phone to connect to wifi thanks

  28. Contacts in Gmail
    I did everything you say, made sure gmail contacts were synced. But I did the reset and can’t get my contacts back. I had also saved them to my computer, but can’t get them from the computer back to the device (samsung galaxy 2).

    1. That’s uncommon but it can happen after a reset…

      Hello Cara,

      It’s rare but I have seen where Google didn’t re-sync contacts like it should have after a factory reset. Even after confirming that the contacts were synced, by date and time, and everything was done as it should have been.

      I always recommend having a secondary backup of your contacts just in case your Google doesn’t re-sync properly like it should. Thus the “Important Note” under step 5 which I just made BOLD for emphasis as you are not the first person to contact me about this happening. Luckily you “also saved them to a computer) so there is hope depending on how you saved them.

      If you want to know unequivocally that your contacts are synced without a doubt to your Gmail account you could go to http://www.google.com/contacts and then log into your Google account. It will list all of the contacts that are synced to your Gmail and this list of contacts is what will re-sync to your cell phone once you log back into your Google account after a reset. If you visit http://www.google.com/contacts and it doesn’t show any of your names or phone numbers from your address book and that contact list is empty or incomplete then your contacts are not synced to your Gmail properly for whatever reason and you should secure your contacts by using another backup method, or two, or three before performing the factory data reset.

      I am actually going to add that bit of advice to the article as well as its something good to know when confirming your contacts are synced to your Google account properly.

      Don’t neglect that second backup guys and gals it can be a real life saver when it comes to restoring your information back to your cell phone. A GOOD Memory Card or a PC is a great place to create a backup of your information just so that you know that you have a hard copy should you ever need it. And try to get into a good habit of periodically backing up your info just in case your phone unexpectedly gets damaged or malfunctions.

      All that being said, let’s see if we can’t recover your contacts from that PC backup that you were awesome enough to create … How exactly did you back it up to your computer? I am assuming that you plugged your Samsung Galaxy S2 into your computer, tapped “Open folders to view files” on your PC, looked for a “contacts” option and then copied and then pasted the “Contacts.vcf” from your Samsung to your PC? If that’s what you did then there is hope. As you should be able to copy that “Contacts.vcf” from your computer and paste it back to your phones storage (overriding the current new Contacts.vcf that got created after the hard reset) or even better you could save it to an external SD card aka memory card and then import it onto the phone.

      If you have a memory card and that’s something that you have the option of doing then you can reference how to import contacts from a memory card onto a Samsung smartphone for step by step instructions and you won’t have to override any contacts that you may have added after the reset. I used my Samsung Galaxy S4 for the screenshots in that guide but the steps should be pretty similar to the Samsung Galaxy S2 and I doubt you will have too much trouble importing them properly.

      I hope that helps Cara. If you need any more help or have any more questions then don’t hesitate to ask.

  29. How to Backup and Reset an Android Phone
    James Bond is the greatest, his answer was so easy to understand. After hours and hours of searching on the web I was about to explode! And then his answer came over the Smart Mobile Phone Solutions website. He spent so much time going over step by step instructions of what I needed to do. I thank you so much James. And I recommend you highly to everyone, and especially to the older people who have a hard time understanding all of the computer lingo.

    1. Thank you Lori, I really appreciate it

      Thank you Lori for taking the time to post such a friendly and flattering comment simply to express your gratitude, I greatly appreciate it.

      I do try to make my guides and articles as user friendly and as easy to follow as I can so when I get positive feedback like this from my readers it makes me very happy.

      Thanks again Lori.

      1. Thank you everyone who has shared and commented

        I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to post similar remarks as well as those who have shared this guide and other articles throughout the site by pressing the Facebook Like and Google + buttons typically found at the bottom of each article. By sharing and linking back to this page it helps it rank higher in the search engines and makes it easier for other people to find and benefit from.

        So thanks again everyone, if you have any questions about resetting your smartphone or ever have any more questions regarding your cell phone then don’t hesitate to stop by and ask.

  30. I have successfully reset my phone…
    I have successfully reset my phone but my pictures aren’t on my phone I always backed up my pictures after taking them how do I retrieve my pictures from back up.

    1. It depends on what type of backup you used

      Hi Minchelle,

      Restoring your pictures to the phone is going to depend on what type of backup method that you used to save them. Good job in always backing up your pictures after taking them by the way. That’s a very good habit to have, especially if your phone isn’t setup to save pictures directly to a memory card.

      It doesn’t sound like you backed up your pictures to an SD card as they should have restored themselves when the phone restarted after the reset. It kind of sounds like you might have used an App to upload them online and store them in “The Cloud”. If that’s true or you used an app to create your backups then make sure to re-download that app and install it to the phone again. If you had an account (like a Google account) associated with that app then make sure that you use that same information again so that it will recover the correct information linked to that account.  

      I hope that helps Minchelle. If you have any more questions or need any more help just let me know what phone you are using and as much information as you can to describe your particular circumstances and I will see what I can do to try and help.

  31. Hi.. How can I retrieve my messages?
    Hi.. How can I retrieve my messages? Because I updated my phone’s software and I forgot to back-up my messages and after I updated it, I wasn’t able to receive any text messages but I can send a message. How can I fix this? Should I reset my factory data? Can you help me, ASAP? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Trying to retrieve your messages

      Hi Kate,

      That kind of thing can happen from time to time. The next time you update your Androids software try not to forget to create a backup of your phones information first. Just in case something happens. It’s usually uncommon but a backup can help avoid update complications that you won’t have to try and resolve later. Better safe than sorry. But I digress, it’s easy to forget.

      Are you using your original messenger or a third party messaging app from the Play Store? Here is what I would try… I would begin by restarting the phone; maybe a soft reset will get it to correct itself and work properly and you won’t have to do anything special. Then I would check for software updates, maybe your messaging app didn’t update like it was supposed to and a quick update will fix it. If that doesn’t help then yes, I personally would perform a hard reset to try and clear up any issues. Before resetting though try to use an App like SMS backup and restore to make a copy of your messages. You might be able to restore them to the phone after the reset. Oh and don’t forget to back up the rest of your important info as well. If you need help with this then the article above will help walk you through it.

      I hope that helps Kate, if you have any issues or other questions then don’t hesitate to ask.

  32. The phone automatically restarts
    I still need your help to solve the problem with my phone.
    1. The cell phone is automatically restarting whenever I go to setting –> application. That’s why I cannot remove/ uninstall any applications. I am using Viber but it now cannot be opened whereas the other application like Gmail, Yahoo, Google still work well.
    2. All of contacts and messages disappear.
    The phone is Sony Xperia.
    What should I do with the phone to fix it?
    Thank you a lot!

    1. Try to disable third party apps by using the Safe Mode feature

      Hi Nguyen,

      That is an odd issue my friend, very odd indeed.

      If it’s an application that is causing your phone to reboot (very likely) then you should be able to disable it and remove it from the phone completely using Safe Mode. Safe Mode instructs an Android smartphone to run without any third party apps and is a great tool for troubleshooting app related issues.

      I am not sure what model of Sony Xperia you are using but there should be a few different ways to access this Safe Mode feature on your phone.

      Since your phone is powering on you should be able to access Safe Mode by pressing the power button (with the phone on) which should show you the option to “power off” your Xperia. Instead of briefly tapping that “Power off” option press down on it until a Safe Mode prompt appears; then press OK. The phone should restart into Safe Mode (you should be able to see a Safe Mode label on the screen when the Safe Mode feature is activated). With Safe Mode enabled you should be able to remove applications without any problems.

      Once you’re done using Safe Mode simply restart your cell phone and enjoy.

  33. Is there hope?
    I was accidentally tinkering with my phone and held the volume up and power button. When I restarted, all of my data was gone (it was on the sd), I didn’t know what a hard reset was then but I searched around and found out what I did. Anyways, is there any hope of getting my data back??

    1. There is always hope

      Hi Joe,

      There is nothing wrong with tinkering, especially when it comes to Android smartphones.

      A strange situation you have there too. If you did in fact accidently press a key combination to perform a hard reset on your cell phone then you should have had to confirm the reset; it should not have just reset (you can read more about performing a hard reset with your cell phones buttons HERE).

      So very strange… it might not have performed a hard reset after all, it might just be a glitch in the software. Try to power cycle your cell phone (turn it off and on) and if that doesn’t work then try removing the battery (if your phone is designed to allow you to remove its battery that is) and then leave the battery out for a minute or two. Reboot and see if your information comes back.

      Have you downloaded any applications recently or done anything unusual when you were “tinkering”?

      1. Thank you for trying to help me out.

        Thank you for trying to help me out. I appreciate it. Although I lost my data, I left my phone alone for about 5 hrs and all of a sudden my data came back. It was a miracle. I really am happy that you decided to help me out. Thanks a lot for responding quickly. It feels good to know that there are people like you out there in the world helping people left and right. Thanks and god bless.

        1. Don’t forget to create a backup

          Glad to hear it Joe. Thank you, by the way, for the follow up. Don’t forget to create a backup of the information on your phone now that it’s back again. That way you will be prepared should your phone ever truly malfunction or if something unexpected does end up happening you will have a backup available.

          Thank you for visiting the site Joe. Make sure to enjoy your working smartphone and your recently returned data.

  34. I wish i had read your page before i reset my phone
    I wish i had read your page before i reset my phone. Fortunately i was able to save all my contacts photos etc . It appears I’ve deleted the Google Play Store icon and i don’t know how to get it back. I can’t download my previous apps because they say they are already installed ?? Help please.

    1. Trying to resolve the issue with your app(s)

      Hi Marie,

      If you simply deleted the Play Store App icon then check out How to create a shortcut icon for an App on your Android. I think it’s exactly what you are looking for.

      If your phone is telling you that an application is already installed then check your cell phones list of applications as chances are you will be able to find the application there.

  35. Reset and back up
    Can i retrieve an app and its data after phone reset if i moved them to sd card?

    1. Recovering App Data after a Factory Reset

      Hi Venny,

      Yes, the Applications data (so as long as it is stored on the SD card) should not be affected by a hard reset. You will likely need to re-download the app onto your phone again (assuming it’s a third party app that didn’t come pre-installed on the phone) but typically the app should automatically search for any data stored on the memory card and restore or make that information available again.

      I hope that helps to answer your question. Don’t hesitate to also check out this Hard Reset FAQs Guide for more information about this particular topic and for answers to many other commonly asked questions concerning factory data resets.

  36. restoring S-Memo on Samung Galaxy S3 I9300
    Hi, I read through your very informative article, but didn’t find an answer to my problem. I saved ALL the data from Galaxy s3 I9300 my phone’s memory before doing a factory reset.
    I reinstalled only a handful of the apps I previously had on my phone. The most important one being S-Memo, since I stored very important and sensitive information on that app.
    But when copied the files back onto my phone, my memos on S-memo are no where to be found… I don’t know what to do, I have the files for S-memo from my phone before I did the factory reset… What can I do??? please help!

    1. Trying to restore backed up data to your Samsung

      Hi Gregg,

      Even though I have the Samsung Galaxy S4 which comes with S-Memo pre-installed I would like to confess upfront that I have yet to really use it as often as I could :).

      How exactly did you backup and “save all of the data from your Samsung Galaxy S3” before doing the factory reset? Did you backup your information to a computer and if so did you use Kies? Or did you backup to an external SD card? I am assuming that you copied the “SMemo” folder from your Samsungs device storage (My Files > Device storage > SMemo) and then after the reset you copied that folder back to your S3s internal storage? Note: you may have to open S-Memo for your cell phone to create a new Folder which you can overwrite with your backup. If you still have your original files then that is where I would start and I would use a COPY option (if available) to Paste those files/folders back to the phone as opposed to using a Cut or Move option which can help you avoid a loss of data if the transfer doesn’t go right for whatever reason.

      I hope that helps to answer your question Gregg. If you have any more questions or need any more help then let me know how you backed up your phones data and I will see what I can do to help you try and restore it.

  37. Settings Error
    I erased an important file on my phone and after that i could not get into my settings. Whenever trying to go onto the phone settings it said “unfortunately this program has stopped” our something like that. I did a factory reset by turning it off and holding the power and volume button. I performed the reset and turned on my phone. Here’s where i don’t get it. I was going through the set up phase of the phone, and at one point it requires you to open up settings. But when it attempts to, it give the same error message as before, and i can not bypass it. So now in basically stuck in the setup phase. Any idea on what i can do?

    1. What is the error message?

      I have some ideas as to what it might be (and how you might be able to fix it) but to help narrow things down a bit I don’t suppose you remember what the name of that file that you deleted was? How did you delete it by the way? Is your phone unlocked? Do you have super user access? Were you customizing your cell phones software? Which cell phone do you have?

      Most importantly… what is the exact error message that your phone is giving you when you try and access your phones Settings?

      If you are still having issues with your cell phone then let me know these things and I will do what I can to try and help you fix it.

      1. T-Mobile Alcatel One Touch Fierce Settings Error

        First of all, thanks for the speedy reply and sorry that it has taken me a while to get back.

        This is an Alcatel one touch fierce. I did have super user access, unlocked phone, and I am not quite sure what file it was. I was deleting some pre-installed software so I’m more then sure that was the reason. I remember uninstalling T-Mobile software like the account and movie software they have on their phones, also deleted a movie viewer. The exact error massage was “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped.”

        Thanks again for your help and for at least looking into this.

        1. Hum… you might have to start fresh

          Hi again Victor,

          You might have to start over with a fresh installation. At this point it sounds like something important was accidently lost or changed and you should be able to fix the problem by installing clean and functional software to the device. You can install stock or custom software to the device which should replace the incomplete software and get your Alcatel One Touch Fierce to start up and run properly again.

  38. Excellent tutorial
    Hurray! I have reset my phone in 30 minutes using your clear, plain language instructions. Thank you.

  39. whatsApp error, unable to open msg history
    Please help me fix this problem. My LG optimus p7 phone always reboots itself frequently.Suddenly, i can no longer open my whatsApp. It shows whatsApp error, unable to open message history. Then i unistalled it and installed again after restarting my phone on several times but my “whatsApp has refused to open again. Now it displays the ff msg; WhatsApp has a problem and it need to be installed again. Tap on the button below to go to play store, uninstall whatsApp and install it again” Yet i have followed this instructions many times but still my whatsApp wouldnt open and i kept getting same message above. Please what should i do to solve this problem? Can i reset my phone to factory settings?

  40. Battery removal
    Hi, wondering if I will lose everything when I replace a battery in my Galaxy s3 smartphone?

    1. Your phone and its information will be ok

      Hi Bette,

      Your phone will be fine. Removing the battery won’t cause any loss of data. Although removing the battery from a cell phone can be referred to as a soft reset only a hard reset will result in a loss of information. If you would like to read more about this feel free to review the differences between a hard and soft reset for more information.

      So have no fear Bette, removing the current battery and inserting a new one won’t cause your Samsung Galaxy S3 to lose any of its information.

  41. Huawei G700 won’t factory reset
    Hi folks, I’m from Riyadh K.S.A
    I’m new to this site…
    I’ve had my Huawei G700 for just 2 days and all of sudden my phone went into “safe mode”. So I removed my phones battery, Sim card & SD card for few minutes and then returned everything back to the phone and rebooted the device but it was still going to safe mode.. I did a factory reset through the phones settings and it was the same so I tried a hard reset by using the power + volume up buttons and selecting “wipe data/fact. reset” but its still in safe mode.. it wont get off of safe mode..

    So can anyone please help me out with this issue…

    Thanks in advance…

    1. How to fix a cell phone that’s stuck in Safe Mode

      Hi Ishaq,

      That can happen sometimes and it can be an elusive problem to try and resolve. Luckily there is an article on this very site which covers that exact issue which you can read at How to get an Android cell phone out of Safe Mode.

      I think it’s going to be exactly what you are looking for. Your Huawei most likely has a malfunctioning volume button and that’s why you are having so much trouble getting it out of Safe Mode.

  42. Backing up my phone
    Hi. I am trying to backup my phone in order to reset it without losing everything. In section 4 of your guide (computer backup method), once I’ve plugged my phone in and clicked ‘open folder to view files’ I’m meant to click a DCIM folder. However, I seem to have no such folder. The options I get are – Document, Driver, Autorun and Mobile Partner.. Any idea why that is or what I can do?

    1. That’s unusual…

      Hi Toby,

      That sounds like a setting on your specific computer that’s causing that window to pop-up instead. Try the Autorun option to see if that gets you to where you need to be. The phone should be “plug and play” and should automatically run as soon as you plug it in (assuming that everything is working properly of course).

      If “Autorun” doesn’t work (and I think it will) then try the “Document” option instead and let me know what options are available in that file directory. From your description it sounds computer specific… have you tried a different computer yet, what type of computer are you trying to use and what cell phone are you trying to backup?

      If you are still having issues then let me know as much information about your phone and the issue you are having and I will do what I can to try and help. A computer backup is a great idea and I certainly encourage you to create a backup on a computer if you have the opportunity to do so.  

      1. Well I tried the autorun
        Well I tried the autorun option and it just brings up a notepad which reads

        Icon=Mobile Partner.ico
        Label=Mobile Partner”

        and in the Document folder, I only get a Copyright Notice.pdf, User Guide more languages and a Read Me file explaining how to change the language.

        My Phone is a Kestrel from EE model: G535-L11. My laptop is a Dell LBL P/N: HY469 A00. I’m not sure if that’s the model number or what. I’m not very good with technology as you can tell.

        The reason I want to backup my phone is to reset it. I’m hoping that a reset will resolve my internet problem. I am connected to the internet but when I try to actually use it on my phone I just keep on getting “Network error”.

        There could just be a problem with my router but I can’t see how that could be as the first time I tried it everything worked perfectly.

        1. OK… Trying to transfer data from your Huawei to your PC…

          Why are Huawei cell phones so stubborn! Remember that when it comes to smartphones you often get what you pay for. That being said… we may need to roll up our sleeves on this one.

          If you are planning to backup your cell phone to your PC because you want perform a hard reset in order to resolve an internet issue (through your home Wi-Fi) then start by unplugging your home router/modem for a minute or two (power off your cell phone too) then after a few minutes plug the power cord back into your router/modem, then wait for about 5 minutes so that your network equipment turns on and has time to connect to the internet, then power your cell phone back on and see if it will connect to the Wi-Fi and internet (through the Wi-Fi) properly.

          If that doesn’t work then you might have to search through your cell phones settings to try and locate a USB debugging mode as it might be causing your phone to connect to the PC to charge but not to transfer data properly.

          Out of curiosity have you tried to connect your cell phone to a different Wi-Fi network? This is important as it could indicate a problem with the network or the phone…

          What operating system is running on the computer are you trying to connect to again? You said it was a DELL so I assume that it’s a Windows PC and not a MAC… if you can let me know what version of Windows it is (XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 etc,) then it might help with the specifics.

          Let me know if soft resetting your home network (unplugging the power) helps or not. If not let me know some of these other things and we can go from there. I hope to hear back from you soon.

  43. Thanks for the clear instructions
    Thank you! My Phone (a Moto G) is now connecting to my home wifi after a factory reset! Just to mention after the reset I also turned off the router and rebooted it – then it all started working again…

  44. HTC Incredible S
    My HTC Incredible S won’t connect to my WiFi. I turn WiFi on it says scanning then connecting then it says disconnected, this process is repeated as long as WiFi is on. My WiFi device is detected and the password is remembered. What can I do to fix it? Should I do a factory reset? I have a tablet and it is connected to WiFi and working properly. Help please……

    1. Trying to fix your Wi-Fi with a factory reset

      Hello Lesha,

      Sorry to hear that your HTC Incredible S is having issues connecting to your Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi problems are some of the most frustrating issues to try and solve on Android smartphones as there are many different things that can be the root of the problem and finding out what that thing is can be a real challenge, as I am sure you already know.

      A factory reset CAN help to resolve Wi-Fi issues if the cause to the problem is software related, but a hard reset is not going to be a guaranteed fix so I suggest that you hold off on performing a factory reset and use this option as a last resort. Try all of the suggestions listed in How to try and fix the Wi-Fi on an Android smartphone as well as Some things to look at when configuring a Wi-Fi network for your Android smartphone. After following the advice in both of those articles (don’t forget to review ALL of the comments as well) then as a last resort you can try to perform a hard reset.

  45. An app is gone
    I sent my Subway Surfers to my SD card and after the factory reset its not there anymore. Any reason why that happened?

    1. Try to re-download the application

      Hi Shaun,

      Chances are very good that the information that you backed up to your SD card is still there on your memory card and is waiting to be restored. Try to re-download the application to your phone from the App store and see if all of your saved information comes back.

      The app should search the memory card and restore the backed up information automatically, assuming that the information was moved to the SD card and that you didn’t accidently choose to format the SD card at any point after the backup. I have a good feeling that the information is still there though so download and install the app and let me know if you hit any snags or have any problems.

      1. Nothing still the same
        I reinstalled the app and got nothing. I made sure I sent it to the SD card and I even ejected the card before the factory reset.

  46. Re: How to backup and reset an android phone
    I just wanted to say thank you SO much for making this so easy. My phone is acting normally again. I really appreciate the simple step-by-step instructions!! You rock!!

  47. Android phone losing wifi every few seconds
    I tried all off your suggestions, by the way very easy to understand. Nothing worked so I bit the bullet and the factory reset. I didn’t bother with backup as what I needed was on sim card. Had I needed to once again your explanation was easy to understand. Even a very silver surfer like me understood. It worked!!! Thank you so much.

  48. Can’t find unmount option
    I followed the instructions and went to storage but there was nothing but the data there. Videos showed the options under all the data but on my nexus 4 I can’t seem to find any mount/unmount options.

    The problem with my phone is that there are parts of my touch screen that have stopped working and its getting bothersome because it’s in the keyboard area. The cause of this was one day my phone began randomly vibrating for a good 2 minutes straight then it restarted itself and then the parts of my screen stopped working. It’s beginning to get worse.

    1. Trying to fix a malfunctioning touch screen

      Hello Ralph,

      The reason why you cannot find a mount or unmount option under the Settings on your Nexus 4 is because the Nexus 4 doesn’t offer removable storage. Since the device cannot utilize an SD card there is no reason to have this mount/unmount feature…

      As per your issue… you might want to try to run a quick test on your Androids touch screen first and then go from there. I am assuming that you have powered your phone off for a few minutes as well. I have seen a few situations where a phone has been left on nonstop for a good while and it has stopped responding properly. A simple soft reset (restarting the phone) fixed the problem in a matter of seconds.

      If the issue is software related (which from your description sounds very probable) then you may need to perform a hard reset as described in the article above.

      If a hard reset doesn’t help solve the problem then the problem could be hardware related which may require you to physically replace the touch screen.

  49. S4 freezes at start up
    Really nice tutorial… thank you so much, but I still have an issue. I need to back up my data, I have important pictures there.. and I can not do the sync because my S4 doesn’t even start. It stays frozen on the Samsung logo at start up.. So if anyone can help me that would be amazing.

    1. That might be difficult but try this…

      Hi Adrian,

      Sorry to hear that your Samsung is freezing during the startup process. Hopefully this annoying issue isn’t being caused by a serious problem with the phones software as that can be difficult to fix much less salvage the information from the device. But I digress and hopefully it won’t come to that.

      Check out How to fix and Android smartphone that’s frozen and wont boot properly. I think it’s exactly what you are looking for.

      Oh and pay special attention to the Safe Mode section of that guide as using Safe Mode may allow you to access your phone and create the backup without having to delete everything.

      I hope that helps Adrian. Let me know if you hit any snags or have any more questions.

  50. Thank you so much!!
    Thank you so much!! This is really informative and it guided me step by step to reset my phone. Once again thanks!!

  51. Removing Phone Number
    Do you know how to remove your phone number from a reset Android phone. I got a new phone and want to sell my old phone, but my number is still part of the old phone.

    1. I suppose it depends on a few factors…

      What phone are you attempting to wipe your phone number off of? The process of doing this might differ depending on what type of phone you have and what wireless carrier it uses.

      If your phone utilizes the GSM technology for example, like AT&T, T-Mobile etc, then you would want to make sure to take the SIM card out of the phone before the reset.

      After the reset is your phone number still showing under the phones settings? Does anything else remain on the phone after the reset or is it just your telephone number?

  52. What do I do?
    I have an lg ls620, I made a backup of all my files onto my SD card and reset my phone after safely removing the SD card, somehow my device scanned google play services as uninstalled and installed at the same time and there was no other way to fix it. Anyway after I reset my phone I went to restore my backup files but it didn’t read any. I checked my file manager to see if the files were there which they were, so now I have backup files that my phone doesn’t read and won’t restore. What do I do about this?

    1. That is odd…

      Hi Jeremy,

      What kind of files is your LG having problems reading and restoring?

      1. A new problem
        It’s my lbf file. But now I have a different problem, my phone has stopped reading my sd card. The sd card is in the phone but it’s not being picked up. I didn’t drop it, it just said that the sd card was unexpectedly removed, which usually results with me having to reformat it. But this time, it just stopped reading it at all and I’ve taking it out and putting it back in but it still won’t register. So what do I do for this.

        1. Malfunctioning SD Card

          Hello Jeremy,

          From your description it sounds like your SD Card is defective or has malfunctioned. Have you tried the card in a different device to see if another device can read it? Have you tried installing a different memory card into your phone to make sure that the phone itself is not experiencing difficulties?

          From your description it sounds like the memory card is likely the culprit and you might have to look into getting a replacement.

  53. Clearing data
    What will happen to my phone if I don’t back up the data and I clear all of the data and then reuse the phone. Will I still have the same number?

    1. Clearing your cell phones user data…

      Any user data that has been added to the phone and that didn’t originally come with the phone is going to get removed by a hard reset.

      You can read more commonly asked questions about hard resets but performing a factory data reset should not affect your current telephone number.

  54. Unfortunately, Camera has stopped
    First off, you are awesome. Thank you for the providing this option for those of us who prefer to resolve issues in a meaningful way, sans Help Desk.

    I resorted to contacting my cell provider when I was unable to resolve my Galaxy S4 camera failure. The pop-up message I get is “Unfortunately, Camera has stopped.” Polite and maddening. Support was unfamiliar with this and suggested a backup and restore. I completed this today with your site assistance. Sadly, the issue remains.

    I need the camera now to upload items I am selling since I lost my job and need to be out of my apartment in two weeks.. Other than uploading pix from my camera to a less than agile laptop, then downloading to the cell phone to submit via the apps, I’m stuck. Any ideas?

    1. Trying to fix the camera on your Samsung Galaxy S4

      First of all I would like to thank you for such a nice complement at the beginning of your comment. Thank you for taking the time to express your gratitude. I appreciate it.

      I also enjoyed the “Polite and maddening” part of your comment. It made me smile. Funny how machines have that effect on humans sometimes isn’t it?

      From your very well written comment it sounds like your Samsung Galaxy S4 is likely experiencing a hardware related problem and for whatever reason your phone is unable to communicate with its camera. I would have originally suggested a hard reset as well so good job in trying that first.

      You might get lucky and you might still be able to get your camera to work properly again. Check out the advice listed HERE and pay extra close attention to the hardware section of that guide. It might just be exactly what you are looking for.

      I hope that helps Heather. Let me know if you hit any more snags or have any more questions.

  55. Reset instructions
    Thank you for these instructions!! They were well thought out and easy for me to understand and follow! I had more trouble figuring out what my homepage was! Much appreciated!

  56. 10/10
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write all this, just to help us. I found it interesting, clear and VERY helpful. I would recommend this to anyone who asked.

  57. Thx. This was a great
    Thx. This was a great tutorial and very user friendly. Addressed things in simple and informative language. Good, no, excellent help!

  58. LG Model: LS665 Factory Reset
    Phone wont allow me to factory reset due to unable to delete user data nor will it allow me to bypass google screen that states This phone has been reset…etc! My teenage daughter bought it from an individual who has now moved so I have no way of finding out the information needed. Can someone please help with this issue?

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