Performing a hard reset is often one of the most reliable ways to resolve a problem with your device, but does it erase everything? If you have been experiencing an ongoing issue with your device, a hard reset may be the troubleshooting solution you are looking for. However, before you commit to factory resetting a device, you should make sure that you understand exactly what will be deleted.
Table of Contents
- Does A Hard Reset Erase Everything?
- What is a Hard Reset?
- What Does a Hard Reset Erase?
- When Should I Hard Reset My Device?
- Can I Recover Erased Data After a Hard Reset?
- How to Perform a Hard Reset
Does A Hard Reset Erase Everything?
A hard reset will erase all of your personal files and data. Your device will be rebooted to its factory settings, and all customizations, files, and apps will be deleted. Once the hard reset is finalized, your device will reboot as if it were brand new.
After years of use, you can expect just about every tech device to start acting up. Whether it is a performance issue or a bug within the software, it can make using your device rather tedious and frustrating – or even unusable.
A lot of people who find themselves in this situation will throw in the towel and give up on their devices. While there are some tech problems that are too tricky to solve without expert knowledge, you would be amazed by how often you can fix your device simply by performing a hard reset. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to troubleshoot your device when performance is off.
With that said, you should keep in mind that doing so will delete a lot of things on your device, which is why it is best to keep a hard reset as a last resort option. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at what a hard reset deletes in more detail.
After extensively researching device manuals and troubleshooting forums, I have been able to gather enough information to determine what gets erased after a hard reset. My research has indicated that a hard reset can erase different files and data depending on the device that you are using.
What is a Hard Reset?
A hard reset often referred to as a ‘factory reset’, is the process of restoring an electronic device back to its original system settings.
Just about every device comes with a hard reset setting so that you can always revert the software back to its factory settings in case you run into performance issues or want to sell your device without any personalized data.
After performing a hard reset, your device will reboot itself as if it were brand new. This is a great way to clear up any issues that your device was experiencing and it is often a one-stop-shop solution to fixing serious bugs.
What Does a Hard Reset Erase?
When you perform a hard reset on your device, you can expect to lose all of your files, data, and customized settings. Any changes that you made to your device since you started using it, will be reverted back to their factory settings.
Given that a hard reset setting is standardized within so many different types of devices, the data that gets erased can vary. These are examples of some of the things that will be erased during a hard reset:
- User profiles
- Saved games
- Downloaded content
Depending on how much data you have on your device, performing a hard reset can result in a lot of lost files, which can be extremely problematic if you do not have a backup. That is why a hard reset should never be your first approach to resolving a tech issue and you should try out other methods first.
When Should I Hard Reset My Device?
You should perform a hard reset as a last resort solution to fixing an issue with your device. Given that a hard reset will erase everything and delete all changes that you have made, it is best to save this approach until you have no other option.
Before you hard reset, make sure that all other troubleshooting solutions have been tested first. It is often the case that simple fixes can be resolved quite easily through basic diagnostics or by just performing a standard or soft reset.
If you have tried out various methods to fix your device and are still hitting a wall, then a hard reset may be necessary. This may include issues such as:
- Frozen screens
- Slow or poor performance
- Unresponsive device
With that said, you should also consider hard resetting your device if you are planning on selling it. Most people who buy second-hand products prefer them to be like new, which is exactly what a hard reset will initiate.
In addition, you will want to hard reset your device before selling it because you do not want to have any of your personal data in the hands of your buyer. For security, as well as privacy reasons, you should always hard reset your device if you are planning on selling it.
Can I Recover Erased Data After a Hard Reset?
While most people assume that all data is lost after a hard reset, this is not always the case. Depending on the device that you are using and what kind of data you want to recover from your hard reset, you may be able to get some of it back.
There are a couple of different ways that you can approach this but the most practical and affordable route is to utilize data recovery software. The chance of you getting all of your data back by using software is not going to be very realistic, but you may be able to recover some important files.
If you want to recover as much data as possible, you should consider paying for a data recovery service. These can be more expensive and require more time. However, if you are attempting to recover sensitive and important data, then it is well worth it.
As I mentioned, even with data recovery services, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get all of your data back after a hard reset. That is why it is always best to transfer whatever files you want to save onto another device or cloud storage and backup all of your data before performing a hard reset.
How to Perform a Hard Reset
Performing a hard reset is very straightforward and you can find this option within the settings of your device. Each device has a different procedure for a hard reset and you should ultimately check the owner’s manual to confirm that you are following the steps correctly.
You can hard reset a phone, tablet, computer, AirPods, TV, and even your Wi-Fi router. The best way to hard reset any device is to do it through the settings (if available). These are the steps that you will need to follow for most devices.
- Hard Reset (confirm)
With that said, there will be certain situations where you may need to hard reset your device without the settings. This could be due to the device being in a frozen state or it could simply be the way that the manufacturer designed the product.
Normally, a hard reset without settings available will need to be performed by pressing a button sequence. Each device has a different sequence for hard resets, but it usually involves holding down the volume and the power button at the same time, which is the case for most smartphones and tablets.