Has your Samsung smartphone started to “throw a tantrum”? Applications crash all the time and Android running at a snail’s pace? In such situations it might be useful to restore the phone to its factory state and clean up all the applications installed on it.
If you don’t know how to do it, fear not, today we will see how to reset Samsung mobile without losing important data. We will therefore learn how to backup photos, videos, documents and other important data and how to restore Android to factory settings. It is a very delicate operation (without an adequate backup you would lose all the data saved on the mobile phone) but all in all simple to complete.
In practice, all you have to do is access the Android settings, select the option to reset the operating system and that’s it. What if Android doesn’t start, or the device has been lost? No problem, there is a way to erase all data on your smartphone and restore the operating system to its factory state even when Android doesn’t seem to work anymore. Ready to get started? Great, let’s go! Have a good reading.
The factory data reset of Samsung smartphones (and, in fact, of all devices in general) results in the complete cancellation of the data and information present in the memory . For this reason, I recommend that you make a backup copy of your phone’s settings and data, which you can retrieve later. Here’s how to do it.
As a first step, save some of the data relating to the default apps on the phone to Samsung Cloud , that is the cloud platform dedicated mainly to owners of smartphones and tablets produced by the Korean big company.
To do this, enter the Android Settings , by tapping on the gear icon that resides on the Home screen or in the phone drawer, tap on the Account and backup item and then on the Backed up data option , under the Samsung Cloud item .
Now, if you have not yet set up a Samsung Cloud account on your smartphone, you will see a wizard, which will allow you to log in with an existing profile, or to create a new one. If you need to get precise information on what to do, I suggest you read my tutorial on how to access Samsung Cloud.
Now, put the check mark next to the items to be synchronized ( Call logs , Messages , Contacts , Settings , Home screen and so on) and, when you are ready, tap on the Backup item located at the bottom, to start saving the data, whose status can be monitored using the progress bar visible at the top.
In addition to the data relating to Samsung’s proprietary applications, I recommend that you also back up data relating to Google apps and services (Address Book, People, Drive, Chrome, Gmail, and so on), via Google Drive: to do this, go back to Settings menu > Accounts and backups , tap on the items Manage account> [Google account name]> Synchronize account and move the levers relating to the applications you want to synchronize to ON . Now, tap the button (⋮) located at the top right and choose the Synchronize now item , resident in the menu that appears.
Finally, always store the remaining data relating to apps and smartphone settings on Google Drive: return to the Settings menu > Android Accounts and backups , tap on the Backed up data item under the wording Google Drive and, if necessary, move the lever relating to the Backup on Google Drive item to ON . To make a copy of your data right away, tap the Back Up Now button .
As for the images, you can use the Google Photos app to immediately create a backup of the photos taken with the camera (but also of the phone folders containing images) directly to your Google account: for more information, I refer you to reading my guide dedicated to the use of Google Photos.
Finally, remember to back up WhatsApp and other apps you use.
Backup to computer
If you can’t (or don’t want to) store your data in the cloud, know that you can make a complete backup of the phone memory, using the official Samsung Smart Switch program . To download it, go to this website and click on the download button that best suits your operating system: Download for Windows , if you use Windows, or Download for iOS , if yours is a Mac.
Once the file has been downloaded, start it and follow the procedure that best suits the operating system you are using: if it is Windows , click on the Yes button , then accept the terms of the license agreement by checking the appropriate boxes and finalize everything by clicking on the Next and Finish buttons . The program should open automatically.
On Mac , the procedure to follow is different: after opening the .dmg file downloaded just now, double-click on the SmartSwitch.pkg icon that appears in the new window that opens, click on the Allow button and click on the Continue buttons (to twice consecutively) and Accept , to proceed to the next step.
Now, continue by clicking on the Install button , enter the Mac password in the dedicated text box and enter , in order to start copying the program files. At the end of this step, you will be asked to unblock the execution of system extensions by Smart Switch: to do this, press the button Open the Security preferences , click on the locked lock icon located in the lower corner left of the window that opens and then enter the Mac password and click on the OK button .
We are almost there: now click on the Details … button located at the bottom, check the boxes next to the items Samsung Electronics and DEVGURU Co., Ltd and click on the OK and Restart buttons , in order to provide the necessary permissions and restart the Mac. next login, open Smart Switch using the icon that, in the meantime, has been added to the Launchpad .
As of now, the procedures for Windows and macOS are the same. First of all, if necessary, complete any available updates by pressing the appropriate button (the program will automatically restart at the end of the same) and, when asked, connect the smartphone to the computer via USB cable .
Now, unlock the phone screen (if it is locked) and tap the Allow button displayed on the latter’s display, to allow Smart Switch to operate on the smartphone; then click on the Download Smart Switch button that appears on the computer screen and tap the Yes button on the phone screen instead, in order to provide the necessary permissions.
Once the authorization phase is complete, you are ready to make a copy of your data: click on the Backup button resident in the Smart Switch window (on your computer), put the check mark next to the items you want to transfer and click on the OK button , to start saving the data. I recommend: do not close the Smart Switch app on your phone or the program on your computer until the backup procedure is complete. More info here.
I think it is right to point out that there are other backup solutions (e.g. manually copying information on your computer or saving data on other cloud services), valid not only for Samsung smartphones, but for all devices animated by the operating system. from Google: I told you about it, in detail, in my tutorial on how to make an Android backup.
How to reset Samsung mobile: standard procedure
The simplest procedure to restore a Samsung smartphone to factory settings and to delete, if necessary, all data from its memory, is to act from the Android settings. If you intend to sell or dispose of the phone, remember to also remove any microSD installed in the device, if any.
To access the Android recovery options, open the operating system settings , touch the items General management> Reset and choose the reset option that is right for you: reset settings to restore the smartphone settings to their default values but leaving unchanged everything else, network settings reset to clear all connectivity options (saved Wi-Fi networks, paired Bluetooth devices, VPN, etc.) or, finally, Reset settings. accessibility to cancel all adjustments related to accessibility settings.
If, on the other hand, you need to restore the phone to the conditions it was in when you first took it out of the box, tap the Reset factory data item , analyze the summary of the data that will be deleted as a result of the operation and scroll down to down the current page, until the Reset button is visible .
Now, press the aforementioned button and, if necessary, carry out the security verification through the configured system (face / fingerprint recognition, PIN or password) and, well aware that the operation will delete the entire contents of the smartphone memory , answer affirmatively to the message that appears immediately after, to start resetting the phone.
The whole procedure, which could take up to tens of minutes, will end with a second automatic restart of the phone, which could be particularly slow (this is normal, it only happens the first time). The next time you turn it on, you will have to carry out the first smartphone configuration procedure again, during which you will be asked whether to start from scratch or whether to restore the data from an existing backup (from the cloud or Smart Switch). If you intend to sell or divest the phone, do nothing and leave the setup to the new owner.
How to format Samsung mobile: emergency procedures
Do you need to perform an emergency recovery on a Samsung smartphone that no longer starts up, that you have just realized that you have lost it or to which, in general, you can no longer access? In this case, the alternative solutions I am about to talk to you about will certainly be useful.
If the smartphone turns on but enters an infinite boot cycle, or if you have forgotten the screen unlock code or pattern, you can perform an emergency recovery using Recovery : the latter is a software independent of Android, which allows you to carry out a series of emergency operations, including resetting the permissions and, obviously, completely restoring the device with the consequent elimination of all data in the memory .
Most of the Samsung smartphones (and tablets) in circulation are equipped with a Recovery already installed and working, which can be started by pressing a precise sequence of keys during startup.
However, it should be emphasized that, as a security measure, at the first start after the reset it will be necessary to enter the credentials of the Gmail account previously configured on the smartphone, to carry out the Android security recognition, and / or those of the Samsung account , to unlock instead the Knox system. Without this information, the phone will be locked and therefore unusable.
Having clarified this aspect, let’s see together how to proceed. First, turn off your phone completely (if it isn’t already) by pressing and holding the side button for about 10 seconds, until the screen turns black.
Now, press the physical Volume Up key and, holding it down, also press the side key , until the phone turns on; now, while continuing to press the Volume Up key, release the Power key and wait for the Android Recovery screen to appear . When this happens, release all keys.
Once you reach the Recovery screen, use the volume keys to highlight the Wipe data / factory reset item , press the “OK” by pressing the side button and, in the same way, select the Factory data reset item and press the side button again , to start the deletion of data and personal settings in the device memory and return the latter, in fact, to its initial state.
Find my device
Another disaster recovery option, especially valid when the phone is lost or stolen, is to use Samsung’s Find My Device service : if you’ve never heard of it, it’s a platform-based security system. Samsung Cloud, which allows you to perform a series of remote operations, including unlocking the screen (in case of forgotten password), backing up data on Samsung Cloud, locating and formatting the phone.
For everything to proceed smoothly, it is essential that the smartphone is turned on and connected to the Internet and that the security system, resident in the menu Settings> Accounts and backup> Manage accounts> [Samsung account name]> Personal profile> Find personal device be active (which is generally true by default).
If these conditions are verified, it is possible to format the phone in a very simple way: first of all, connected to the Find my device page using the browser of your choice , log in with your Samsung account credentials and wait for the management console smartphone appears on the screen.
When this happens, press the Clear data button , respond affirmatively to the warning that appears later and, if prompted, enter the account password again , to verify your identity again and start a complete reset of the phone (which is not it can no longer be unlocked, until the credentials of the previously configured Samsung and / or Google account are entered).
Where your Samsung account is protected by two-factor authentication , you will be asked to enter a code sent to the device itself; since, presumably, you should no longer have it, you can choose to verify with SMS text message or verify with backup code , by clicking on the links at the bottom of the authentication window.
Note : If you have problems using Samsung’s Find My Device, you can try to complete the disaster recovery using the Google Find Device feature, integrated and active on all Android devices with Play Services. To find out more, I refer you to reading my specific guide on the subject.