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How to Backup Your Android Before Performing a Factory Reset

With Android devices taking more than 85 percent of the world's mobile device market share, and with more than 40 percent in the U.S. alone, Android remains one of the most popular mobile operating systems in existence. It's also incredibly easy to backup your Android data – which should always be done before performing a factory reset.

Why perform a factory reset?

There are a number of reasons why an Android user might want to perform a factory reset on their phone. Firstly, it's a great way to free your phone's storage of any clutter, including unused apps and junk files. It's also useful when you want to wipe all of your personal information from the device, which is usually done before selling it or trading it in.
How to backup your files

Luckily, Android makes the process of backing up your files as painless and as easy as possible. For starters, make sure your device is set to sync with your Google account. This will automatically backup some items, including your network preferences, bookmarks, and even your customized dictionary.

Next are your personal messages – namely SMS / MMS messages, alerts, and playlists. Unfortunately, neither Google nor Android support automatic backups of this information. Instead, it will have to be performed manually and with a third-party application. There are plenty of options to choose from, both free and paid, so make sure to do your research and pick the one that's right for you.

You'll also have to manually backup any images or videos on your Android device. However, this can typically be done without the use of any third-party software. Simply connect your Android device to a desktop or laptop computer via the USB connection and it will appear on your system as an external hard drive. From here, simply navigate to the files you want to keep and copy them over to your computer. Depending on the number of items and the size of the files, this could take some time to complete.

Although you don't have to use third-party software when backing up your images and videos, there are plenty of tools available to help you along. These are great if you are having difficulty with the manual backup process above or if you are trying to recover data that has been lost, deleted, or corrupted.

Performing a factory reset

Now that you've backed up all of your important personal files, it's time to move ahead with the actual factory reset itself. Android makes this process as easy as possible by providing a built-in "Factory Reset" option – you just have to find it. To do this, open the device's Settings menu and navigate to "Backup & reset." From here, simply tap on "Factory data reset and Reset phone" to begin the process.

You'll first be asked for your pass code and, once entered, you'll be asked to verify if you want to erase everything on your phone. If so, confirm your selection and wait until the process is done to reboot your phone. If you've done it correctly, you should boot up to a clean Android OS that's ready to go.


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