Does Factory Resetting an Android Device Remove Viruses and Malware?

Around 73% of all mobile users have Android devices. With such a large user base, Androids have become a prime target for cyber attackers to spread their malware quickly in user's devices. Furthermore, since everyone around us saves all their information in an Android device in one form or the other, for cyber attackers, Android has become their primary bank for stealing all the data. Hence, people are always searching for ways to remove these malicious viruses from their phones. The most common way that any average person follows is factory resetting their Android device.

Does Factory Resetting Actually Remove Viruses?

Does Factory Resetting work, and if yes, what are the risks involved in it and how much data is lost, and all such doubts will be cleared in this article.

In simpler terms, factory reset (or Hard reset) means that the system will automatically reset back to the factory model. It will change all the settings to default, which comes when we buy the new android device and all the data stored in it gets cleared from the device's memory.

The data includes contacts, emails, images, applications, browsing history, all stored id's and passwords, basically everything, and most of the time, the deleted data is not recovered.

Advantages of Factory Resetting

Some of the advantages of factory resetting an Android device are as follows −

  • Since it resets the phone, it can improve the device's performance.

  • It also removes the viruses which are not disguised in a rooted partition of the device and hence unblock all the applications that were previously blocked due to the virus and remove all the persistent errors occurring in the device

  • It also solves other problems like frequent pop-ups and phones getting hang or lagging while opening multiple applications simultaneously.

Disadvantages of Factory Resetting

Along with advantages, also comes disadvantages too which are as follows −

  • It will permanently delete all the data from the device, no matter how important or sensitive it is.

  • Data that is deleted cannot be recovered if backup for it does not exist.

  • Not all malware and viruses can be removed by resetting a device to factory mode; that is, it cannot remove a few viruses or malware stored in the rooted partition of the device through this method.

Also, it's essential to note that if you back up all your data from the infected device, then there is a high possibility that your backup files have viruses stored in them. In addition, they might return to your device once you transfer and synchronize your phone so, it's advised to not take back up of every file or else factory resetting your phone would go useless.

Why Do Some Viruses Go Undetected in Factory Resetting?

There are some viruses that cannot be detected during the factory resetting and cannot be deleted through this method. There are a few malware that enter the device getting embedded into the application which the user downloads. Immediately after the installation is complete, these viruses activate and gain root access to the device.

As a result, system registries are modified, and removing them becomes impossible even through Factory Reset. They can be removed by other methods like installing anti-malware and anti-virus on one's device and then scanning through it regularly and keeping those applications up to date to not allow any security loopholes for the virus to enter.