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Does factory reset remove viruses on Android?
Written by: Ilia
Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.
Protecting your phone from viruses is one of the prerequisites for the correct and uninterrupted operation of the device. However, even with security measures, viruses on Android can appear at the most inopportune moment. Most often, users can solve the problem on their own. There are several ways to do this.
Hard Reset - Pros and Cons of the Method
In simple words, Hard (Factory) Reset means hard reset your phone. As a result, the system automatically returns to the factory settings, and the system is completely cleaned. Contacts, correspondence, applications, files, search queries, passwords - all this is deleted from the device’s memory. It is not possible to recover deleted information. Together with all the data from the Android device, viruses that damage its operation are also deleted.
Hard Reset pros:
- The ability to "reset" the phone, thereby improving its performance.
- Removing viruses that block applications on the device and generate persistent errors.
- Solving various problems on the device, for example, with a camera, gallery or other applications.
Disadvantages of Factory Reset:
- Permanently delete all data on the device.
- The need to back up.
- Not all Android viruses can be removed even after returning to factory settings.
An important point! If your device is infected with a lot of viruses, backing up can be dangerous. Viruses can be contained in any saved file, which means that they will again return to your phone or tablet after transferring and synchronizing data.
Not all viruses are removed
In the course of research, viruses were detected that infect Android devices and cannot be deleted even after a Hard Reset. Depending on the method of infection, they can be divided into three groups: Shedun, Shuanet, ShiftyBug. Viruses can infect popular Android applications. Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Now, Candy Crush and other applications that users download and install on their phone are at risk. Immediately after the installation is complete, the virus activates and gains root access to Android. As a result, system files are modified, and removal and cleaning of the device become impossible even through Hard Reset.
How to remove a virus manually
If viruses remain on the device even after it returns to the factory settings, the user has two options: to cure or reflash.
Treating an Android device for viruses to many users seems like something scary and very complicated. In practice, it is enough to follow the step by step instructions:
1. Download and install the free version of Dr. Web Antivirus for Android.
2. Scan the phone and delete all detected viruses.
3. Root the device using the iRoot or any other one click root app.
4. Connect the phone via a USB cable and turn on USB debugging Via settings. In the selected application, click Root, and then restart the phone.
5. Via Google Play, install the Cleanmaster application as root.
6. Launch DrWeb Security Space, do a full scan, provide the iRoot application with access to the system on demand.
7. Restart the phone.
Special attention should be paid to advertising messages that, as a result of virus infection, constantly pop up on the device’s screen. You can also deal with this problem yourself, a detailed instruction is available here.
How to secure the Android device as much as possible
Despite the constant improvement of viruses and the emergence of new codes that infect Android devices, users can still reduce the risk of infection and secure the phone or tablet. Experts give several recommendations:
- Do not visit suspicious sites on the Internet and, moreover, do not enter any data on them.
- Do not download applications and programs from third-party services, since the infection of the device most often occurs precisely in the process of downloading files. At the moment, the safest is the use of the official Google Play service.
- Do not “walk” through advertisements in applications and websites, do not respond to offers to update the operating system or software using third-party services.
- In the phone settings, you can disable the ability to run unsigned messages and debugging via USB.
- Install a high-quality and reliable antivirus. It is worth noting that the selection of such programs for Android is very large. To determine which antivirus will be better, you can find the review here. The advantage of the rating is that each antivirus is accompanied by detailed information (developer, number of downloads, availability of a free version), as well as a listing of advantages and disadvantages.
Thus, you can protect your Android device if you carefully monitor the sites you visit and the applications you install. However, if you still "caught" the virus, do not rush to throw the phone away. Even if you cannot solve the problem yourself, you can try contacting a service center.