When most people hear the phrase “virus,” they immediately think of a computer infected with malware. However, many people are unaware that a Smartphone may potentially become infected with a virus. That may be relatively inconvenient, especially as it will cause your device’s functionality to slow down. There’s also the dread of being phished, among other things.
Nonetheless, you can walk out of the situation depending on which path you choose. Some users format their phones, while others immediately perform a factory reset. That leads us to the big question: ‘Will a factory reset remove a virus?’ In this article, we’ll learn all of this and more.
What Is A Factory Reset?
What is the purpose of a factory reset? A factory reset will remove your entire device’s data, including images, videos, applications, settings, and system files. This reset will restore your gadget to its original state, which is the state it was in when it was initially sent from the factory with the most basic set of software.
A factory reset clears all of your data; it will also delete viruses and other unwanted apps. You may use a factory reset on Wi-Fi routers, printers, fax machines, TVs, and other devices in addition to PCs, Macs, and phones.
It is anticipated that restoring your device will remove all of your data, viruses, and spyware. Does this always happen? Will a factory reset get rid of the virus? If you are doubtful, the next section will provide you with the solution.
Why Would You Want To Perform A Factory Reset?
You might wish to execute a factory reset on your smartphone for various reasons.
1. Giving Or Selling Your Gadget To another Person
If you’re giving your smartphone to someone else, make sure you erase all of your data and browsing history beforehand.
2. To Increase Performance
If your device has become sluggish, frozen, or otherwise not operating correctly, you may want to attempt a factory reset. However, if you’ve performed a manual clean-up, we’d only recommend this as a last option. On the other hand, a factory reset may be helpful if the problem is caused by your hard disk or operating system (OS).
3. You Believe Your Laptop Has A Malware Infection
Viruses can be difficult to identify and eliminate, and they might take a long time to do so. That is why using cybersecurity software to secure your devices and preventing the problem in the first place is the best solution.
But Does A Factory Reset Remove Viruses?
The answer is yes, in a nutshell. Viruses are usually removed by doing a factory reset. However, this is not always the case. (can’t there always have to be a ‘but’?) Because viruses are numerous and ever-evolving, it’s impossible to say if a factory reset would safeguard your device against dangerous apps or viruses.
Let’s use the traditional xHelper as an example. According to sources, it initially appeared in March 2019 and infiltrated thousands of devices by hiding in the codes of unlicensed Android apps purchased outside of the Play Store. There was an infection of over 45,000 Android smartphones in just a few months.
One characteristic of xHelper is that it does not respond to detection or deletion. That is, you will not be able to remove this malware. Despite conducting a factory reset, it reinstalls itself a few hours later and remains active.
In addition to xHelper, other infections may be found on Windows/macOS PCs or iPhones/Android phones. A factory reset may not be able to eliminate certain infections.
Executing a factory reset on your PC, Mac, Android, or iOS device might help you get rid of certain basic malware. That, however, does not function in the case of advanced viruses.
How Do Certain Viruses Manage To Withstand Factory Resets?
Viruses are usually removed by doing a factory reset. But how do some viruses manage to make it through?
Your Backup Is Infected
Before moving any backup data back to your device, be sure it has been scanned for viruses.
Your Recovery Partition Is Infected With A Virus
The recovery partition is a section of your hard disk that stores your device’s factory settings. This partition can become infected with malware in rare situations. As a result, doing a factory reset will not remove the malware.
You Might Be Infected With Rootkit Malware
A rootkit is software that can give you entire (‘root’) access to your operating system. The initial function was to grant authorized users administrative access to a device. On the other hand, Rootkits may now be infected by malware, making them difficult to identify and remove.
Other Devices, Such As Your Printer Are Infected
Malware has the potential to infect your secondary devices such as your printer without your knowledge. When you connect to your computer again, even after you’ve done a factory reset, this device can reinfect your computer.
How To Perform A Factory Reset?
As described above, a factory reset will erase all of your files, documents, and apps from your phone or computer. That is why, while attempting to remove malware, we only advocate a factory reset as a last resort.
How To Reset Windows 11 To Factory Settings
To perform a factory reset, follow these steps:
1. In Windows 11, press Win + I to open the Settings app.
2. In Windows 10, go to Update & Security > Recovery and click Get started under Reset this PC. Go to Settings > System > Recovery > Recovery options > Reset PC on Windows 11.
3. Continue by selecting an option depending on your requirements. To keep your files and settings, click Keep my files, and to delete everything on the hard drive, click Remove everything.
4. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the resetting process.
How Do I Reset My Mac To Factory Settings?
To perform a factory reset on a mac, follow these steps:
1. Sign out of Apple services, including iCloud, Messages, and others.
2. By hitting the power/switch on and selecting Restart, you may restart your Mac.
3. Press the Command + R keys while the Mac is restarting (the Apple logo shows) to enter macOS Recovery mode.
4. Select the Disk Utility from the Recovery Mode menu and click Continue to repair or wipe a disk.
5. Then click Erase on the drive where your macOS is installed.
6. Choose a complex drive format, such as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and then GUID Partition Map > Erase in the pop-up box.
7. Disk Utility will close when you click Done.
8. To reinstall a new copy of macOS, click Reinstall macOS and follow the steps on the screen.
How To Reset Android Phones To Factory Settings
The procedures to reset an Android phone to factory settings vary depending on the phone, but they are always comparable.
1. Go to system> Settings.
2. Select reset from the drop-down menu.
3. To finalize the procedure, hit Erase all data (factory reset) and then Erase all data again.
How To Reset Windows 10 To Factory Settings
If you need to perform a factory reset, follow these instructions:
1. Select Settings from the Start menu.
2. Then, under Update & Security, select Recovery.
3. Under reset, this PC, click Get started.
4. To delete all of the data on your computer, select the Remove Everything option.
5. To safely wipe all data, click Remove files and clear the disk.
6. If you notice a warning that you won’t be able to roll back to a previous version of Windows, click Next.
7. When you see Ready to reset this PC, click reset.
How Can I Tell If My Phone Is Infected With A Virus?
Here’s how you can tell whether your device is infected:
1. Charges On Your Phone Bill That Don’t Make Sense – Unexpected charges might indicate the presence of a virus. Malicious apps might generate money by sending premium text messages or phone calls on your phone.
2. Ads That Are Too Intrusive – Ads that are too intrusive are a warning that you may have adware on your phone. You might install malicious code on your device through adware.
3. Contacts Getting Creepy Messages – Malware can utilize your cellphone to send spam SMS, infecting your contacts’ devices as well.
4. Poor Performance — A slowdown in performance, similar to a computer, is a solid infection symptom.
5. New Apps – If you see new apps on your smartphone without warning, it’s possible that a malicious program is installing them. They might also contain malware.
6. Abnormal Data Use – Malicious apps rely on the internet to deliver and receive information from their developers. You can see how much data your applications use on your phone, so keep an eye out for ones that use more than you’d anticipate.
7. Battery Life Decrease — Low battery life might indicate that you’re using a ‘bugged’ or poorly-written app. It might, however, be a warning that your phone is infected with a virus.
Now that you know how a factory reset affects your device, you must follow our advice to avoid malware infection. The way you use your device determines how long it lasts. The applications you give access to your device also have a significant impact on its longevity, which is why you should limit them. If you follow the advice in this article, you will be as safe as possible against the virus.