How do I recover data after factory reset?

Factory resetting your device can seem like an easy way to wipe your data and start fresh. However, once you realize you still need some of that data, factory reset regret can kick in fast. The good news is that with the right tools and techniques, recovering data after a factory reset may be possible.

Can You Recover Data After Factory Reset?

The short answer is maybe. When you factory reset a device, the goal is to overwrite the existing data to make it inaccessible. However, this doesn’t always happen perfectly. There’s a chance remnants of your data still exist and can be recovered with the right approach.

It Depends on the Device and Reset Method

Your chances of recovering post-reset data depend on:

  • The device itself
  • The reset method used
  • How much the device was reused after resetting

For example, iOS devices tend to be more aggressive at data wiping during a reset than Android. Using the device reset option in device settings is also often more thorough than doing a factory reset from recovery mode.

Reusing the Device Lowers Chances

The more you use a reset device, the more likely new data will start overwriting the old. Things like installing apps, taking photos, saving files, etc. all write new data to storage. So recovering data becomes less likely the more reused a reset device is.

But It’s Possible in Many Cases

While data recovery gets less likely in certain situations, it’s very possible in most cases if you act quickly and use the right methods.

How Does Data Recovery Software Work?

Special software tools exist that can scan storage drives and look for remnants of old files even after resets and deletions. They work by:

  • Scanning the raw storage at a low level
  • Identifying traces of old file formats and metadata
  • Reassembling file fragments

Advanced data recovery tools often utilize powerful algorithms to reconstruct files from fragments. This allows them to restore data even if it wasn’t fully overwritten.

Tools Can Rebuild Files and Bypass Erasure

Dedicated recovery software can rebuild everything from documents, photos, video, archives, messages, and more. By scanning beyond the file system level, they can find data other tools miss.

Many tools can bypass simplistic delete or format operations. And some even work on more advanced erase methods like factory resets by piecing file fragments back together.

Best Data Recovery Software

If you need to recover lost data after factory resetting your device, specialized data recovery software offer the best chances. Here are some top options to consider:

1. Stellar Data Recovery

Stellar Data Recovery is one of the most established, widely used data recovery apps available. It can recover lost data not just from resets, but from all kinds of scenarios like:

  • Accidental deletion
  • Lost or formatted partitions
  • Corruption
  • System crashes

Stellar supports recovering data from Windows, Mac, USB drives, SD cards, and many other sources. It’s available as a free trial so you can scan for recoverable data before paying to restore it.

2. Disk Drill

Disk Drill features an attractive interface and deep scanning capabilities to uncover deleted and lost files. It can recover data from virtually any storage device including internal and external hard drives, USB devices, cameras, and more.

Recovery vault and guaranteed recovery features provide added insurance to protect and restore your data. Disk Drill is free to download and preview recoverable data.

3. Ontrack EasyRecovery

Ontrack EasyRecovery is a great choice for more advanced users. It provides low-level tools to thoroughly search drives and reconstruct lost data. This allows recovery from severe issues like:

  • Accidental formats
  • Lost or deleted partitions
  • Even failed hard drives

A free version lets you preview files before paying to recover them fully. Customer reviews praise Ontrack for its deep scanning and data recovery capabilities.

Recovering Data from a Reset Android Device

Android factory reset procedures have improved over time, making data recovery tougher. But it’s still possible in many cases if you act fast. Here are some tips:

Use Android Recovery Software

Specialized Android data recovery tools like FoneDog Android Data Recovery provide the best shot at restoring lost data after a factory reset. They can extract leftover fragments, reconstruct files, and recover data directly from Android devices.

Try a Deep Scan Recovery

If you quickly reuse a reset Android device, standard scans may miss recoverable data. But tools like FoneDog offer deep scanning capabilities that dig deeper and find files in additional overlooked areas of storage.

Enable USB Debugging

Turning on USB debugging in Android developer options prior to reset can allow certain tools like FoneDog to access deeper levels of data. This improves the chances of file recovery after reset.

Recovering Data from a Reset iPhone

Recovering lost iPhone data after factory reset can be very tricky due to iOS security. But these tips can improve your chances:

Avoid Using the iPhone

Don’t save anything new or install apps after the reset. This overwrites remnants of old data and reduces recoverability.

Use a Professional Tool Like FoneDog

Consumer tools likely can’t recover iPhone data after reset due to encryption. Professional iOS recovery services like FoneDog iPhone Data Recovery use advanced methods to decrypt and restore lost data.

Request iCloud Data

If you had iCloud backups enabled, you may be able to restore data from the cloud. Log into iCloud and check for available backups to download.

Can You Recover Photos After Factory Reset?

Photos tend to be one of the most common and important data types people want to recover post-reset. The good news is specialized tools make photo recovery possible in many cases.

How Photo Recovery Works

Tools like Stellar Photo Recovery work by scanning storage and looking for leftover fragments of image files. Even small remnants can be rebuilt into full photos using advanced algorithms.

Photo recovery software can restore images even if you’ve formatted drives, reset devices to factory settings, or deleted photos permanently from the file system.

Tips for Recovering Photos

To successfully recover photos after resetting your device:

  • Avoid taking new photos, as overwriting can occur
  • Use read-only recovery tools to prevent overwriting
  • Scan deleted space for lingering fragments

With the right software approach, recovering photos, or any deleted files, becomes very possible if the storage hasn’t already been overwritten.

Can Factory Reset Be Reversed?

Strictly speaking, there is no way to directly undo or reverse a factory reset on devices like phones, tablets, etc. Resetting restores devices to original settings, wiping user data in the process. It cannot be canceled halfway through or undone instantly.

But Data Recovery Provides Options

While factory reset itself can’t be undone, there are still options to recover user data erased by a reset as outlined above. So in that sense, you can reverse a reset and restore missing data using the right recovery tools.

Act Quickly for Best Results

For the very best results, use professional recovery software as soon as possible after a factory reset. This gives you the best shot at recovering the most data before it gets overwritten with new usage.

Can You Recover Deleted Files After Reset?

As covered above, it’s possible to recover deleted files after a factory reset given the right circumstances. When a device reset wipes your data, files aren’t always erased instantly in their entirety.

Tools Can Find File Fragments

Powerful recovery tools scan for remnants of deleted data. Even small file fragments can be rebuilt into complete, working files in many cases.

By digging deeper than standard software, recovery apps can restore deleted photos, documents, and other file types despite a factory reset clearing them.

Avoid Overwriting Data

Just be careful not to overwrite deleted data by reusing the reset device before recovering files. Powering it off after a reset gives you the best shot at recovery.

Can You Recover Text Messages After Factory Reset?

Like other files, recovering lost text messages is often possible with specialized tools. Cell phone recovery software is designed to scan storage and extract text conversations even after resets.

Direct Recovery From Some Devices

Some recovery apps can restore messages directly from the device storage. This allows accessing text conversations after factory reset if they weren’t entirely overwritten.

Restoring From Backups

If your messages were backed up to cloud services like iCloud or Google, you may be able to restore conversations by downloading the backups. This gives you access to pre-reset conversations.

Combining device scanning with backup restoration provides the most options for recovering erased text messages.

Final Tips for Recovering Post-Reset Data

Here are a few final tips to summarize the most effective ways to recover your valuable data after an unwanted factory reset:

  • Avoid reusing the device to prevent overwriting
  • Use professional recovery tools, not basic software
  • Enable USB debugging in Android beforehand (FoneDog tip)
  • Act quickly for the best chance of full recovery
  • Focus on recovering your most important file types

While factory reset wipes devices, it doesn’t erase all data instantly or completely. With the right recovery approach, you have an excellent chance of restoring your lost files and getting them back after a reset.


Factory resetting a device without fully backing up data can lead to almost immediate regret. But there are options to recover erased files if you act quickly and use the right professional tools and techniques.

Specialized data recovery software can often find and restore various file types, including documents, photos, messages, archives, and more. By thoroughly scanning storage and leveraging advanced algorithms, they can recover lost data from even factory reset devices in many cases.

While tougher for some devices than others, avoiding overwriting data gives you the very best shot at recovery success. So power off and use read-only tools for the best results. Approaching reset recovery with the proper software provides an excellent chance to reverse data erasure and get important files back.