What is the free software to recover data after factory reset Android?

A factory reset refers to restoring an Android device back to its default factory settings. This process erases all user data and customizations made to the device. Users typically perform a factory reset to fix software issues, before selling or giving away their device, or to wipe their personal information for privacy reasons.

After a factory reset, recovering deleted data is often important to users. Photos, messages, contacts, app data and other personal files are erased. For some, this data has high sentimental value or is needed for work. Fortunately, with the right technique and software, it is possible to recover erased files from Android devices even after a factory reset.

This article will provide an overview of recovering personal data from an Android device after it has been factory reset. We will look at what types of data can be retrieved, the software options available, and best practices for attempting Android data recovery post-reset.

Reasons for Data Loss After Factory Reset

There are several common reasons why users perform a factory reset on their Android device, which can result in accidental data loss:

  • Accidental Reset – Some users may accidentally trigger a factory reset, erasing all data. This can happen by mistakenly selecting the full reset option when trying to reset network settings or perform a soft reset.
  • Preparing to Sell Device – Many users perform a factory reset when they are preparing to sell or give away their old Android phone. This wipes all personal data to protect privacy.
  • Wiping Data for Security – Some users factory reset their devices if they suspect malware or a data breach. Performing a full reset can wipe any potentially compromised data or software.

In all of these cases, users may realize after the reset that they have lost important photos, messages, or other irreplaceable data. Factory reset erases all user data, so anything not properly backed up will be permanently deleted.

What Data Can Be Recovered?

Most users want to recover pictures, messages, contacts, and other personal files after a factory reset on Android. Here are some of the main data types that can potentially be retrieved:

  • Photos – Camera images stored on internal or external SD card storage can often be recovered (https://recoverit.wondershare.com/phone-recovery/recover-photos-after-factory-reset-android.html).
  • Text messages – SMS, MMS, chat messages may be retrievable, depending on where they were stored.
  • Contacts – Names, phone numbers, email addresses can possibly be found again.
  • Call logs – Dialed, received and missed calls.
  • Music – Songs and audio files.
  • Videos – Movies, clips and other video files.
  • Documents – Word files, PDFs, spreadsheets and other documents.
  • WhatsApp messages – Chats and media from WhatsApp.
  • Other apps – Data and files related to other installed apps.

The likelihood of recovering a given data type depends on factors like the storage location and whether the data was overwritten during the factory reset process.

Requirements for Data Recovery

There are a few key requirements in order to recover data after a factory reset on Android devices:

First and most importantly, Root access is required in order to access all of the device’s data and system partitions where deleted data may still reside after a reset. Without root access, most recovery methods will only be able to restore portions of data that existed on external SD cards or other user storage partitions. To enable full system data recovery, root access is essential [1].

Secondly, USB debugging must be enabled on the Android device before the factory reset occurs. USB debugging allows connecting the device to a computer and utilizing data recovery software to scan the phone’s file system. If debugging is not turned on, most recovery software will not detect the device or be able to access its data. So enabling USB debugging mode in the Developer Options menu is a prerequisite [2].

Meeting these root access and USB debugging requirements prior to a factory reset gives the greatest chance of recovering lost data using free recovery apps and utilities after resetting an Android device.

Free Recovery Software Options

There are several good free software options for recovering lost data after a factory reset on Android devices. Three top choices are Recuva, TestDisk, and DiskDigger.

Recuva by Piriform is a popular free data recovery tool for Windows that can also recover files from connected Android devices like phones and tablets. It supports recovering photos, videos, documents, and other common file types [1]. Recuva has a simple interface and deep scan capabilities.

TestDisk is a free, open source data recovery program that works on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. It can recover lost partitions as well as photos, videos, and documents when connected to an Android device [2]. TestDisk requires some technical knowledge to use advanced features.

DiskDigger is a free Android app that can recover lost photos, videos, audio, documents, and other files directly from the device’s internal storage without needing a PC connection. It offers both basic and full scan modes [3]. DiskDigger is easy to use but recovers less data than PC software.

Using Recuva

Recuva is a widely used free data recovery tool for Windows developed by Piriform. It can recover lost or deleted files from hard drives, external drives, memory cards, and some mobile devices like Android phones when connected to a PC [1].

Some key features of Recuva include:

  • Ability to recover many file types like documents, music, videos, emails, etc.
  • Deep scan capability to find even older deleted files
  • Secure overwrite feature to completely delete confidential files
  • User-friendly wizard-style interface

To recover deleted files from an Android device using Recuva:

  1. Connect your Android phone to your computer via USB and enable USB debugging
  2. Open Recuva and select the drive letter associated with your phone
  3. Choose the scan type – for Android, deep scan works best
  4. Select the file types you want to recover
  5. Allow Recuva to scan the drive and display recovered files
  6. Preview and select the files to restore and specify a save location

Overall, Recuva is a straightforward free solution for recovering lost Android files, though more advanced tools like Recoverit offer better recovery rates. Proper usage and realistic expectations are key when using Recuva for Android data recovery.

Using TestDisk

TestDisk is an open source data recovery software developed by CGSecurity that can recover lost partitions and repair corrupted partitions. It works on various operating systems including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Some key features of TestDisk for recovering data after factory reset Android include:

  • Recovers deleted files and lost partitions – TestDisk can scan the disk to find deleted files and recover entire lost partitions.
  • Supports various file systems – TestDisk supports file recovery for FAT, NTFS, exFAT, ext2/ext3/ext4 and HFS+ file systems.
  • Creates disk images – Before recovering data, TestDisk can create an image of the disk to work on, keeping the original disk untouched.
  • Fixes partition tables – If the partition table is corrupted or deleted, TestDisk can reconstruct and repair it.
  • Easy to use – TestDisk has a step-by-step interface to guide users through the recovery process.
  • Free and open source – TestDisk is free to download and use for data recovery.

To recover deleted files using TestDisk:

  1. Download TestDisk and launch it on the Android device.
  2. Create a disk image or select the physical disk for scanning.
  3. Select the partition table type (e.g. Intel/PC) and analyze the disk.
  4. Go into the Filesystem Utils menu and select Undelete to recover deleted files.
  5. Select the deleted files to recover and save them to another drive.

TestDisk can help recover lost data after factory reset, but advanced skills may be required to fully utilize its capabilities. It’s advisable to follow the step-by-step instructions when using TestDisk.

Using DiskDigger

DiskDigger is a free photo, video, and file recovery app for Android devices. Some key features of DiskDigger include:

  • Recovers deleted photos, videos, audio, documents, and more
  • Easy to use interface – simply scan your device and preview recoverable files
  • Sorts files by type and allows thumbnail previews
  • Recovers data even if your device was rooted or ROM flashed
  • Available for download on Google Play Store

To use DiskDigger to recover lost data after a factory reset on Android:

  1. Download and install the DiskDigger app from the Play Store
  2. Open DiskDigger and grant it root access if prompted
  3. Tap “Recover Photos” or “Dig Deep” to scan your device’s memory
  4. Preview found files and select those you want to recover
  5. Choose a save location like an SD card or cloud drive
  6. Tap “Recover” to restore your lost data

DiskDigger has free and paid versions. The free version will recover lower resolution photos and has limited sorting options, while the paid version ($2.99) recovers full resolution photos, video, and more file types.

For full instructions, see the DiskDigger tutorials here: https://diskdigger.org/tutorials

Success Rates and Limitations

The success rate for recovering data after a factory reset on Android devices varies depending on several factors. According to Salvagedata.com, they have a 96% success rate in retrieving lost data from failed storage devices regardless of the brand or complexity.[1] However, full recovery may not always be possible.

Factors that affect the success rate and limitations include:

  • How long ago the data was deleted – the sooner recovery is attempted, the better
  • Whether the phone has been reused significantly since the reset – this can overwrite the deleted data
  • The recovery tool used – some are more effective than others
  • The specific phone model and Android version – newer versions have improved security features
  • Whether the phone was encrypted – this makes recovery much harder
  • Extent of physical damage to the phone – hardware issues complicate recovery

While data recovery services claim high success rates, users should not expect full recovery in all cases. Typically at least some data can be retrieved unless the deleted files have been completely overwritten. But unique factors of each device and reset mean there are no guarantees when it comes to recovering data after factory reset.


Recovering data after a factory reset is possible with the right tools and knowledge. The best free software options are Recuva, TestDisk, and DiskDigger. These programs can help you restore your photos, documents, messages, and other important files. However, data recovery is never guaranteed.

Overall, the best way to recover your data is to act quickly before the files get overwritten. Focus the scan on relevant file types and storage locations. For the highest success rate, use a recovery program immediately after the reset and avoid adding any new data. Back up key information regularly so you aren’t put in this situation.

With some effort, free recovery software enables you to salvage lost data yourself. But if the files are irreplaceable, a professional recovery service may be worthwhile for their higher recovery rates. Be selective about what files are worth the investment.

In conclusion, resetting your device to factory settings doesn’t have to mean losing your data forever. With the right tools and techniques, there are still ways to recover your files and get them back.