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Factory Reset Protection: what you need to know

The system Factory Reset Protection (factory restore protection) which is activated on Android phones, helps keep your data safe in case the phone is lost or stolen. But it is also necessary to remember to deactivate it before a new user to whom you have sold or given the phone can configure it and access it. Let's see what is important to know if you have activatedFactory Reset Protectionon your Android smartphone.

Factory Reset Protection (FRP) a protection system designed by Google to prevent you from resetting a phone from recovery, rendering it unusable until you authenticate with your Google account. This system ensures that a foreigner cannot reset the phone and restore it to factory settings, useful in the case you lost or was stolen. Starting with Android 5.1 Lollipop, FRP became a "standard" on the stock version of Android and most phone manufacturers have implemented this system on their own models. It is to be considered an excellent method of protection, because it makes it more difficult to use a stolen phone, which is nevertheless attractive to thieves, protecting data on a phone we have lost.

The problem that people, in an unconscious way, sell or even give Android phones with Factory Reset Protection enabled and this makes things difficult for the user who receives it. In fact, with FRP enabled, the device cannot be restored with new access data.

How Factory Reset Protection works

To better understand what Factory Reset Protection is for, let's think about what a device thief would do.

A thief, after stealing an Android phone, first tries to reset it to factory settings. Not being able to do it because of any protection system inserted on the phone (password, fingerprints, etc.), it will try to practice the reset procedure by entering inrecovery mode, succeeding. At this point, he will try to enter the device to use it, but not having the authentication data (email and password) of the Google account entered by the phone owner, he will not be able to use it. Therefore, I will have not a mobile phone, but an unusable brick. This is possible of course, only if FRP was previously enabled.

If you have sold or given the phone and want the new user to use it immediately with the new login details, you must remember to turn off FRP. If this does not happen and you sent it or the user started, you must share your login information with the new user, to allow him to change the password. This comporter that for the next 72 hours from the password change, it is not possible to update the data.

The good news that disable FRP easy. The bad news that there is nothing you can remember to do when you're cleaning the phone. For example, I'd like to see an alert on FRP when we restore the phone, much like what we see when we see that we can lose our data. Until then, you are the one who will have to remember to disable it when you are preparing a phone ready to send it to someone else. Let's see how.

The procedure for disabling FRP

  • Open the Settings device and remove any protection you have on the lock screen. This is not a mandatory step for all phones, but some want you to do it, so we include it as a process.
  • Once done, you need to remove all your Google accounts from the phone or from the ticket. This can also be done in Settings. Search for the section named Account. Select an account and look for the option to delete or remove it, usually find it in the menu that opens by clicking on the dots in the upper corner of the screen.

Factory Reset Protection 1

  • Once you have ensured that all Google accounts have been deleted, you can now reset your phone or tablet by making factory reset(factory data reset) via the Settings -> Backup and Restore on the device.

Factory Reset Protection 2Some notes to keep in mind. This operation does not cancel Samsung's Reactivation Lock (or any other method). If you have enabled data reset protection through your Samsung account, you must disable it in the security settings. You can find the switch on the phone in the "Find my phone".

If you forgot to disable FRP before handing over the phone to someone else, you will probably have to help him set it up, because without your data you won't be able to do it yourself. This means that you must give him the password to access your Google account. After giving your login information, have the foresight to go immediately to reset your Google account password, because you certainly don't want someone else to have your password. However, disabling FRP before sending the phone to someone else is the best solution, try to remember it before selling your phone.

It can happen, unfortunately, that instead of losing the phone you lose or forget the password of the Google account to which you have connected the Android phone. In this case it would be a real problem, but if you have a Samsung or Nexus device, there is a way to bypass the protection. In this case I suggest you read this guide on how to bypass Samsung Factory Reset Protectionsu. To bypass Nexus phones, I suggest you read this guide instead on how to bypass Factory Reset Protection on Nexus.

Some warnings for experienced Android users:

If you change the default protection on your Android phone (root, unlock the bootloader or simply check the box to allow it) this problem and these instructions are not for you. It means that most aspects related to the security and integrity of the operating system are no longer relevant to you. In itself not a bad thing, unless you have made the changes without understanding the implications.

Finally, if you're using a phone with an older Android version than 5.1.1, I'm not sure this method could be applicable. The decision depends on the manufacturer of your phone. Probably no Android update will allow FRP to be used on a phone that has not been provided since its release.