Factory Reset and Viruses: Are They Linked?

Factory Reset and Viruses
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In the fast-paced digital world we inhabit, our electronic devices have become an integral part of our daily lives. However, with the convenience of technology comes the ever-present threat of viruses and malware that can compromise our devices’ security and personal data. When faced with such threats, one of the common recommendations is to perform a factory reset. But what exactly does this entail, and is it a foolproof solution to rid our devices of these digital intruders? In this article, we will explore the concept of factory resets and their potential link to eradicating viruses, delving into their effectiveness in restoring our devices to a secure state

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Understanding a Factory Reset:

A factory reset is a feature available on many modern devices like computers and smartphones.

It allows you to restore the device’s operating system and settings to their original state, removing any programs or files not included with the device. It’s like starting anew.

READ ALSO: Do I need an antivirus on my Windows?

Effectiveness of a Factory Reset:

Yes, a factory reset can be quite effective in removing most viruses and malware.

By returning the device to its original state, the reset unintentionally removes any infected files or programs. However, there are rare cases where certain types of malware can survive the reset.

How a Factory Reset is linked to a Virus?

A factory reset and viruses are indirectly linked when it comes to dealing with certain types of malware on electronic devices.

A virus is a type of malicious software designed to infect and harm electronic devices, replicating and causing damage, often allowing unauthorized access or control by cybercriminals.

A factory reset is a process that wipes all data and settings, essentially restoring the device to its original state. It can be effective in certain scenarios.

Virus Removal:

In cases where the virus or malware is confined to user-installed applications and data, a factory reset can serve as a means of removing the malicious software.

By erasing all user data, including the infected files, the reset effectively eliminates the virus.

Resolving Software Issues:

Some viruses or malware can cause severe software problems, leading to device crashes, freezes, or other issues.

A factory reset can help resolve such problems by starting afresh with a clean operating system and settings.

Virus Returning After Factory Reset:

If a virus keeps coming back even after a factory reset, a few scenarios might be at play:

Firstly, the backup you’re restoring to the device is infected, causing the malware to return.

Secondly, the recovery partition, which holds a clean system image for the reset, is infected.

Thirdly, sophisticated malware like rootkits can evade detection and removal during a factory reset.

And lastly, some malware can hide in the device’s peripherals, jumping back even after a reset.

What to Do Next:

If you encounter such persistent malware, try scanning the backup drive or using a rescue disc to inspect the device thoroughly. You can also wipe the computer’s storage and perform a clean install. Thechkdsk is a Command Prompt utility in Windows that checks for disk drive errors and ensures file system integrity.

Run this command in the command prompt/power shell to fix the viruses: chkdsk C: /f /r

It can fix issues on the drive and recover readable information from bad sectors. Use it with caution and consider backing up important data before running the command.

For mobile devices, contact the manufacturer, as they can wipe the storage and flash a new OS image to remove the infection.

Prevention is Key:

Instead of relying solely on factory resets, prevention is essential. Keep your device and apps up-to-date with the latest updates. Only install applications from reputable sources, such as official app stores.

Avoid clicking on unfamiliar links or opening suspicious attachments. Consider using additional security software like Malwarebytes to complement your device’s built-in protection. With these measures, you can reduce the risk of malware infections and keep your device safe.


In conclusion, a factory reset can be an effective way to remove most viruses and malware from your device by restoring it to its original state. However, some sophisticated malware may still survive the reset. It’s crucial to take preventive measures, such as keeping your device and apps up-to-date, installing software from reputable sources, and being cautious with links and attachments.

If persistent malware remains, consider seeking professional help or contacting your device manufacturer for further assistance. Prevention is key to maintaining a secure and virus-free device.