1. mj0's Avatar
    Why is hard resetting a Windows phone through settings so extremely slow? I'm seeing the cogs and a slowly moving progress bar - what's taking so long?

    I know that iOS for example only throws away its encryption key, therefore making all user-saved data unaccessible. The phone restarts thinking it's brand new and the entire process takes about as long as it takes for the phone to reboot. What exactly is Windows Phone doing when performing a hard reset?
    06-30-2015 07:55 AM
  2. vodda's Avatar
    It gets the job done in about 20-30mins on my phone, an old lumia 620 with terrible cpu and poor RAM, so I guess it takes a lot faster on modern devices.

    And I find even that rather fast. Applying user settings and installing apps takes time, hard reset on its own is fine.
    06-30-2015 08:07 AM
  3. mj0's Avatar
    Took a bit more than 15 minutes but it's finally finished. And no, that is not fast if you ask me - resetting my iPhone takes less than a minute, resetting an Android phone takes less than two minutes.

    What exactly is Windows Phone doing that it takes 15 minutes to reset a phone to factory defaults?
    06-30-2015 08:10 AM
  4. vodda's Avatar
    Most likely its copying all the files from "recovery partition" into "system".

    1 or 2mins in not possible for proper format, restore.
    Check how long it takes a desktop PC to install/restore Windows, no way a phone can do it faster.
    06-30-2015 08:20 AM
  5. rhapdog's Avatar
    iPhone and Android "quick resets" don't truly restore to original factory setup. They just change the encryption key, but data is all still there, just not accessible. Nothing is lost or formatted. Your OS is not refreshed, and the setting keys could still be corrupt if you have installed apps that have messed with them, especially on Android. If you want to do a proper reset on an iPhone or Android, you need to download and flash the firmware, which will take a bit longer than what it takes Windows Phone to do. Windows Phone keeps a copy in a recovery partition so that you don't have to download the 1.65GB it takes to download, thus actually saving you a bit of time to do a proper reset.

    Microsoft does a full format and firmware restore to factory settings because it is the MOST secure way to reset your phone.
    ncbartschi, chenhogi and mj0 like this.
    06-30-2015 08:36 AM
  6. ncbartschi's Avatar
    What rhapdog said, it's essentially a reformat and reinstall of Windows. Takes my M8 about 10 - 15 minutes, so it doesn't seem like yours is taking much longer than usual.
    06-30-2015 09:29 AM

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