Support

Open search

My 3-year-old factory reset my locked phone.. explain please?!

Highlighted
First Poster

Ok, so.. I took a 30 minute nap and meanwhile my 3-year-old must have found my S9+. When I woke up it was turned off (and on the floor on the other side of the bed so hence how I know for sure my toddler messed with it), which I found a bit weird. I started it up again and I'm greeted by the "Let's get started!" page.. So after finding all my passwords and logging in to access all the different accounts it has now begun the arduous process of restoring everything from my latest backup.. Guess I'm involuntarily starting the new year off with a blanker page than I wanted to.

 

However; what I'd like to know is:

1) HOW does a 3-year-old manage to factory reset a phone that  is set to require a 6 digit PIN to access?

2) How do I PREVENT this from ever happening again?!  Cuz "don't touch mommy's phone" isn't going to work.

 

Thanks in advance for any insight and/or help!

7 REPLIES 7
Highlighted

@Najten wrote:

However; what I'd like to know is:

1) HOW does a 3-year-old manage to factory reset a phone that  is set to require a 6 digit PIN to access?

2) How do I PREVENT this from ever happening again?!  Cuz "don't touch mommy's phone" isn't going to work.


1) You can do a factory reset without logging into the phone. There are situations where you have to do this, eg if you forgot your login credentials or the phone won't startup at all. Your 3-year-old has started the phone in the maintenance mode by simultaneously pressing the bixby, volume up and power buttons, then chosen with volume up and down the factory reset, then started it with the power button.

2) Lock the phone away.

Highlighted

On second thoughts : Happy New Year ... and wait for the letter from Hogwarts

Highlighted
First Poster

@RolfVonHessen wrote:

@Najten wrote:

However; what I'd like to know is:

1) HOW does a 3-year-old manage to factory reset a phone that  is set to require a 6 digit PIN to access?

2) How do I PREVENT this from ever happening again?!  Cuz "don't touch mommy's phone" isn't going to work.


1) You can do a factory reset without logging into the phone. There are situations where you have to do this, eg if you forgot your login credentials or the phone won't startup at all. Your 3-year-old has started the phone in the maintenance mode by simultaneously pressing the bixby, volume up and power buttons, then chosen with volume up and down the factory reset, then started it with the power button.

2) Lock the phone away.


I dunno.. I find it very hard to believe my 3-year-old managed to reset the device in the "normal" manner. Heck, even I get stuck trying to turn my (now reset) phone off as that also requires me to enter the PIN. 

Is there another way to do a factory reset on a locked phone?

 

Also, forgot to mention but might be relevant;

A few steps into the "Let's get started!" setup, the message "An unauthorised attempt has been made to reset your device to factory default settings".

To me, if this was an UNAUTHORISED attempt, why on earth did my unit go ahead and reset everything?! I lost quite a bit of data that for some reason hadn't been backed up. This annoys me so much, not to mention it makes me feel very uncertain about how safe my stuff is on these phones if someone can just go and delete everything without even having access to my passwords.. Especially someone that's just pushing random buttons. 

 

And yes, the phone is currently placed in a very high spot that only fully grown adults can see/reach. Basic lesson learned!

Highlighted

@Najten wrote:

@RolfVonHessen wrote:

@Najten wrote:

However; what I'd like to know is:

1) HOW does a 3-year-old manage to factory reset a phone that  is set to require a 6 digit PIN to access?

2) How do I PREVENT this from ever happening again?!  Cuz "don't touch mommy's phone" isn't going to work.


1) You can do a factory reset without logging into the phone. There are situations where you have to do this, eg if you forgot your login credentials or the phone won't startup at all. Your 3-year-old has started the phone in the maintenance mode by simultaneously pressing the bixby, volume up and power buttons, then chosen with volume up and down the factory reset, then started it with the power button.

2) Lock the phone away.


I dunno.. I find it very hard to believe my 3-year-old managed to reset the device in the "normal" manner. Heck, even I get stuck trying to turn my (now reset) phone off as that also requires me to enter the PIN. 

Is there another way to do a factory reset on a locked phone?

 

Also, forgot to mention but might be relevant;

A few steps into the "Let's get started!" setup, the message "An unauthorised attempt has been made to reset your device to factory default settings".

To me, if this was an UNAUTHORISED attempt, why on earth did my unit go ahead and reset everything?! I lost quite a bit of data that for some reason hadn't been backed up. This annoys me so much, not to mention it makes me feel very uncertain about how safe my stuff is on these phones if someone can just go and delete everything without even having access to my passwords.. Especially someone that's just pushing random buttons. 


The attempt was unauthorized because your daughter didn't enter the PIN. It was possible because this has to be possible : imagine that your phone doesn't properly work and you want to do a factory reset, then you'll have to do exactly what your daughter did. Now of course every thief could do that, steal your phone and factory reset it, and then what ? If he then could proceed as if it were a new phone, would you like that ? Probably not, and therefore if a phone has been reset from the recovery mode without giving PIN, Samsung and Google passwords the phone shows the unauthorized attempt ( attempt because it hasn't yet fully succeeded in making the phone workable again ) and asks for the credentials of the users who had properly used it when it was reset. That's called "Google Device Protection", see here :

https://www.samsung.com/us/support/answer/ANS00083965/

https://eu.community.samsung.com/t5/Galaxy-A-Series/Samsung-galaxy-A8-return-to-factory-settings-una...

Highlighted
First Poster
All the ways I found to do a reset on the S9+ require the phone to be turned off first. Something atleast I failed miserably at since both the Turn Off and Restart options required me to enter the PIN. Same thing if I attempted to access the Settings menu.. I guess it will turn off on its own after the battery runs out but that was on 96% when I found it later.
If I just tried holding the vol+, bixby, and power buttons, even when I held all for over 15 seconds, absolutely nothing happened while on the "enter PIN" page.

I also received a tip elsewhere that it could be some setting to reset if the wrong PIN is entered too many times? All I know is I've never had the "automatically reset device" enabled under Lock screen preferences, I've even double checked this before.. but could another app or setting be doing the same thing without me knowing? This seems more plausible atleast than my 3-year-old being more successful at manually resetting devices than their parent following an actual guide.
Highlighted

@Najten wrote:
All the ways I found to do a reset on the S9+ require the phone to be turned off first. Something atleast I failed miserably at since both the Turn Off and Restart options required me to enter the PIN. Same thing if I attempted to access the Settings menu.. I guess it will turn off on its own after the battery runs out but that was on 96% when I found it later.
If I just tried holding the vol+, bixby, and power buttons, even when I held all for over 15 seconds, absolutely nothing happened while on the "enter PIN" page.

I also received a tip elsewhere that it could be some setting to reset if the wrong PIN is entered too many times? All I know is I've never had the "automatically reset device" enabled under Lock screen preferences, I've even double checked this before.. but could another app or setting be doing the same thing without me knowing? This seems more plausible atleast than my 3-year-old being more successful at manually resetting devices than their parent following an actual guide.

You can force a shutdown/reboot by simultanously long pressing the Volume Down and the Power Buttons.

https://www.samsung.com/ca/support/mobile-devices/how-do-i-force-my-galaxy-s7-to-restart-screen-is-f...

The phone will shutdown. Then pressing Power + Volume Up + Bixby will start it into the maintenance mode. Pressing the 3 buttons while the device is in normal operational mode will do nothing.

Let's face it : your 3-year-old is a genius

Highlighted

@Najten : I tried to relate to you how the fast shutdown, recovery mode and the factory reset are triggered without giving credentials. I'd like to know whether you've read and understood what I wrote. I poured some effort into this, you know ? I'd appreciate it if you could mark my contributions as solving your questions.

Top Liked Authors