How to Flash a Smartphone


Restoring your device to factory settings should not be the first step in diagnosing and fixing your issue, but it could be an important last troubleshooting step before taking it to a licensed smartphone tech. Each smartphone has a slightly different process to restore itself, but you may be able to recover a device that was previously unresponsive.


  • Connect your iPhone to your computer and wait for iTunes to detect it.

  • Click “Devices” in the left side of the screen, followed by your iPhone.

  • Click “Restore” from the summary tab. All media and data is be removed from your iPhone. Apple recommends you backup your device by connecting it to iTunes if possible before restoring it.


  • Tap on your menu button from the home screen of your device. Locate “Settings” and tap on it.

  • Tap on Privacy, from the list of settings, and then click “Factory Data Reset.”

  • Read the message informing you that all internal storage will be lost, including records of your Google Account and any downloaded applications. Tap on the button to reset your SD card if necessary and then tap “Reset Phone” to complete the process.

Windows Phone

  • Tap the “Settings” cog wheel from the list of applications on your Windows phone.

  • Tap “About” followed by “Reset your phone.”

  • Read the warnings about resetting your phone, and then tap on “Yes” twice to complete the process. Your phone is restored within a few minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can remotely restore a Windows phone in case you lose it. Visit the Windows phone website and click “Find My Phone” from the upper right corner. Click “Erase” to remotely erase all data on your phone.
  • Apple allows users to track their devices from iCloud. Sign into iCloud and click on “Find My iPhone” to search for your device and remotely control it.

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  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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