How to use the new reset options in Android Pie

Android Pie offers the ability to reset different options. So instead of running a factory reset, you could reset networking or app preferences. Jack Wallen shows you how.

The latest iteration of the Android platform has arrived (at least for the Pixel and Essential phones) and has turned out to be one of the best releases for the platform to date. It's cleaner, leaner, and all around more efficient. You'll find plenty of big new features (such as gesture-based navigation) and even more smaller features (many of which are tucked away and harder to find).

One of those harder to find features is the new reset options. Instead of only being able to reset the device to factory settings, it is now possible to decide what you'd like to reset. The available options are:

  • Reset Wi-Fi, mobile, and bluetooth
  • Reset app preferences
  • Reset to factory defaults

What each of these does is fairly self-explanatory. If you're having trouble with networking or bluetooth, you can now only reset those features. Apps causing you problems? Reset them all to a fresh install state. If your device (as a whole) is giving you problems, you can still do a factory reset.

SEE: Interview questions: Android developer (Tech Pro Research)

Let me show you how to work with these new options.

Finding the reset options

To locate the new feature, open up the Settings app and then go to System | Advanced | Reset options. In the new window (Figure A), you'll find the three available reset options.

Figure A

Figure A

The new reset feature in Android Pie.

Running a reset

Say, for instance, you're having trouble with networking or bluetooth. Tap the Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth entry. In the resulting screen (Figure B), tap the RESET SETTINGS button at the bottom of the window.

Figure B

Figure B

Resetting Wi-Fi, mobile, and Bluetooth.

Once you tap that RESET button, all configurations for Wi-Fi, mobile, and Bluetooth will be erased. You'll need to re-configure those options, and re-pair all necessary bluetooth devices. The same thing holds true with resetting app preferences (you'll have to re-configure all apps and log them back into any necessary service or account).

Of course, the Erase All Data option is the same as it ever was. Once you've run that reset, your device will be exactly as it was when it was first purchased.

Use with caution

As with any reset option, use this new feature with caution. For example, if you don't know your wireless network passwords, you could find yourself scrambling to connect. If you don't know your email passwords, you could be out of luck. But if one (or more) aspect of your Android device is misbehaving, with Pie you no longer have to reset to factory defaults to fix those networking or app issues.

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Image: Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.