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Is there any way to prevent a factory reset, like password protection? I would basically like to protect my phone from resetting if it gets stolen.

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I'm doubtful this is possible... as they say "physical access is root access", if they physically have your device they will most likely be able to get around any measures that protect it. –  Bryan Denny Jan 31 '12 at 18:48
Even if you somehow render the phone useless to a thief, I doubt you're going to get it back. –  Nick T Feb 3 '12 at 19:38
You will always be able to get ADB access to the device if you have physical access by going into recovery mode, which means that no, you can't stop someone from doing a factory reset. –  bigbadonk420 Feb 15 '13 at 13:21
I've actually contacted Samsung about the fact you can still factory reset devices even when there encrypted, they said they would let the "hire up" security team know. Otherwise, just dont lose your phone or anyone could reset it like its new! –  user53077 Feb 7 '14 at 19:08
I would assume that it's by design. The encryption is there to protect your private data not to brick your device in case you've lost the encryption passphrase. –  Flow Feb 8 '14 at 0:14

3 Answers 3

Not possible on any stock recoveries that I have seen. A custom recovery would be needed for something like this, although there would be nothing preventing someone from flashing a different Recovery that doesn't have password protection.

Honestly though, factory resetting your device is probably the best thing a thief can do, since this wipes your personal data (at least the portion that's stored on the phone's internal memory.)

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I believe it's possible to protect your phone from the hard reset in case it's stolen from you or something related to that.

I would recommend avast! Mobile Security for your mobile phone. It contains a lot of features including the "anti theft" provision. In case your phone is stolen, you can remotely control it using other phone numbers. You can also activate the hard reset protection on your phone and thieves won't be able to activate the hard reset or factory reset on your phone. You can also decide how your phone should behave after the SIM has been changed. For example, the app can close all access to the phone settings, hence closing all acts of trying the factory reset and the hard reset protection simply recovers all data if a hard reset is attempted.

It has worked for me, and I have recovered my Android phone twice now.

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Geez, couldn't you even give a link? –  Al E. Feb 15 '13 at 13:20

Apart from using the Anti-virus which might or might not work, I think you should try applications that can protect certain area of your Android while allowing access to some.I use applock to protect access to my messages and gallery, I think you could also use this application to lock access to settings that lead to factory reset.I think that's the only way for now.There are other applications too that can work much better if you do some research.

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