Welcome to the android forums and especially welcome to Android. Youíre going to love it!
Factory data resets are a powerful tool for fixing software related issues. The all powerful and amazing Android OS being open source allows many configurations and customizations to be added to their phones, and the app market is the same. Sometimes an application thatís old or out of date or not written as well as it could be can cause problems with your device and when it comes to software related issues there is no better cure than a factory data reset or if itís a serious issue a Hard reset.
lunatic59 was right in everything he said. Sparkles was spot on too. The factory data reset or hard reset will erase everything that you have personally changed or added to your phone. This includes settings, applications, contacts, pictures, messages, call histories, EVERYTHING gets erased from the phone except for its default settings and the operating system itís self. As lunatic59 said itís as if your phone is brand new again ďout of the boxĒ.
So if youíre thinking of performing a factory data reset on your Android phone do what Sparkles mentioned and make sure to backup all of your phones information.
Your Android phone will save a lot of its information to the primary Gmail account but you can also save a lot of your information to your computer and SD card. The main thing and most common thing to look for on your phone to backup are your pictures which are in the Camera Folder which is in the DCIM folder on your device. The Music folder, Picture folder, Download folder, are also common files to copy to an SD card or a computer. If you want to do it through your phone you might need to download a file manager to manually move those files yourself. Samsung and Motorola have some pretty decent files managers built in but I donít believe the ZTE has oneÖ unless it came with ASTRO File managerÖ if it didnít you can download it off of the Play Store for free. If you need help using ASTRO to transfer your files from your phone to your SD card then Saving pictures from an Android Phone to a Memory Card using ASTRO File Manager
should help point you in the right direction. Not only with your pictures but with any files on your device.
As far as software goes though a Factory Data Reset wipes the slate clean and starts the phones as a fresh install. A reset DOES NOT affect the version of your Android operating system though. If you bought your phone on Android 4.0 and you upgraded the phone to 4.1 then a reset will not cause the phone to go back to 4.0. It will reboot with the 4.1 or whatever the latest OS is that was put onto the device. Remember this for rooting as well. If you flash a bad OS on your phone then a Factory Reset isnít going to fix it.
Your phone, unless a nexus, or unlocked none branded phone, will have some bloatware added by your wireless provider. Usually this isnít a big deal butÖ some people do root their phones to get as close to pure Android as they can.
If you want more information about backing up or resetting then How to Backup and Reset an Android Phone
might help to get you started. Or in some cases How to Hard Reset an Android phone
might be the better option in certain circumstances. Just make sure you backup everything before you reset or root your phone.
Good luck Plantroon
If you have any more questions donít hesitate to come back to the forums and ask.