Reset Google Wallet before factory resetting your HTC EVO 4G LTE

One of the new awesome features included with the HTC EVO 4G LTE is Google Wallet with NFC technology. One of the not-so-awesome things about this new feature is that it’s way too easy to permanently break it.

Apparently when performing a factory reset, or even when flashing a new ROM, all Google Wallet functionality will be broken. This is due to a “secure element” that activates when it thinks someone is tampering with the device in an illicit attempt to gain access to your funds. And in this case, “tampering” can be something as common and routine as erasing all the data on your phone. Worst of all, there’s not even any warning that pops up about this before proceeding with the factory reset.

I’m not sure if Google is being overly cautious as a result of some recent bad press about the security of Google Wallet, but either way, I don’t like it.

So what should you do if you have already performed a factory reset on your EVO and no longer have access to Google Wallet? According to Google support, you will have to contact the phone manufacturer (in our case HTC) to initiate a warranty exchange. Ridiculous, right?

Luckily, there is a very easy way to completely avoid this massive headache. From now on, before resetting your EVO or flashing a new ROM, go into your Google Wallet settings and select “Reset Google Wallet.” This will remove all payment information from your device, and then you can continue on your merry way.

It’s worth noting that this does not only affect the EVO 4G LTE, but other NFC-enabled devices that use Google Wallet as well, including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. And given Google’s “solution” to the problem, it seems like a fix is not in the pipeline anytime soon.

It seems to me that Google is already having enough trouble getting merchants, consumers, and credit card companies to jump fully on board with Wallet, so I’m hoping that it wakes up and realizes that this is not acceptable. But in the meantime, just make sure you take that extra step before resetting your phone or flashing any new ROMs: you’ll be happy you did.

[Phandroid]
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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.