The latest Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2 update will bring a very useful and practical feature - Reset Protection. The official documentation reveals that Reset Protection will save a stolen device from getting reset, so any unauthorised person won't be able to reset or flash your stolen Windows Phone device and start using it.
Introduced in Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2, Reset Protection helps you secure a device in case it is stolen. It must be enabled on the device during manufacturing time.
Reset Protection consists of the following parts:
- Reset and reactivation protection – The stolen device cannot be reused by resetting or flashing the device. When a user performs a factory reset on the device, they will be asked to enter the Microsoft Account credentials that are associated with that device. Additionally, if the device is flashed with a new image and Reset Protection is turned on, the Microsoft Account credentials that were associated with that device is required to finish OOBE and use the device.
- Anti-rollback protection – If Reset Protection is enabled, the stolen device cannot be flashed to an earlier version of the operating system that did not support Reset Protection.
This confirms that if your device was stolen with protection lock, the thief won't be able to reset it or flash older software on it. However, this feature needs to be activated by smartphone manufacturers, so it is possible that not every device will come with Reset Protection. Also, the manufacturer or the operator can disable 'Reset Protection' with help of a recovery key, just in case you don't remember your Microsoft account credentials.