I have a Verizon Prepaid Samsung Galaxy J1 phone I bought in 2015. I was leaning against my phone, picked it up and saw the green Android alien along with a moving gear icon and the word "erasing." The phone restarted with the red Verizon logo, and then brought me to a page showing the "Setup Wizard" asking me to choose my language. So I'm assuming that the phone factory reset, although I don't see how that's possible if I never actually swiped the screen but possibly leaned against the phone buttons.
I don't have any sort of backup app on my phone. As far as I know, my phone wasn't synced to any sort of online storage or "cloud." I have at least 50 important contacts saved to my phone that aren't written down anywhere, business text messages, etc.
I Googled and noticed a few paid software and apps that claim they can help a phone owner restore photos, contacts, texts, etc to a phone after an accidental factory reset. But I don't know if they work, if they're malware, or if I'll somehow disable my service by using them (one claims your phone has to be rooted for the software to work). I left my phone on the Setup Wizard screen because I'm also afraid that if I finalize the setup wizard, maybe data that could have been recovered won't be.
Am I simply out of luck? Can Verizon help restore at least my contacts/texts on their end, should I buy Android data recovery software, or is all of that information lost forever?
You should check from a computer to see if you had saved the contacts to your Google account. You can also get the Google Drive to see if there was any kind of backup of the device there.
I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.
Genearlly speaking an Android device requires a Google account. You may have had your contacts set to backup with Google.
Go to: contacts.google.com and loging with your Google credentials (what you used to login to your J1) and see if your contacts are listed there. As along as you had the default toggled to on for contacts they will be backed up.
If your device wasn't encrypted there is a small chance maybe a 3rd party company could recover your data. To me that is a LONG shot.
Also, did you use VZ Messages aka Messages+? I ask because if you did you can restore those messages to get any contacts back that you had a text message conversation with. My buddy has a small business and didn't have all this content backed up but his Verizon Messages were and it was a lifesaver.
Sounds like you haven't logged back into the phone yet. You could try the desktop app to see if any info can be restored.
Good luck and let us know.