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3 min read 17 comments

How to factory reset your Android phone

Has your smartphone suddenly frozen or stopped responding? Most of the time, restarting your phone should fix the problem. But, in some more serious cases, you have to resort to a factory reset. We'll tell you how to do both a soft and a hard reset of your Android phone here.

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How to restart your Android smartphone

Sometimes, phones freeze up for no apparent reason. While it's annoying, it can usually be fixed quickly and easily by restarting - also known as "rebooting" or doing a "soft reset" of your phone. This will give your phone a fresh start, and in theory, all your photos, apps and settings should be left intact. Here's how to do it.

  • If your phone suddenly freezes, just hold down its Power button for 30 seconds and it will restart itself.

Soft resetting your Android phone is just that simple! But, sometimes phones can continue on having problems, and it might be necessary to do a factory reset - a more extreme measure that will wipe out all your data, but will usually fix more stubborn issues.

How to factory reset your Android smartphone

If restarting your phone doesn't help the problem and your phone is still acting up, you might want to try a factory reset. This will restore your device to its factory settings. The process is also sometimes referred to as formatting or doing a "hard reset". Hard resetting your Android smartphone isn't actually very hard.

The easier way to do a factory reset is with the Settings menu, but if that isn't possible, you can also reset in Recovery Mode. Here are the instructions for both.

Factory reset your Android phone from the Settings menu

Be warned: this process will erase all the data from your device's internal storage, including personal files like photos. So, be sure to back up all your phone's data beforehand.

  1. In the Settings menu, find Backup & reset, then tap Factory data reset and Reset phone.
  2. You'll be prompted to enter your pass code and then to Erase everything.
  3. Once that is done, select the option to reboot your phone.
  4. Then, you can restore your phone's data.
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Sometimes you just have to go for the last resort. / © ANDROIDPIT

Factory reset Android in Recovery Mode

If your phone is so messed up that you can't access your Settings menu, there's still hope. You can reset in Recovery mode, using just the buttons of your phone.

If possible, back up your phone's data first, as this process will remove all data from your phone's internal storage.

  1. Turn your phone off.
  2. Hold the Volume down button, and while doing so, also hold the Power button until the phone turns on.
  3. You'll see the word Start, then you should press Volume down until Recovery mode is highlighted.
  4. Now press the Power button to start recovery mode. You should see an Android robot now.
  5. Once you're in Recovery mode, press and hold the Power button, and while doing so, press the Volume up button once, then let go of the Power button.
  6. Press Volume down until Wipe data/factory reset is highlighted, then press the Power button to select it. 
  7. Once that's done, press the Power button to select Reboot system now.
  8. Then, you can restore your phone's data.

Have you tried doing a soft or hard reset of your Android phone? Let us know how it went in the comments.


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  • Thanks for sharing

  • Should note there is a less drastic alternative to full factory reset using the same Power/Volume menu - wiping the system cache. The key presses and content of the hidden Menu varies by device - usually the OEM's website will provide steps. Wiping the system cache will often cure problems (especially after a major system upgrade leaving a lot of useless temporary muck) and does NOT wipe personal data and apps / settings, or restore bloatware as a factory reset does. Certainly worth trying before the factory reset "nuclear option".

  • My little sister(4yr) was playing with my phone and she mistakenly factory reset my phone so all my apps,games and file were gone but I had backed them in my hard-drive so always remember to back-up your pictures,music and very important files!

  • Will preinstalled bloatware be removed with factory reset?

  • thanks you

  • It works....yay!!!

  • if you take out a SIM card before you sell your phone I don't want to sound stupid but can somebody just buy a SIM card and how much are they?

  • Yes factory reset is nice but I recently had to and reset part is fine it's the other part that really sucks and that's Google, My things are alleged to be back up to Google and I only got a quarter of my contacts back contacted Google and that was not any help at all sent me to web Google contacts and they have this box in the way and of course not all contacts were there now I got some old some brand new ones but non of my most important contacts yes, I have just ran into problems with anything that has to do with Google ,there apps 3rd party apps. I will say one thing Google does not have the users best interest for that I am leaving Google for apple.

  • Anyone know if my Tune in recordings can be backed up so I can restore them after a reset on my nexus tablet?

    • Hard to say with Google I have nexus 6 Motorola and I this week had to do a factory reset and only gave me a quarter of my contact's so

  • my tablet has from top a home/back button, volume up, volume dwn and power button. i tried all possible ways to get that menu. can anybody pls help me? model .. dixon md9901

  • Hello. I see all the directions I even read all the directions to factory reset my Android but, I am still really leary to reset it. Is it a trust issue? Haha

  • thank u brother.........

  • Mike Aug 29, 2015 Link to comment

    Is this something you would recommend to do once in awhile, just to clear the bugs out?

    • Yes, maybe once in a year, especially if you've been messing with the phone a lot. Installing multiple apps, apks, things like that. But to get the maximum benefit, I'd suggest not taking the usual 'easy' route to back up your data. Like using manufacturer-provided software like Samsung SmartSwitch. The best thing to do is: 1. Use an app like SMS Backup & Restore to back up your messages. 2. Transfer all music, videos, pictures and documents to your pc. 3. Take out your SD card and format it using your pc and a card reader. 4. Factory reset hard using the hardware buttons. 5. Insert the SD card and format it again. 5. Now with your reset phone, restore your contacts using your Google account. 6. Re-download and re-sign in to the apps you use. 7. Restore your messages using the app mentioned above. 8. Scan the folder on your pc where you stored your data with a good antivirus. 9. Transfer the files to your SD card using WiFi transfer.
      If you really wish to get rid of bugs and slowness on your phone with a factory reset, it's better to follow this laborious method.

  • With the S6/edge it's volume UP. Home, Power buttons that must be pressed simultaneously for recovery mode if I'm not mistaken. Volume down , home, power is for download mode to root.

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