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How to

How to Factory Reset Android Phone/Tablet (Hard & Soft Reset)

If your Android phone or tablet is acting up or somehow became slow, one of the most common solutions to fix such issues is by performing a device factory reset. And you’re probably here because you want to know how to do it.

Factory resetting a device is quite easy to do. You can do this in 2 different ways, one is by doing hard reset while the other one is by a soft reset.

Factory Reset – Hard Reset & Soft Reset

The main difference between the hard and soft reset method is how they are done. Hard reset requires pressing buttons in a certain situation and procedure while soft reset is done through the device settings.

Note: Before attempting to factory reset your device, ensure that you back up the data of your device first. So that you can keep your important files and restore them after the reset.

How to Factory Reset Android Phone/Tablet – Hard Reset Method

In most cases, the standard or usual way to factory reset your Android phone/tablet is through device settings or soft reset. However, there are cases that the issue is so severe that it prevents you from doing a soft reset. For example, an issue like a boot loop or device is unable to boot properly. Issues like that will prevent you from doing a soft reset and the only way you can do a factory reset in that situation is by hard reset.

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Factory Reset Recovery Mode

To do a device factory reset via hard reset, simply do the following steps:

1. Turn Off Device

The first step in doing the device hard factory reset is by turning off the device. Turning off the device is requires since you will need your phone or tablet to access the device bios system. Which is a separate system and is not part of Android OS.

2. Press & Hold Power & Volume Up Button Simultaneously

The next step is to press and hold the power and volume up button simultaneously.

In some handset models, pressing the buttons requires timing. For example, for Huawei phones, you need to let go of the buttons once the Huawei logo appears. In some Samsung Android phones, you also need to press the home/navigation button.

Once successful, you will be booted to the device system. You will then be able to either wipe date of the device (factory reset), wipe cache partition, or reboot the device whereas the latter will not delete anything.

How to Factory Reset Android Phone/Tablet – Soft Reset Method

The device factory soft reset method is the most common and usual way of restoring an Android phone or tablet to its factory settings. To do this, you simply have to go to your device settings and search for the factory reset option.

This step can also vary from device to device since, in some models, the option to do this is found somewhere else within the general settings of the device.

As a standard, you can do the following to factory reset your Android device:

1. Launch General Device Settings

First is to launch the Settings app. This is the general settings of your phone/tablet. It’s the user interface where you can change the brightness of the display, connect to Wi-Fi, etc.

2. Navigate to Device System

Inside the settings UI, look for “System” and tap on it.

Note:

  • In some Android smartphone models, the option to factory reset the device is found within the “Backup and reset” option.
  • Additionally, some handset models will not have the “System.” You will simply have to look for the factory reset option.

3. Look for Reset

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Reset Phone Option

Inside the “System” UI, look for “Reset” and tap on it.

4. Select Phone Reset

To start the factory reset process, select “Phone Reset” option and proceed to do so.

Most Searched Questions Related To Factory Reset

Resetting Device to Factory Defaults

Nowadays, smartphones and tablets are more powerful under the hood compared to how they were years ago. Additionally, the latest handset models have bigger storage and RAM which are 2 of the greatest factors that affect the speed and responsiveness of these devices.

Although, it’s undeniable that some still and will suffer some issues that will require a factory reset just to address them. But before you decide to factory reset your device, make sure that you do a backup of files and data that you want to have later on after the reset.

Have questions? Comments? Suggestions? Hit us up in the comment section below!

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41 Comments

  1. 3 months ago I purchased a Sony Xperia X2. I liked it. It came with Android 4.4.4.
    It had a tremendous battery power and speed.
    About two weeks ago the update to Android Lollipop 5.0 arrived.
    I installed it. And I HATE it!!!
    The phone battery lasts 30-40% shorter.
    The phone is slower. The mail program went lousy. I can no longer zoom in the web browser. And so on and on and on…

    I would make a factory reset tomorrow if I would get my Kit Kat 4.4.4 back.
    But everyone says I will only get Lollipop back with a clean phone.
    I don’t want to make a factory reset if I only lose my data.
    I want my original operating system back.
    It’s a shame you don’t mention this in your article.
    So tell me now: Will I get my KitKat back with a factory reset or only this f****ng Lollipop thing? /Very very sad Xperia owner.

    1. Ola Ola!

      Sorry for the confusion, the factory reset will not downgrade the OS. Your phone will remain with Android 5.0. However if you are aware of rooting and installing custom ROMs you can get the previous version back but that is a rather long process. Tell me is your phone still in warranty? Sony really messed things up with their version of Lollipop. My dad’s Xperia Z3 also became utterly useless after it so I installed Kit Kat back 🙂

  2. I have a Samsung Galaxy s5 and I got the update to the 5.0 and the update sick big time if I do this factory reset will the update be romoved?

    1. Rodney,

      No man, you will still be with Android lollipop unfortunately. Judging by the sheer number of people angry about Lollipop, I should make a rooting and installing custom ROM guide soon.

  3. I have a Galaxy Note 3. I used odem I believe to unlock my wifi hotspot feature. I know have pda.net app that does it with needing to root the phone. I am running 4.3 Android. Sprint has finally giving the software updates for Android, but it will not give it to me because it can tell I do not have factory Android. Please tell me how to get it back to factory or what do you think I should do? Thanks

    1. Did you root the smartphone? If yes did you bypass the Knox protection? I’m afraid there is no way to go back to stock Android if you have ignored the protection. However you can flash the new update using ODIN too 🙂 Simply download the new update and flash it like you did before. I will try to write a full guide for this as I also have the same Galaxy Note 3 smartphone (international version) and I flashed Android 5.0 a month back.

  4. Related to this, I bought my HTC one m7 from a hong Kong distributor. The language after reset is Chinese, which I don’t speak or read. Any idea what I could do so that I can change to English ideally before or after reset?

    1. Sacristan,

      Usually after a reset, Android will ask you which language you want to set. Its a simple list which you can scroll up and down to select your preferred language. In case the menus are in Chinese, look for a line like this “英语” it means English 🙂

  5. I already have Easy Backup, so that was an easy choice to ruin a backup. When I go for the reset process, the n box is checked for ‘Back up My Data’, which it says goes to a Google server. Do I need both, and does the info restore automatically from the Google server?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi David,

      Its better to have two backups. Google only stores contacts and light information automatically. Although pictures and videos can be saved by using Google+. And yes your information and contacts will automatically restore when you login your account after factory reset.

  6. What about the apps I have purchased? Can I reinstall them or will I need to purchase them again?

    1. Hi Denise,

      Any apps you purchase are bound to your Google account. Simply login your Google account which you are using right now after factory reset and the apps will automatically start downloading 🙂

  7. U could make the post comprehensive. Also. Doing a reset does not guarantee data will be not recoverable after some one buy a the phone.

    1. Do you have custom recovery or installed a ROM? Then I suggest you only factory reset from the settings and not recovery menu (this method is not listed here though). It will not unroot your device 🙂

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    1. Keith,

      Yes you will lose all contacts in your address book. But if you have enabled contact backup on your Google account, the device will automatically download them once you login after the reset.

    1. Hi There,
      You are most welcome for the information and I am glad to hear that we were able to help. Please feel free to come back and to share your positive experience in your social media accounts. Thanks for commenting! =-)

  9. Looking for an easy step-by-step guide to update the operating system for my Samsung Galaxy Tab4 Nook, SM-T230NYKAXAR tablet. It is currently KitKat (4.4). I’d like to take it to Marshmallow. Can you help?

    1. Hi Nick,
      We don’t have one right now but we will be more than happy to put one together for you. Please stay tuned to see your step by step guide. Thanks for commenting. =-)

    1. Hi Celine,
      The first thing you need to do is boot into safe mode and once you in it, go to Settings>Apps>Apps Manager and look for any suspicious looking apps or the apps you installed right before your phone started showing symptoms of malware. Please let me know how this works out for you. =-)

  10. Hi JOA Team,
    I have an LG4 android with an unresponsive screen. All it shows is “LG powered by Android” with a black background. I’ve tried ejecting the battery-no joy, pushing/holding the volume down button + power on/off key and selecting safe-mode- no joy, pushing/holding the volume down button + power on/off key and selecting factory reset- nothing (tried that twice). It just reverts to showing “LG powered by Android” with a black background. Before I thought I had downloaded something bad and decided to add the McAfee app to my phone,, it was working. Yeah, I know I lost everything prior to performing the factory reset as I could not backup ANYTHING. But before I go to a Verizon store and “raise hell”, any thoughts of what might work for somebody else? Thanks

    1. What have you tried so far? Do you not know what your Google Account password is? You can try these options to reset your password. Some people have had poor luck with the Android Device Manager, though. It sets a new password and some have reported having to master reset their phone.

  11. My phone got stolen months ago, got new phone. recently got old phone back and is stuck in safe mode, how do i factory reset it? It’s an LG Optimus fuel

  12. I have an old Samsung Galaxy S4 from Sprint..This phone is not in use now as we upgraded to Apple. It is unlocked for international. But when I tried to use it for different carrier at USA, it says, “Invalid SIM card”.Any thoughts? Do I have to unlock for local USA use? if so, will a factory reset, help?

    1. You need to unlock the phone for use in the US, too. A factory reset won’t help. You’ll need to take the phone to one of the carrier’s physical locations to have the device unlocked.

  13. I have rebooted my phone yesterday, still its showing as erasing. When my phone starts..?? Please help me.. What should I do to start my phone.

  14. I had done hard reset my vivo 1603 sometimes back but forgotten the pattern lock. Now I am not able to reset it again as it asks for the pattern. What can be done.. Is there a way to factory reset all again?

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