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How to hard reset any Android device

Updated on May 1st, 2021

A few days ago, I had a big issue with my Android phone. All of a sudden, it got stuck, and I couldn’t do anything. Pressing buttons did not have any effect, neither did my attempts to scroll the screen. It seems that something was lagging, and I needed to reset my device.

How? Let’s go set by step and see.

Difference between Reset and Reboot

The first thing I’d like to explain is the difference between reset and reboot. For most people, those are synonyms. However, in “Android” terminology, those words have an entirely different meaning. Please don’t confuse it.

A reboot simply restarts your phone. A reset wipes all data to clear bugs. So, if your phone is stuck and has some minor lags as mine did, you need an Android reset.

Difference between Soft and Hard reset

Yes, there is more terminology for you. Even though it sounds funny, there is good logic behind the terms “Soft” and “Hard” reset. If you are using your phone software to reset it, we are speaking about a soft reset. On the other hand, if we are talking about any hardware part, such as a battery, that would be a so-called hard reset.

A hard reset is applied when your phone’s software is not operative or not responsive. Usually, you should first try a soft reset, which is something your phone is “used to”, and it’s considered a standard method. However, if it doesn’t work, you can always switch to a hard reset. Let’s see how. 

How to Hard Reset any Android phone or tablet

As already discussed, a hard reset implies using hardware parts. On older Android models, this is very simple. Open your phone’s cover, take out the battery, wait a minute and put it back. And the reset is done.

However, new Android devices do not have this option. The battery is built-in, and you cannot even access it. This is why now we have a bit advanced approach – hold your Volume Up and Power button simultaneously for 20 seconds, and your phone should reset automatically. It will look like it’s shut off, but after 10-15 seconds, it will turn on with issues fixed.

Reset to Factory Settings

Before starting a reset, make sure that your device has at least 75% of the battery. The best would be to have a charger nearby, just in case. Android devices make it easy to return your phone to factory settings. To do so, go to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset.

If you can’t access your settings for some reason, you will need to reset your device in Recovery mode.

To boot into recovery mode, make sure that the device is powered off, then follow these instructions:

If your device has a physical Home button, follow these steps:

If your phone does not have a Home button nor separate Power button, follow these steps:

If you see something else on your device, we recommend checking your manufacturer’s support site for device-specific instructions.

What if…

… your device doesn’t turn on at all? Your phone might be soft-bricked. Check out our guide on how to fix soft bricked Android phones.

… you want to make a backup before resetting to factory settings? In most cases, you won’t have to worry. Most of your device’s content will be linked to your Google account anyway: apps you downloaded, contacts, messages, emails, etc. However, if you are rooted (that’s how you root an Android phone), you can make a so-called Nandroid backup, which can be restored so that your phone will look and feel exactly like before.

If you have any other ideas how to perform hard reset of your device, or there is something I did not cover, please let us know it the comment section below!

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Daniel Bulygin

Daniel's passion is optimizing stuff, making it work better and faster. He likes tech, entrepreneurship and the outdoors. Online Marketer | Entrepreneur | Hard Worker | Smart Thinker | Techie
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