How to Factory Reset an Android Phone or Tablet

Dealing with occasional issues is a common part of owning a smartphone, and Android devices are no exception. One effective solution for persistent problems is performing a factory reset. Here, we’ll guide you on how to factory reset your Android device in various situations.

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Key Points

  • Performing a factory reset on your Android device wipes all data, restoring it to its initial configuration. This is valuable for selling it or addressing persistent issues.
  • Before resorting to a factory reset, attempt simpler fixes like force-closing apps, clearing the cache, or restarting your device, as these often resolve minor problems.
  • If your Android won’t start or you’re locked out due to a forgotten password, Recovery Mode enables a factory reset. Keep in mind, that you’ll need to sign in with your Google account afterward.

What Does a Factory Reset Do on Android?

A factory reset completely wipes an Android device, returning it to its original state, just as it was when it left the factory. Essentially, it’s like experiencing the initial setup of your Android device all over again.

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Performing a factory reset is crucial before selling or giving away your device to ensure your data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. It’s also a standard fix for persistent issues. When the cause of problems is elusive, starting fresh often resolves them.

Things to Try Before Resetting Your Phone

Performing a factory reset on your Android device is like a last resort for troubleshooting. Before taking such a drastic step, consider these alternatives.

Close Android Apps

If you encounter issues with a particular app, try force closing it as a first step to resolve the problem. This action is reserved for problematic apps and not meant for regularly used ones.

Clear Cache on Android

Similar to force-closing an app, clearing the cache can help resolve problems. It removes temporary files that may be causing issues. Clearing an app’s cache doesn’t reset the app or necessitate signing in again. However, it will download files again as you use the app, so be mindful of this if you’re on a mobile data connection.

Reboot Android Phone

At times, simply restarting your device can resolve an issue.

How to Factory Reset Android

As previously noted, performing a factory reset on your phone will return it to its original factory state. This means that all your photos, files, apps, and personal data will be erased. You will need to complete the initial Android setup once more.

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The specific steps for a factory reset can vary depending on your Android device. We have a comprehensive guide for factory resetting Samsung Galaxy phones, and below, we will outline the process for Google Pixel phones (which should be similar for other non-Samsung devices).

To begin, swipe down twice from the top of your screen to unveil the complete Quick Settings menu. Now, tap on the gear icon.

andriod settings icon

Scroll down completely until you reach the “System” section.

andriod settings

Choose “Reset Options.”

andriod reset options

Select “Erase All Data (Factory Reset).”

erase all data

The following screen will display a list of what will be deleted and all the currently signed-in accounts. To proceed, tap “Erase All Data.”

erase all data andriod

You will need to input your lock screen PIN or password and then tap “Erase All Data” once again to confirm.

erase all data andriod

The device will initiate the process of erasing all data and will then restart.

How to Factory Reset Android If It Won’t Boot

If your phone is inoperable, a factory reset can often resolve critical issues like boot failures. To access “Recovery Mode,” a troubleshooting interface, ensure your device is adequately charged


Performing a factory reset via Recovery Mode on Android will require you to sign in with the same Google account afterward. This security measure prevents unauthorized reset attempts to deter theft.

To enter Recovery Mode, use a specific button combination depending on your Android device:

  • Samsung Galaxy: Press Power + Volume Up.
  • Google Pixel: Press Power + Volume Down.
  • OnePlus: Press Power + Volume Down.
  • Motorola: Press Power + Volume Down.

Now that you’re familiar with the button combinations, let’s proceed. Ensure your device is powered off, then press and hold the designated buttons until the screen activates.

You have now entered Recovery Mode. Utilize the volume buttons to highlight “Wipe Data/Factory Reset” and press the Power button to confirm your selection.

andriod force reset

Once more, employ the volume buttons to select “Factory Data Reset,” then press the Power button to confirm your choice.

andriod factory data reset

The device will now proceed with the factory reset process and subsequently reboot, returning you to the initial setup screens.

How to Factory Reset an Android Phone When Locked

If you’re locked out of your Android device due to a forgotten password, the process for factory resetting it is the same as when dealing with a device that won’t boot up. You’ll need to follow the Recovery Mode method explained earlier.


Please remember that after performing a factory reset, you’ll be required to sign in with the same Google account. This security measure is in place to prevent unauthorized access and usage of stolen phones, as resetting via Recovery Mode alone won’t grant access without the associated Google account credentials.

How to Reset a Lost Android Phone

A valuable use case for factory resetting is when dealing with a lost phone. It allows you to remotely erase all data from the device, ensuring it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. The good news is that you can utilize this feature even if you hadn’t set it up beforehand.

This feature is known as “Find My Device,” and it comes pre-installed on Android devices with the Google Play Store. You’ve already signed into it when you initially set up your phone with your Google account details.

You can use “Find My Device” through both the website and the Android app. Importantly, there’s no need to have the Android app installed on the lost device; it’s solely for viewing and controlling your devices remotely.

Once you’ve signed in with your Google account, you’ll have access to a list of your devices. Simply choose the lost device from the list.

google find my device

Beneath the device, opt for “Erase Device” and subsequently reaffirm your choice by clicking “Erase Device” once more.

google find my device erase device

If the factory reset process doesn’t resolve your issues or doesn’t function as expected, there may be an underlying hardware problem with your device. If your device is still within the warranty period, it’s advisable to seek repair or a replacement. In the worst-case scenario, it might be time to consider getting a new Android phone.

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