How to Hard Reset or Factory Reset and Format Android Phones and Tablets

It could be any reason as to why you are looking to Hard Reset or Factory Reset and Format your Android phone or tablet.

Formatting the device removes all apps and personal data from phone, including contacts, messages, etc. and even delete everything on internal memory of the phone, too, meaning camera photos, files (videos, songs, etc.) downloaded or saved on internal sdcard may get deleted too. Files on internal sdcard may not be deleted if yours is an old Samsung Android device, like the Galaxy S2 or Galaxy S1.

But before doing a Hard Reset, make sure you’ve made all important backup of contacts, messages, apps and their data and also transferring the songs, photos, videos and other files from internal memory/SD card to computer.

» Use Our BACKUP GUIDE for Android Device to backup important data before a Factory Reset

Moreover, you can backup your Apps and their data too (game progress, app settings, etc.), without Root access, using Helium Android App.

Of course, you’ll be able to backup using apps only if your device is restarting all fine. Otherwise, only if you have a CWM/TWRP recovery installed, you can create a backup of full system (all apps and their data) from the recovery itself only, and even transfer files to PC if Mount option under the recovery is working fine.

Why Hard or Factory Reset to Format Your Android Device

A very simple reason would be that you are looking to sell your phone and want all personal data off your device. Or, maybe handing it over to on of your family member.

But, some desperate reasons for a Factory Reset would be: device not restarting after you messed with root, recovery or custom ROM, too many force closes, or malware/virus or other bad apps that are troubling you from using the Android phone or tablet easily.

Sometimes, when you feel device has slowed down too much then before, given its otherwise good hardware, and hangs up too much, then in those cases too, rather than uninstalling apps one by one, you may want to Hard Reset your Android device, as formatting would remove all data off your device and make it just like you first bought it.

How To Hard Reset or Factory Reset and Format Your Android Phone and Tablet from HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony or any other OEM

There are two situations your device is in when you are trying to do a Hard Reset:

  1. The device is working properly and CAN be POWERED ON all good, and
  2. Device isn’t able to boot/start up properly, and you cannot use it. We’ve got two methods for you under this scenario: Fastboot and Hard Reset.

So, let’s see what we can do in both of these situations.

1. Doing a Hard Reset when you CAN POWER ON your device properly

Compatibility!

All Android devices of all OEMs are compatible.

You can do a factory reset and format your phone easily in this case, when you can Power On your device successfully and starts up all good.

» To do a Hard Reset, just go to Settings » and locate the option Backup and reset. Here, you’ll have the option Factory data reset, which formats your phone and does the Hard Reset.

This is what you are looking for — tap on it and next screen will show you what and what will be permanently deleted from your device. Tap on Reset device and it will be completely format your device to delete your contacts, messages, call logs, apps and their settings, games and game progress, and song, videos, movies and other files on the internal memory/SD card. Files on external SD card won’t be deleted, btw.

Tip: Be sure to have appropriate backup done before doing a Factory Reset.

That’s it. It’s that easy to do a Factory Reset when your phone is starting fine normally.

2. Using FASTBOOT for Hard Reset when you CANNOT POWER ON your device properly

Compatibility!

All Android devices which have Fastboot mode, are compatible. All devices of HTC, Motorola, LG, Sony, etc. have it, but as regards Samsung, only Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S have it.

TIP: About the Power Off.

If you can’t Power Off your device, then simply remove the battery and place it back after 10 seconds. And IF the battery of your device is non-removable one, then do a Force Power Off: simply press and hold the Power button for like 20 seconds and it shall power off completely.

Here’s how to do perform a Hard Reset using Fastboot mode on your device.

  1. Prepare your phone. Disconnect your phone from PC if connected and do this:
    • Enable developer options: Go to your phone’s Settings » select About phone » Scroll to the bottom and tap on “Build number” seven times to enable developer options. [Skip this part for Android 2.3 and below versions, as it’s directly visible.]
    • Enable USB Debugging: Open phone’s Settings » select Developer options » Tick the “USB debugging” checkbox (under Debugging section). [In Android 2.3 and below versions, find it under Settings » Applications » Development.]
  2. Connect your phone to PC with a USB cable and if/when a pop-up screen shows up on Phone asking you to ‘Allow USB debugging?‘ for the computer, make sure you tick the checkbox and tap OK.
    Allow USB Debugging
    If you don’t get this screen, don’t worry, it shows only for the first time for Android 4.0 and above devices.
  3. Disconnect your device again now. And download the fastboot files: DOWNLOAD LINK | File name: ADB and Fastboot Necessary Files.zip
  4. Extract the file (ADB and Fastboot Necessary Files.zip) you downloaded from the link above to a separate folder on your computer. Let’s call it fastboot folder.
  5. Open cmd window in fastboot folder:
    • In the fastboot folder, hold shift button and then right click on empty white space to get a list of options, and then click on this option ‘Open command window here’. This will open a cmd window with your fastboot folder as its address.
      Open command window here
  6. Boot your Android device into fastboot mode. Search our site for this. It’s easy, by the way. Here are some tips in short, too:
    • HTC: First of all, disable ‘Fast boot’ option under Power option in Settings. Power Off the device and press and hold Volume Down (first) and Power button together until you see white screen with 3 Androids at the bottom. Use Volume buttons to move to FASTBOOT and press Power button to select it. Connect the device to PC now and FASTBOOT should change to FASTBOOT USB.
    • MOTOROLA: Power Off the device and press and hold Volume Down (first) and Power button together until you see a black screen with Fastboot written at top. Connect the device to PC now.
    • SONY: Power Off the device and then connect the device to PC while pressing and holding Volume Up until you see LED light turn Blue.
    • LG: Power Off the device and then connect the device to PC while pressing and holding Volume Up.
    • SAMSUNG: No fastboot mode, except for Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, for which the Motorola method works fine.
    • Other OEMs: please use Google search. Or, just mention your device name and its model no. in the comments section below and we will get you the method to boot into the fastboot mode. Moreover, it could be same as either of the methods we discussed just above for HTC, Motorola, etc.
  7. A command prompt (cmd) window will open up. Connect your Android device to PC now using USB cable and then type this in CMD window and hit enter key.
    adb devices
  8. If you see an ID (of digits and letters) appearing, then fastboot is working fine. Proceed to next step. And if it gets stuck at waiting for device, then fastboot drivers aren’t installed and working on your PC. So, install properly working drivers first!
  9. Now, we do the Factory Reset on your device. Type the command below and hit enter key.
    fastboot erase userdata
  10. When it’s done. Type the below to reboot your device
    fastboot reboot

That’s it. When the reboot is complete, your Android device just like when you first bought it.

3. Using RECOVERY for Hard Reset when you CANNOT POWER ON your device properly

For whatever reason your device isn’t starting up properly, or when somehow, Factory data reset option as discussed above isn’t working alright, you can do the Hard Reset manually by accessing the recovery mode on your device.

But the problem is, it isn’t a straight forward thing to access recovery of your device, because each OEM has its own way of entering recovery mode. The good this is, it’s mostly common between devices of one OEM, for example, more than 95% of Samsung devices have same key combinations to enter recovery mode.

So, let’s take one OEM at the time. 

We take Samsung first, then HTC, Sony, Motorola, LG and other OEMs one by one thereafter.

SAMSUNG DEVICES

To perform a hard reset on Samsung Galaxy android phone or tablet, you need to do this:

  1. Disconnect your device from PC and then power off your device. Wait for 4-5 seconds after screen goes off. If you can’t power off using power key, then remove battery and place it back after few seconds.
  2. This step isn’t same for Samsung phones and tablets, so let’s see them separately:
    • On Samsung Galaxy phones, do this: press and hold Volume Up + Power + Home together until your see Samsung’s logo. That’s it, easy.
    • However on Samsung Galaxy tabletsif your tablet has the Home button in the middle (like Tab Pro and Note Pro tablets) then it’s same as phones: press and hold Volume Up + Power + Home together until your see Samsung’s logo.
      Otherwise: Try these methods:
      • Method 1: press and hold Power and Volume Down buttons together until you see two icons in the middle of the screen. Press Volume Down once to move to Recovery option, and then select using the Volume Up button (not Power button) to enter recovery mode. (Btw, the other option, downloading… was Downlaod Mode here.)
      • Method 2: press and hold Power and Volume Down until you see recovery mode. You might see Samsung logo come and go one or two times but don’t leave the two buttons, keep holding them until you see blue text with recovery written at top. (Alternatively, use Power and Volume Up until you see recovery mode.)
  3. You’ll enter the recovery mode. You must be able to see the text ‘Android system recovery <3e>’ written at the top of it. (FYI, 3e recovery is Samsung’s default recovery tat comes with every Samsung Galaxy device.) → In recovery, use Volume buttons to browse up and down between the options and Home/Power button to select an option.
  4. Move to the option, wipe data/factory reset option and then select it using the Power button.
  5. On next screen, move to ‘Yes — delete all user data’ option and select it, to confirm the data wipe/factory reset of your Samsung Galaxy device.
  6. Hard Reset will start and will wipe all your data from the device, and once the format is complete, you’ll be back into recovery.
  7. Move to option ‘reboot system now’ and select it to reboot your device.

That’s it. Device should reboot fine now, and it will be just like a new device now. Go through the setup and install necessary apps or restore your backups now. Easy, right?

Problems?

The above trick should work on most of the Samsung devices. But, just in case it didn’t work for you (the key combinations could be different for your device), just let us know using comments section below, and we will be sure to help you with this. Be sure to name your device and its model no., we’ll find the method for you for sure.

HTC DEVICES

With HTC, it’s pretty quick and easy to do a Hard Reset using the buttons.

  1. Disconnect your device from PC and then power off your device. Wait for 4-5 seconds after screen goes off. If you can’t power off using power key, then remove battery (if it’s removable) and place it back after few seconds.
  2. Press and hold Volume Down and then press Power button once. Btw, keep holding Volume Down until you reach HBoot screen which has 3 little Android at the bottom. It’s also called 3 Android screen.
  3. Using the volume keys to navigate, move to FACTORY RESET (or CLEAR STORAGE) option, and select it using the Power button.
  4. Factory Reset will start and will wipe all your data from the device, and once the format is complete, the device will start automatically.

Easy, right? Let us know it doesn’t work for you. Btw, the method is same for HTC Android tablets, too.

Example Videos

Here are some examples videos of some HTC devices, overviewing the Hard Reset:

Problems?

The above trick should work on most of the HTC devices. But, just in case it didn’t work for you, just let us know using comments section below, and we will be sure to help you with this. Be sure to name your device and its model no., we’ll find the method for you for sure.

MOTOROLA DEVICES

For Motorola Android devices, whether it be latest devices like Moto X and Moto G or older ones like Atrix, Atrix 2 and Atrix HD, you need to boot into Boot Mode Selection Menu. And from where you select recovery mode. It’s a bit different but easy nevertheless.

  1. Disconnect your device from PC and then power off your device. Wait for 4-5 seconds after screen goes off. If you can’t power off using power key, then remove battery (if it’s removable) and place it back after few seconds.
  2. Press and hold Volume Down and Power button together (use Volume Down first, btw) until you see ‘Boot Mode Selection Menu’ with Fastboot written at the top. This menu has changed with recent devices and shows the list of options in one screen, while in the older devices, one has to press Volume Down button to browse between options. Anyway, process remains same.
    └ Here, Volume Up button selects the option while Volume Down button is used to move between the options.
  3. Now, use Volume Down button to highlight the Recovery option, and then use Volume Up button to select the recovery option. You’ll boot into Android recovery (Android with red exclamation mark) but won’t see any options just yet.
  4. So, press and hold Volume Up button and then press Power button once. The menu will appear with Android system recovery <3e> written at top.
    └ Here, use Volume buttons to move between options and use Power button to select an option.
  5. Move to the option, wipe data/factory reset option and then select it using the Power button.
  6. On next screen, move to ‘Yes — delete all user data’ option and select it, to confirm the data wipe/factory reset of your Motorola device.
  7. Factory Reset will start and will wipe all your data from the device, and once the format is complete, you’ll be back into recovery.
  8. Move to option ‘reboot system now’ and select it to reboot your device.
Example Videos

Here are some examples videos of some Motorola devices, overviewing the Hard Reset:

  • Moto X
  • Moto G (uses Volume UP, Volume Down and Power buttons to enter recovery directly)
  • Atrix
Problems?

The above trick should work on most of the Motorola devices. But, just in case it didn’t work for you, just let us know using comments section below, and we will be sure to help you with this. Be sure to name your device and its model no., we’ll find the method for you for sure.

LG DEVICES
  1. Disconnect your device from PC and then power off your device. Wait for 4-5 seconds after screen goes off.
  2. Key combinations:
    • For LG G2 (2013) and other LG devices of that time, press and hold Volume Down (first) and Power button together and then when you see the LG logo, then let go of Power button for a second and hold it back (don’t let go of Volume Down button).
    • For LG Optimus G (2013) and other devices of that time, press and hold the Volume Down and Power key together. Works on LG Optimus 4x and similar devices of LG.
    • Device that have Home button, like Optimus 2X, press and hold 3 button together, Volume Down + Power + Home.
    • For old devices which have hardware home key, like the Optimus V press and hold Volume Up = Home = Power keys together to enter recovery mode, and do as said in next line.
    • Just in case your device enters Recovery mode, you’ll see list f options. Use Volume keys to scroll down to the option ‘factory reset/wipe data’ and select it using the power key. This will also reset the data. Ignore steps 3 to 5 below in this case.
  3. You’ll see a screen with FACTORY HARD RESET written at top.
  4. Press the button mentioned there (mostly, it’s Power button) to confirm the Hard Reset and format the device. (To cancel the Factory Reset, press any of the two Volume buttons.)
  5. It will ask again, press Volume Up again. That’s it. Device will be wiped off, all data will be deleted and your LG device will reboot automatically for you to setup again.
Example Videos

Here are some examples videos of some LG devices, overviewing the Hard Reset:

Problems?

The above trick should work on most of the LG devices. But, just in case it didn’t work for you, just let us know using comments section below, and we will be sure to help you with this. Be sure to name your device and its model no., we’ll find the method for you for sure.

SONY DEVICES

Sony devices don’t come with a default recovery installed. So, if you CAN Power On your device, then use Method 1. And if you CANNOT Power On your device, then use Method 2 and do a Factory Reset using Fastboot.

OTHER ANDROID DEVICES

Just name your device and its model no., we’ll find the method to Factory Reset it for you for sure.

Feedback Us!

Let us know if you need any help on performing a Hard Reset on your device.

Also, your suggestions, if any, for this article are welcomed!

54 Comment

  1. copeland lee says: Reply

    Great for this. However, it is incredibly easy to get personal information from an android phone even had a factory reset.

    So if you want to sell your android phone, you must erase everything on it permanently to keep your personal data safety.

    1. bharat says: Reply

      i have a moto g , and it wont hard reset in any f the above wayss…please help me

  2. Muhammad says: Reply

    I have samsung galaxy note 3, were trying to do root access and failed during the process. Since then it is in recovery restart loop. Nothing works hard reset, tried the combination keys as well all in vain. Please help…

    1. abdul says: Reply

      i have a similar problem with my s4

  3. My tablet name is Mecer and Model S10-3G and i have tried a lot to open my tablet, but nothing so i need to hard reset it. Please help me…

  4. Zain says: Reply

    My htc desire 610 turns on before the 5 seconds is up and boots normally even when holding down volume down. What can you do to make it boot into recovery. I don’t know the password for the phone so can’t change any settings. I think its something to do with having fastboot enabled.

    1. nick says: Reply

      I am having the same issue as I see that others are posting; I have a HTC desire 610 and do not have access to the device password so I am not able to change any settings. When I hold down the volume button and then hit the power button, instead of going into recovery mode, it just continues to boot up normally. Help please! Thank you!

  5. ISAAC says: Reply

    I HAVE AN LG E600 ,BLOCKED.I HAVE TRIED ALL THE METHODS STATED ,BUT STILL,IT DOES NOT WORK.AM NOT ABLE TO HARD RESET IT.PLEASE HELP ME

  6. Xpad says: Reply

    How to Hard Reset Simmtronics Fundroid Q5

  7. Yateesh says: Reply

    What is the option for Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    (just mention your device name and its model no. in the comments section
    below and we will get you the method to boot into the fastboot mode)

  8. Tracy Keith says: Reply

    I am having the same issue as I see that others are posting; I have a HTC desire 610 and do not have access to the device password so I am not able to change any settings. When I hold down the volume button and then hit the power button, instead of going into recovery mode, it just continues to boot up normally. Help please! Thank you!

  9. kramnosnev says: Reply

    help me reset my kyocera digno 2x04k how to boot to recovery? my phones got pattern lock and i forgot it.. i think the usb debugging is not enabled so my pc cant detect it.

  10. kramnosnev says: Reply

    kyocera digno wx04k i mean..

  11. Gunjan says: Reply

    Lenovo yoga 8 Tablet

  12. fauxpasf says: Reply

    skk a12 stock with waiting for device after fastboot erase userdata ..tss ..please help ..T_T

  13. kalenjin manga says: Reply

    how do i hard reset mecer s10-3G? which buttons combinations should i use? please assist

  14. Rahul says: Reply

    Please find a solution for Infocus M2 3g

  15. Wen Xiang says: Reply

    i needed help with my lg g2 F320K

  16. hiren italiya says: Reply

    karbonn a26

  17. sean says: Reply

    Guys Help Me , My Android Is Rooted And I Accidentally Update It And The Android Crashed , I Do The Hold Shift And Then Right Click And Theres Nothing Open Command in This Folder … Help Me

  18. romer says: Reply

    i need help with my atouch q8s tablet. thanks 🙂

  19. Karan says: Reply

    help me to enter recovery mode as my spice mi549 restarts automatically

  20. iWill says: Reply

    How to reset Kogan 55″ Ultra-HD “Smart” TV KALED55UHDZC ?

  21. Roxann says: Reply

    my phone is a ACLCATEL DL700

  22. Keithia Lim says: Reply

    Hi! What if I can’t open my setting. And unfortunately, app blablabla setting stop always appearing when I’m going to settings. And my volume keys have problems.

  23. Hi My Phone Name Is Walton Primo F6 .Its Android Version Is Lollipop.HoW Can i Reset My Phone.

  24. I have a Kindle Fire HD 7 (4th Gen) and I need a hard reset.

  25. victor says: Reply

    Good day how to factory reset my xperia z1compAct d5503 running android 5.0.2 using command? Because it cant power on on boot just always restarting. .thanks

  26. Sammy says: Reply

    Good day, how do i do my hard reset on my Irulu Model: AK306 tablet. It’s not booting.

  27. Musthafa says: Reply

    How to hard reset or factory reset a simtronis xpad 720 android tablet as it gets stucked on boot menu…. plzz help

  28. sarfaraj damani says: Reply

    please find solution of hard reset via boot of Intex Aqua Y2 IPS

  29. Abhinav Kumar says: Reply

    thanks a lot!! worked for moto g2 !! your a god! i literally lost the hope that my phone will work as new as it was! thanks a lot!!

  30. sean21 says: Reply

    i have a problem i tried to use key but theres no have a recovery mode ,,,i tried the key powerbutton+Volume up,power button volume down,, but there’s no recovery my tablet have a black screen while opening i have to reformat this tablet but i cant pls help me!!!

  31. precious says: Reply

    infinix x507

  32. DaviDavid says: Reply

    I have a huawei g535 l11 and the boot-loader is loked…any solution?

  33. Bill Struble says: Reply

    I am stuck on FASTBOOT&RECOVERY MODE on Huawei MediaPad T1 10 (aka T1 Honor). It came with 4.4.4 and I am bootloader unlocked. I have several UPDATE.APP files that I can recover all the partitions and can get fastboot working. What sequence would I use?

  34. Ajmat Khan says: Reply

    i have forgotton my pin password for coolpad note3 lite mobile. the finger print unlock is not working. how reset it.
    thanks in advance

  35. i cant get my phone to hard reset it is HTC desire 610

  36. O+ usa 8.96 hope you can help me ty

  37. I dont knoe how to hard reset

  38. samjhana says: Reply

    how to reset pattern unlock colors x11

  39. I have a Kyocera Duraforce (model E6560) that I forgot the pattern lock, backup pin, and gmail info for. I’ve tried the hard reset method used for this phone, VOL, DOWN + Power button, but it won’t boot into the recovery menu. I’m pretty sure the USB Debugging option isn’t enabled so I don’t think I can use the ADB method to wipe it with my PC. Any suggestions?

  40. soheil says: Reply

    i have a samsung GT-N8000 (galaxy note 10.1) and i wanna factory reset it but it dosen’t turn on and when turning on, it stays on the samsung icon. when i do volume up+power thing i can see the android with an open panel in a black background but it disappears after some second and the tablet restarts itself and again stays on the samsung text.

    1. Krishna says: Reply

      Power off the tablet. And then press and hold Power+Home+Volume up button to reach recovery. Perform factory reset from there.
      And what’s the model no. of your device?

      1. soheil says: Reply

        it dosen’t have home button
        it’s model is GT-N8000

  41. soheil says: Reply

    any suggestions?
    thanks in advance.

  42. Patricia Anne says: Reply

    Device: Bluewave
    Model #: WV8-L
    I don’t know on how to hard reset my android tablet. I already did the factory data reset, but all it did was to turn the power off and on again. Been searching for hours now on how to hard reset this and can’t find a single one that works.

  43. Therai says: Reply

    My Galaxy grand prime will only boot to the Tmobile screen, then continue to vibrate in a pattern, constantly.

  44. pls Lenovo P-70A

  45. I can’t boot my Lenovo P-70A to Recovery mode HEEEELP!

  46. pekpek says: Reply

    XIAOMI REDMI NOTE PRIME

  47. I have a o+ 8.97 android, I am looking all over internet but cannot find any suitable solution to hard reset this unit, can anybody help ples.

  48. ROBERT says: Reply

    TENGO UN DIGNO WX04K.NO SE PUEDE RESETEAR DE FABRICA. ANDROI 4.O

  49. Elias says: Reply

    Hi
    i’ve got mecer tablet model:S10-3G need to do hardreset on it. ineed assistance please. device can por but stuck password.

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