How to Factory Reset Android Devices

So recently your android device began to misbehave. Freezing unnecessarily, lagging, crashing apps, etc. Most issues on an android device can easily be fixed by rebooting the device. However, there are moments when resetting an android device becomes necessary. This how-to factory reset android devices guide was compiled for such moments. According to Statista, Android phones account for up to 85% of mobile phones in use around the globe.

Means 8 out of every 10 mobile device runs on the Android operating system. However, there are still people who find it slightly difficult to find their way around their android devices. I’m guessing you have an android device you’ll love to return to its factory settings. Maybe you want to sell out this device or you recently purchased a second-handed device. Or you’re just in need of a fresh start on your device.

This guide should help. However, if you’re thinking of resetting your android phone because it is stuck, you should consider rebooting it instead. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds and your phone should reboot. If after rebooting, the device continues to lag, you should consider resetting your phone to its factory setting. Doing this would restore your smartphone to its manufacturer settings. All apps would be erased, all files including pictures and other media files, settings, and manufacturer app updates all gone.

However, your device won’t be rolled back to an earlier version of the Android OS if you’ve updated it. A smartphone is not built to keep the original image of the operating system. Once they’re updated, you can’t revert to an older version without flashing its stock ROM. It is, however, advisable to back up any smartphone before undertaking the factory reset process.

How to Backup an Android Device.

There are numerous ways of backing up an android device but for the sake of this tutorial, I’ll guide you to backing up your android device with google. To achieve a total back up, we would be backing up photos, documents, and media as well as settings to the free 15GB space allotted to all Gmail accounts. Unfortunately, Android, unlike iOS devices, is yet to get an easy backup method through Google. However, there are ways to backup different types of data on your android device.. although these options don’t cover backing up of things like SMS, call logs, etc, we have guides that could help you with backing up these. Anyways, here’s a summary of how to back up your data with Google.

Photos and videos

If you’ve got the Google Photos app on your phone, it’s likely your photos and videos are being backed up. Especially if you’re usually connected to a wireless network. The Photos app automatically backs up photos and videos in selected folders you to the cloud. You can also select individual images and videos from within the app. If you’ve got this app on running your backups, there’s no need to manually backup your media. If the Photos app isn’t already on your phone, you can easily download it from the Google Play store. Once it’s installed, you’ll need to make sure Photos are set to automatically backup your files. Here’s how to do that:

  • Open the Google Photos app on your phone.
  • Tap the hamburger (menu) button at the top right-hand corner of your screen.
  • A menu should display, tap on “Settings”.
  • Tap on the ‘Backup & sync’ option. It should be the first option. You’ll find the email to the google account your back up would save to below this option.
  • Tap the toggle beside “Back up & Sync” to make it blue and the backup option is turned on

Note: Backups to the google photos is unlimited for its maximum upload quality of 1080p. however, If you wish to keep the original resolution quality of your photos and videos, you can, but it will limit your upload limits to your Google Drive storage limits of 15GB.

Backup to Google Drive

Apart from photos and videos on your phone, we’ll agree there are other files you’ll not want to lose. These files can be backed up to your Google Drive. Google Drive lets you store any file to the google cloud, which means they’ll be accessible from any connected device and can be shared with other users. To manually upload folders and files to google drive, follow these instructions:

  • Download the Google Drive app, if you don’t have it on your device.
  • Open the app and tap on the multi-colored ‘+’ button at the bottom-right of your screen.
  • Tap the ‘Upload’ option.
  • Select the file(s) you want to backup and then upload the process should begin.

Backing Settings and app data

To back up your phone’s settings and apps, you’ll need to use Android Backup Service. This service backs up the apps you use as well as the settings that you have selected in most Google apps, making it easy to restore those settings on a new phone. You can find a complete list of what gets backed up with Android Backup Service here. Here is how to activate it:

  • Open your device Settings. You can do this from your app list or by clicking the gear icon from your notification curtain.
  • Scroll down to “Accounts” and tap on it.
  • Scroll down and toggle “Automatically sync data” to the on position.
  • Go back to settings page, scroll down and tap on “System”.
  • Tap on ‘Backup”
  • Toggle on the “Back up to Google Drive” switch and add your account if it’s not there already.

Viola! Your device should be fully backed up after a short while. However, you want to use third-party service instead of Google’s own for more comprehensive and easier backup steps. Some of these services include Amazon Drive, OneDrive, CM Backup, etc. You can also back up your device on your pc. After successfully backing up, you can now forge ahead with resetting your android device.


How to Factory Reset Android Phone From Device Settings

The easiest way of resetting an android device is from its device setting. From your device settings, you can choose to only reset network and connectivity settings. Which would reset Wi-Fi, mobile network settings, and Bluetooth setting to factory default. This would also delete all saved Wi-Fi passwords and restore hotspot details to default. You can also reset app preferences. This would enable disabled apps, enable notification for apps you disabled, remove background data restrictions amongst others. However, you won’t lose any of your installed apps. You can also reset all system settings. Reverting all settings and configurations on your device to its default. You won’t lose any app or lose in-app configurations. Lastly, you can restore your device to its factory default. This would delete all installed apps, files and configurations would return to default. Depending on your choice of settings to restore to default, you can achieve it through the steps below.

Please ensure your device is properly charged or plugged in before you proceed as interrupting the process could render your phone dead.

  • Open your device Settings You can do this from your app list or by clicking the gear icon from your notification curtain.
  • Scroll down and tap on System. This is the last option for most smartphones.
  • Tap on Reset options. It should be included in the Advanced
  • On this screen, you’ll find several reset options
    • DRM reset: DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. Resetting this option would remove all access to any purchased copyright protected digital product on your device.
    • Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth: This option can be used to reset all system network and connectivity information to its factory default. So if the error you’re experiencing is network related, consider following this option.
    • Reset app preferences: This restores all app preferences. These include re-enabling all apps you disabled. Allowing apps notification for apps you disabled notifications for. Resetting default application for carrying out actions to the factory default apps. Revoking all app permission you’ve previously granted. However, these won’t affect app data or app cache.
    • Reset all system settings: this option resets all device settings to its default. This includes look and feel, connectivity, apps preferences, etc. however, no file or app would be removed from the device.
    • Factory data reset: This option resets the entire device to its factory default set up. Uninstalling all apps or app updates for system apps. Deleting all files on the device and resetting system settings to their default.
  • Select Erase all data (factory data reset). You’ll get a list of apps that their accounts would be deleted, as well as a list of things that would be erased.
  • Scroll down to enable “Reset Phone” and tap on it to Erase all data.
  • If you use a pin or password on your device, you’ll be asked to input the correct credentials to continue with the process. This is to prevent another person from erasing data on your device.
  • Select Erase all data and the factory reset should begin. Your phone would reboot once your factory reset is completed.

Note: After rebooting your device, you can re-install your backed up data to the device during setup.

Factory reset Android from Recovery Mode

If the phone would on or when it turns on, you’re unable to navigate to its device setting this is your best shot. Resetting a device from recovery can be done when a device is switched off. However, it is important to keep your battery fully charged before starting the reset process.

  • ensure your device is fully turned off.
  • Hold down the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously.
  • Keep them pressed down until the screen starts to display.
  • Your device won’t boot normally, rather, a screen with the word “Start” pointing at the power button, text, and navigation instructions will appear.
    • In recovery, you are to use the Volume keys to navigate and the Power button to make selections.
  • Continue tapping the Volume Downbutton until you reach Recovery Mode.
  • Press the Powerbutton to select it.
  • Your phone should restart and show an Android robot in trouble.
  • Press and hold the Powerbutton, then press the Volume Upbutton while still holding the Power button to display some options.
  • Using the Volumebuttons scroll to Wipe data/factory reset.
  • Press the Powerbutton to select the option.
  • Confirm by selecting Yesand the phone would begin the reset process.
  • Once the process is completed, select Reboot system now. To boot your device to a clean factory formatted interface.


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