How To Factory Reset Any Android Phone or Device

Think you might need to do a factory reset on your Android phone or tablet device? We have this covered in an easy to follow guide – anyone can do this and it will not take long.

If your Android phone is acting up, is too slow or the apps keep crashing, if a recent update isn’t working well for you, or if you decide it’s time for a new phone and want to sell the old one, you’ll need to do a factory reset.

I also have a guide – How to Factory Reset Your iPhone – for any Apple users out there.

What the factory reset does is that it deletes all your personal data, apps, history, software updates and basically brings the phone back to the state when you first got it, software-wise that is.

In this article, we’ll be talking about what you need to do before the factory reset and how you can factory reset your Android phone using a couple of options.

reset android

Using a Factory Reset to Remove Spy Apps

Did you know that performing a factory reset is the best and safest way to remove any unwanted spy software apps that may be installed on your mobile device? First check my article – How to Tell if Your phone is Tracked by Spy Apps – it lists some common signs to look for.

In my cell phone security section I also have an article – How to Remove Spy Software Apps – it explains the different methods to remove any spyware – including doing a hard reset. Not sure what these spy apps are all about? Check out my FlexiSPY Reviews page – it is one of the most popular apps on the market and is very powerful.

Prepping an Android Phone For A Factory Reset – Backup Android

Since your personal data is going to be deleted once you do a factory reset, you’ll need to back it up, here’s how:


Needless to say that photos are one of the reasons why some people use Smartphones in the first place! You certainly don’t want to lose your photos when you do a factory reset. You have a couple of options here:

Google Photos: this is a free app that comes with every Android phone. It syncs your photos and videos to your Google account. You can choose to back up your photos and videos in high quality, this option will give you unlimited storage. Or you can choose to back up your files in original quality, but you’ll be limited to your Google account’s storage quota.

Now all you need to do is:

  1. Go to Google Photos
  2. Click on the Menu icon on the upper left part of your screen
  3. Select the quality you want then click on Backup & Sync

External storage: if you’re not a fan of the cloud and putting your personal photos on the internet, you can always use an external hard drive or USB flash drive to back up your photos and videos.

  1. You can connect your phone to a computer using a USB cable.
  2. Once it’s connected and you can see it on your computer as a drive, you can go in and select the folders you would like to copy.
  3. Copy the folders containing your photos and videos to your computer or your external hard drive.

Backup Your Contacts

contact backup

It’s so frustrating when you lose all the contacts in your phone and you have to reach out to everyone you know to start sending you their contact info again. We definitely don’t want that to happen when you do the factory reset. Luckily, you can save your contacts in a few simple steps:

  • Go to your Phonebook and click on the menu icon on the top right.
  • Go to Manage contacts.

You can do one of two things:

  • Select Import/Export contacts: this will export all your contacts in one single file that you can save externally and then use to import your contacts back when you’re done with the rest.
  • Move contacts from phone: this will move the contacts saved on your phone to your Google or Samsung account.

All Other Files (Including Music)

Google drive’s the best option to back up all other files on your phone. One thing to note is that you’ll be limited to your storage quota. If you run out of space you can always use external storage like USB flash drives or hard drives.

To back up files to Google drive:

  • Go to Google drive, make sure you’re signed in using your Google account.
  • Click on the plus icon and select Upload. You can also create folders on Google drive to organize your files.

Now that your data’s safe and sound, you can start with the factory reset for your phone.

There Are Two Factory Reset Options To Choose From

The option you choose depends mainly on the state your phone’s in and whether you’re planning to keep or sell it afterwards.

Factory Reset Android From The Settings Menu

If you’re unable to find any of the below menu items, simply go to Settings and type “reset” in the search bar at the top and then follow the below instructions:

  • Go to Settings and click on General Management
  • Select Reset, then Factory data reset
  • Enter your Pin
  • Click on Delete all and you’re done!

Your phone is going to restart and you’ll be prompted to set everything up again. Once you’re done, you can start restoring your data.

Factory Reset From Recovery Mode

This option is useful if your phone has completely crashed and isn’t powering up. You can enter recovery mode by simultaneously pressing on the volume up and power buttons.

Once you’re done with the reset, you’ll be required to sign in using a Google account that’s linked to the phone. If you’re unable to do so, the setup process will stop and you won’t be able to recover your phone.

This is both a blessing and a curse, as it protects your phone from being reset and used in case it’s stolen, but it also requires you to use the same Google account that you’ve been using with your phone in order to complete the process.

Follow the below steps:

  • Switch your phone off
  • Press on the volume up and power buttons simultaneously
  • The Samsung logo will come up, and then you’ll see “Installing system update”
  • It’ll take recovery mode a few seconds to start
  • Use the volume buttons to scroll to Wipe data/factory reset and press on the power button to select it
  • When the reset’s done, the recovery mode menu will appear once again. Select Reboot System now
  • When your phone restarts you’ll start going through the setup process. Once done, you can restore your data.

A Few Final Things To Consider

Make a list of all the data you want to back up so you don’t forget anything.

Only choose the recovery mode reset option if your phone’s dead or you want to sell it.

If you’re doing the recovery mode reset, don’t delete your Google account from your phone and make sure you can log in to the account.

If you’re selling your phone, delete your Google account from the phone before doing the recovery mode reset.

I hope this guide will help you – it really is easy to do a factory reset – no real tech skills required!

michael keenan

I'm Michael and I've been running this site since 2011. I'm a real person and not some big company pushing their own products!

Right from the start I realised that spy apps can be used legally and ethically to help parents keep their kids safe …. so I started this site.

Michael Keenan