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Complete Guide to Resetting Your Android Phone

Reset Android Phone

Has your treasured Android smartphone went from lightning fast to slow and glitchy? Much like a standard computer, adding new apps and customizing your settings can eventually cause problems. When this happens, resetting your Android to the factory settings is usually the solution.

When Should I Consider Resetting My Phone?
As you add new apps to your phone, each one will use a little bit more storage space and processing power. It's perfectly normal to see a little slowdown, but it should be within reasonable limits. If any of the following problems occur with your phone, consider a factory reset:

  • Frequent freezing or stalling as you scroll down the home screen


  • Returning to the home screen causes the phone's system to hang for a few seconds


  • Your phone is experiencing frequent force closes, usually the result of conflicting apps trying to use the same resource


  • It takes progressively longer to open an app


  • The phone's battery is draining faster than expected

In most cases, resetting the phone and starting over with a fresh copy of the apps you use the most can save hours of troubleshooting time.


Before You Reset
There are a couple of options that should be considered before resorting to a reset. Double-check these items:


  • If you use an app that has a habit of crashing, its widget may be causing the problem. Remove any known problems from your home screen.


  • A faulty SD card can cause system problems. Make sure it is functioning properly.


How Do I Reset My Phone?
While this basic reset procedure should work on most phones, keep in mind that a variety of models may be running slightly different flavors or versions of this popular operating system. It might be necessary to start at a different menu on some phones.


1. Back-up your phone to keep any important information. You can use your SD card or a cloud-based service.


2. Charge your battery to make sure the phone doesn't die in the middle of the process.


3. Find the "Settings" app and tap it. It may be on the home screen, in the App Tray, or accessed via the menu button.


4. Find and choose the "Factory Data Reset" option. This may be under the "Privacy" settings or under "SD & Phone Storage."


5. Tap the "Reset Phone" command. This will give you a warning that you're about to completely delete all your data and restore the factory settings.


6. Tap "Erase Everything" to confirm your choice.


7. It can take up to five minutes for your phone to reset.


After the reset, your phone will be almost exactly like it was when you first took it out of the box. Everything but your music, videos, photos, and back-ups will be erased and reset to the original configuration. After the reset, you will need to go through the set-up process, enter your email information, personalize the phone, and install your favorite apps.


What Happens When I Reset My Phone?
Android phones store the original settings in memory even after you personalize the phone. When you activate the Factory Data Reset option, it erases the working memory and replaces the current configuration with the stored settings.


During the reset, the following occurs:


  • All apps and associated data are erased


  • All emails, text messages, and contact information are erased


  • The Android is unrooted and the original settings are restored


  • The Android version is restored to the shipped version and all updates are uninstalled


  • Passwords, personal settings, and synched accounts are cleared

Again, if you need to save anything - including calendar entries and contact information - create back-ups on an SD card or an online storage service.

By knowing when and how to reset your Android phone to its factory settings, you can avoid hours of troubleshooting, speed up your phone's processing capabilities, and erase your personal information if you switch phones.

Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc. The Android Robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google for use according to terms described in the Creative Common 3.0 Attribution License.