XDA Basics: How to Factory Reset your Android phone
There are a number of reasons why you would want to factory reset your Android phone. Maybe you’re planning to sell it or maybe you just want a fresh start. A factory reset can delete everything and make your phone like a new device, at least on the software front. A factory reset or a clear wipe is fairly straightforward and in this guide, we’ll explain how to do it.
Before we get to erasing your Android phone, you should make sure you’ve backed up everything you need. We have a great guide on how to back up an Android phone to help with this.
Now that you have everything important backed up, we can get into the wiping of your phone. There are three methods to factory resetting a phone. Let’s start with the one you’ll most likely be using.
How to Factory Reset a phone from Device Settings
Every Android phone comes with a way to wipe the slate clean. The option is normally present in the Settings app; however, depending on the device manufacturer, the location of the factory reset option may differ.
- Open the Settings app on your phone and navigate to System.
- Under System, you’ll find the Reset Options in Advanced. Samsung phones have the Back up and reset options in the main settings.
- Once you’ve located Reset Options, tap on it.
- Now you’ll see an Erase all data (factory reset) option. After you tap on it, your phone will ask for a confirmation and let you know that everything on your phone’s internal storage will be deleted, including Google accounts, downloaded apps, settings, music, photos, and other user data.
- Tap on Erase all data to continue.
- The factory reset process can take some time, depending on the amount of data on your phone.
How to Factory Reset a phone using Recovery mode
If for some reason you’re not able to get into your phone’s settings, and you need an alternative method to factory reset, you can do it using the recovery mode. Whether you have the stock recovery or a custom recovery, both have factory reset options.
To get into recovery mode, you’ll need a button combination, and we have a detailed guide listing the combinations for all major smartphone makers. The guide also talks about the other ways to get into the recovery mode, including using ADB.
Before we proceed with the steps for wiping the phone, you need to know about Factory Reset Protection (FRP). It’s basically a security feature that’s meant to stop others from using your phone without your permission. With FRP, a thief can’t just wipe your phone and start using it. If FRP is working, the phone will ask for the same Google account details that were signed into the phone before the wipe.
So if you don’t want FRP to create issues after factory reset, make sure you remove the Google account from your phone before using the recovery mode to wipe it.
- Once you’re in recovery mode, you’ll see a wipe data/ factory reset option.
- Navigate to it using the volume keys and use the power button to select it. If the phone asks for a confirmation, select yes.
- After the factory reset is completed, you will be sent back to recovery mode.
- Select the Reboot System Now option, and your phone will boot normally.
You should attempt to set up your phone with dummy settings, just to check that FRP is no longer active on your phone. If FRP is active, you will be asked to enter your previously entered Google account details again. So do check before you give your phone to somewhere else!
How to Factory reset using Find My Device
If you have lost your Android phone or it’s been stolen, there is still a way to wipe its data. You can use Google’s Find My Device feature to erase it. Erasing a device from Find My Device will only work if your phone satisfies the following conditions:
- It’s turned on.
- It’s signed into a Google account.
- It’s connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi.
- It’s visible on Google Play.
- It has ‘Location’ turned on.
- It has ‘Find My Device’ turned on.
Also, if you’re using your phone with two-factor authentication, you must also have a backup phone or backup code, in case you’re asked to sign in before the factory reset process.
- To erase your phone using Find My Device, go to android.com/find.
- Google will try to locate your phone, and you’ll see an option below to Erase Device.
- Click on it to start the Factory Reset process. If Google is unable to locate the phone, it will complete the wiping process once it has located it.
These are the methods that you can use to factory reset your Android phone. If you’re looking to factory reset an iPhone, we have a guide on that as well. Also, don’t forget to check our updated guide on the best cheap Android phones.