If you’re selling or giving away your old Android phone or tablet, suspect some malware is at play, or simply want to boost its performance to its original condition then a factory reset is the best option.

However, it’s not something you can easily come back from if you accidentally delete something you wanted, so you should make sure you’ve properly backed up your device first.

How to hard reset Android

A hard reset will clear the memory and delete all your files, returning your device to its factory settings. Unless you are getting rid of the phone and tablet, it’s typically used as a last resort for a misbehaving device.

  1. Ensure your phone or tablet has at least 30 percent charge
  2. Open the Settings app
  3. Scroll down to and select Backup & reset
  4. Tap Factory data reset
  5. Select Reset phone
  6. Select Erase everything
  7. If you have a password you will be prompted to enter it now

How to soft reset Android

A soft reset is very different to a hard reset in that it simply closes your open apps and reboots the device. It’s useful if your phone or tablet has frozen and refuses to reboot via the normal method using the power button. When the device reboots your files should remain intact.

A soft reset is usually performed by pressing and holding down the power button and volume-up button together for a few seconds (remember that power and volume-down instead takes a screenshot).

You will need to hold the combination for several seconds for the soft reset to occur. If you’ve done this and it hasn’t worked, there may be an alternative way to trigger a soft reset on your device. Google your model name and the term ‘soft reset’ for instructions.

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