How to reset your Android device to its default factory settings

Do you need to sell your Android smartphone or tablet? Do you need to give it to someone else? If you do, then before you give your device to others, you should reset it to its default factory settings. What does this mean? Why should you do it? How should you do it? Read this guide to find the answers to all these questions:

What is a factory reset in Android?

A factory reset means the following:

  • Wiping all the data and the apps that are found on your Android smartphone or tablet. This includes both system apps and downloaded apps, as well as personal files like the pictures you took with the device , the music you stored on it and so on.
  • Deleting all the user accounts that are found on your Android smartphone or tablet.
  • Restoring all Android settings to their defaults.
  • Resetting the Android operating system.

The result is a device that, from a software, settings and data perspective, acts as if it was new. When you start an Android device that was reset to its default factory settings, you are taken to the configuration wizard, where you get to configure your device anew.

You should perform this reset any time you wish to give your Android device away, to another person, so that the other person doesn’t get access to your user accounts, personal data, files and your apps.

Next in this guide we will show how to reset an Android 5 device and then how to reset an Android 6 device. To save some time, scroll down to the section that interests you.

How to reset an Android 5 Lollipop smartphone or tablet

Open the Settings app on your Android 5 Lollipop device and go to the Personal group of settings. There you will find an entry named “Backup & reset”. Tap on it!

Next, tap on “Factory data reset”.

You are informed about what the reset will do to your Android device and you are shown a list with the accounts that are signed in on your device. Tap “Reset device” to continue.

You are asked to confirm that you are OK to reset your device and erase all your personal information and downloaded apps. In order to confirm your choice, you are asked to enter a code that is shown on the screen. Type it and then tap “Erase everything”.

As soon as you do this, your Android 5 Lollipop device will restart, delete all your data, accounts and apps and reset the operating system to its defaults. When the reset is over, the configuration wizard is shown, so that you or the next user of the device can configure it again, as if it were new.

How to reset an Android 6 Marshmallow smartphone or tablet

If you own a smartphone or tablet with Android 6 Marshmallow, here’s what you have to do in order to reset your device:

Open the Settings app and go to the Personal group of settings. There you will find an entry named “Backup & reset”. Tap on it!

In the list of “Backup & reset” settings, tap “Factory data reset".

You are told what the reset will do on your Android device and you are also shown a list with the accounts that are signed in on your device. Tap “Reset phone” to continue.

This is the last warning and the last step where you can back off from the reset procedure. If you want to go ahead, tap “Erase Everything”.

As soon as you do this, your Android 6 Marshmallow device will restart, delete all your data, accounts and apps and reset the operating system to its defaults. When the reset is over, the configuration wizard is shown, so that you or the next user of the device can configure it again, as if it were new.

Conclusion

As you can see from this guide, resetting your Android smartphone or tablet is easy. After you do this, your device is as new, meaning that you no longer have any apps, accounts and settings on it. The operating system is clean and ready to be configured again. If you have any questions about this guide or issues where you need help, don’t hesitate to ask using the comments form below.