How to Reset Your Samsung Device

Perform a factory reset on your Galaxy S, Note, or Tab

Reset your Samsung device
It's easy to reset your Samsung Galaxy S, Note, or Tab.

Is your Samsung device acting up? It might be time to reset it.

As you use your Samsung Galaxy smartphone, Note, or Tab, you may find your device having problems with apps crashing or freezing, making weird noises or making no noise at all, not syncing with other devices, or not receiving and/or making calls. In these cases, you can reset your device to factory specs by performing a factory data reset within the Settings screen.

You may be in a more serious situation where your screen is blank, frozen, or won’t accept any of your finger (or S Pen) input. In that case, your only recourse is to perform a hard factory reset by using the device buttons to access the device’s firmware, which is the permanent software programmed into your device’s memory. 

01
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Before You Reset Your Samsung

The Backup and Restore screen
If your data is backed up to Google automatically, the slider next to Back Up My Data is blue.

A factory reset deletes all information and data on your device including all apps, settings, music, photos, and videos. These instructions for a factory data reset apply to all Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets, Galaxy S smartphones, and Galaxy Note phablets running Android 7.0 (Nougat) and 8.0 (Oreo).

When you set up your device the first time, Android informed you it would back up your data to your Google account automatically. So, when you set up your device after the reset, you’ll be able to restore your apps and data. 

However, if you didn’t set up automatic backup and you can still access your device, you can back up manually as follows:

  1. Tap Apps on the Home screen.
  2. In the Apps screen, swipe to the page that contains the Settings icon (if necessary) and then tap Settings.
  3. In the Settings screen, swipe up in the category list until you see Cloud and Accounts, if necessary.
  4. Tap Cloud and Accounts.
  5. In the Cloud and Accounts screen, tap Backup and Restore.
  6. In the Google Account section, tap Back Up My Data.
  7. In the Back Up My Data screen, tap Off to turn backup on. Your device will then back up your data to Google automatically.

If you have an Samsung device that’s running a version of Android that’s older than 7.0 (Nougat), here’s how to back up manually:

  1. Tap Apps on the Home screen.
  2. In the Apps screen, swipe to the page that contains the Settings icon (if necessary) and then tap Settings.
  3. In the Settings screen, tap Back Up and Reset.
  4. In the Backup and Restore section, tap Back Up My Data.

Even if you back up your data, you need your Google email address and password at the ready because after you reset after the reset because your device will ask you to log into your Google account. What’s more, if you have a decryption key for your SD card, you ‘ll need to know that key, too, so you can access the files stored on that card.

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The Factory Data Reset Steps

The Reset screen
Tap Factory Data Reset to reset your Samsung device to its original factory specs.

Here’s how to perform a factory data reset on your Samsung device:

  1. Tap Apps on the Home screen.
  2. In the Apps screen, swipe to the page that contains the Settings icon (if necessary) and then tap Settings.
  3. In the Settings screen, swipe up in the category list (if necessary) until you see General Management.
  4. Tap General Management.
  5. In the General Management screen, tap Reset.
  6. In the Reset screen, tap Factory Data Reset.
  7. In the Factory Data Reset screen, tap Reset or Reset Device, depending on the device you have.
  8. Tap Delete All.
  9. After a minute or two, you’ll see the Android Recovery screen. Press the Volume Down button until the Wipe data/factory reset option is selected.
  10. Press the Power button.
  11. In the warning screen, press the volume down button until the Yes option is highlighted.
  12. Press the Power button.
  13. After a few seconds, the Android Recovery screen reappears with the Reboot System Now option selected. Press the Power button to reboot your system.

If you have a Samsung device running Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or an earlier version, here’s how to perform a factory data reset:

  1. Tap Apps on the Home screen.
  2. In the Apps screen, swipe to the page that contains the Settings icon (if necessary) and then tap Settings.
  3. In the Settings screen, tap Back Up and Reset.
  4. In the Backup and Reset screen, tap Factory Data Reset.
  5. In the Factory Data Reset screen, tap Reset Device.
  6. Tap Delete All.

After your device resets, you see the Welcome screen and you can set up your device.

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How to Perform a Hard Reset for Most Samsung Devices

The Samsung screen
Depending on the device you have, you may see the Samsung screen after a hard reset.

If you need to perform a hard reset, the following instructions apply for all models of the:

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab
  • Samsung Galaxy S except the Galaxy S8 and S8+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note except the Galaxy Note 8

Instructions for the Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 appear in the next section.

Power down your device before you initiate a hard reset by holding the Power button for 10 seconds. Now follow these steps to perform a hard reset:

  1. Press the Power, Volume Up, and Home buttons at the same time. Note that you may see screens saying, “Installing update” and “No command”, but you don’t have to do anything in these screens except continue waiting for the Android Recovery screen to appear.
  2. In the Android Recovery screen, press the Volume Down button until the Wipe data/factory reset option is selected.
  3. Press the Power button.
  4. In the warning screen, press the Volume Down button until the Yes option is highlighted.
  5. Press the Power button.
  6. After a few seconds, the Android Recovery screen reappears with the Reboot System Now option selected. Press the Power button to reboot your device.

After your device resets, then after a few minutes you’ll see the Welcome screen and then you can set up your device.

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Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 Hard Reset

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Home screen
The Galaxy Note 8 returns to its factory-original Home screen after you reset it.

The instructions for performing a hard reset on your Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 are slightly different than for other Galaxy devices. After you power down your device by holding the Power button for 10 seconds, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Power, Volume Up, and Bixby buttons at the same time until you see the Samsung logo. Note that you may see subsequent messages saying, “Installing update” and “No command”, but you don’t have to do anything in these screens except continue waiting for the Android Recovery screen to appear.
  2. In the Android Recovery screen, press the Volume Down button until the Wipe data/factory reset option is selected.
  3. Press the Power button.
  4. In the warning screen, press the Volume Down button until the Yes option is highlighted.
  5. Press the Power button.
  6. After a few seconds, the Android Recovery screen reappears with the Reboot System Now option selected. Press the Power button to reboot your device.
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What Happens if I Can't Reset?

The Samsung support website
Scroll down to view more information or search for a topic in the Search Support box.

If your device won’t boot so you can set it up, then you need to contact Samsung either on its website for information and/or a live online chat, or by calling Samsung at 1-800-SAMSUNG (1-800-726-7864) from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday or from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time on weekends. The Samsung support team may ask you for permission to access your device to test it and see if it needs to be mailed to them for repair.