Kim Barloso

How to format an Android phone completely: step-by-step instructions


In this small guide - how to format Android by different methods: starting from simple and ending with less obvious ones. Use any of the possible ones - the result is the same: getting your mobile device in working order. It is sometimes useful to sell your device or to get rid of software bugs.

Content :

    The instruction will be useful for the owners of the following android smartphones:

    • Lenovo a319, a328, a536, a1000
    • LG p705, e615, d325
    • Sony Xperia
    • Xiaomi Redmi 3(s),

    And here is a special formatting instruction for Samsung and Samsung Duos.

    Necessary steps to be taken before formatting the device

    There is a kind of checklist for the necessary procedures to follow before performing a reset.

    1. Make a backup of the important /files on your phone. To avoid confusion and unpredictability, keep a copy of ALL important /files on your computer. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to recover data even in the heat of the moment.
    2. Charge your phone to the max. While some models of android devices have built-in low battery protection, there are nasty exceptions. Make sure the battery is fully charged - otherwise it could happen that the battery dies during the reset and you turn your phone into a brick.
    3. For Android 5.1 and up, remove the Google account link. This is a new feature for relatively older versions of Android. You need to unlink your account before resetting so that you don't have to enter data after zeroing. The thing is, if you forget your login details, you won't be able to regain access to your phone (you'll need all your documents and a trip to the service center). This is done for security reasons so that attackers will not be able to obtain access to your phone using the format function

    How to format Android using the default settings

    The simplest way to perform an Android reset, we suggest to use this first.

    1. Go to the menu of your mobile
    2. Go to Settings > General settings.

    3. If the "General settings" subsection is missing, then go back. The main thing is to have "Archiving (Archiving) and Resetting" or "Privacy" section next to it. Different Android versions may have slight differences in the naming of the "Settings" menu items.

    4. Click on "Reset Data" or "Device Reset".

    5. Here you can use the option "Reset" to confirm formatting.

    6. After the reboot you will receive a clean and working mobile device like after purchase.

    How to format the phone completely through hardware buttons

    Full formatting and factory reset of your Android is the magic wand for you in case your phone does not turn on (why it does not turn on is not so important).

    Formatting with the keys on the phone while it is off:

    1. If the phone is working, switch it off.
    2. Press and hold down the three buttons at the same time: Power + Home (center) + Volume Up.
    3. Press the three buttons on the phone: power button, home button (home usually located on the front panel) and volume up.
    4. If the "home" button is not present then try the power and volume up button variant.
    5. Remove the "power" button after the "Samsung Galaxy ..." appears on the screen.
    6. Hold the other buttons until the Recovery appears (about 5-15 seconds).
    7. When the logo appears, release the power button (only that, hold the other buttons).
    8. The recovery menu must appear. Please read below how to perform the Android formatting through this menu.

    ForModify Device (Reset) through the Recovery menu

    The menu navigation in the Recovery mode is done through the Decrease sound button.

    1. Select "Wipe data/factory reset"
    2. Confirm the operation (choose Yes - Delete all user data)
    3. Confirm the operation.

    Restoring the /files after Hard Reset

    What phone formatting is

    Hard reset (or Android reset) is an extreme measure of restoring the initial phone settings provided by the developers.

    The factory settings provided by the Android assume that the mobile device will operate stably, predictably - exactly as the manufacturer intended. Any bugs, malfunctions, phone settings can be rolled back to make the operating system fully operational.

    Why format the phone

    There are multiple reasons to perform a full format and a factory reset, in order to make the life of your device easier. Here are the most important reasons:

    1. The Android is terribly slow or the applications are glitchy. Although the Android runs smoothly without any problems, sometimes unexplainable conflicts and application bugs occur, when it is not possible to pinpoint the exact cause
    2. Uninstalling the applications from the phone does not solve the problem at all.
    3. The phone does not power on correctly anymore.
    4. Error or inattention you have made a mistake and it has turned out to be fatal. In that case there is nothing else to do but to reset your tablet or smartphone via the Recovery menu or the phone's hardware buttons.
    5. Formatting your Android is almost the only way to return it from a brick to a functioning gadget.
    6. Trouble with the unlocking of your mobile device. However, we do not advise resorting to formatting the phone if you cannot remember the pattern key or login password. Before doing so, we advise you to read the article on how to do it more intelligently: How to unlock your phone
    7. You want to zero your phone for sale. Actually, factory reset will help you to kill two birds with one stone.
    8. You'll optimize the phone, returning it to its original state as much as possible. If you leave all the apps, /files and stuff on the phone, there is a risk that the mobile device will lose performance.
    9. Formatting deletes all /files in the phone's internal memory, so you protect yourself from transferring your personal data to someone else.
    You'll be able to use your phone to optimize it.

    “Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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    Kim Barloso