Life is full of surprises — not all of them welcome ones. Here’s how Apple, Android and Windows let your phone ride the Wayback Machine back to a time before things went wrong.

Factory Reset or Rebooting

There are three solutions built into every smartphone that could get you up and running again; a soft reboot, hard reboot or a factory reset. Here are the details on how each method works whether it’s for a Windows, Android or Apple device.

Try Rebooting First

The first thing you should try is a ‘soft’ restart to resolve whatever is the problem; this is as easy as turning your phone off, waiting a while and then turning it on again. Here’s how to reboot phones using the three major OS’s:

Rebooting an Android Phone

Rebooting an Android phone is as simple as holding down the power button until the power off/restart screen appears, but what if your phone is frozen, goes blank or is completely unresponsive? You need a ¬hard reboot.

For most Android phones simultaneously pressing the power and volume down buttons for five seconds will do the trick. Motorola phones are an exception, and need to be handled differently. Instead of pressing the power and volume up buttons, you need to press the volume down button.

Rebooting an iPhone

Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the slider appears. Now, drag the slider to turn the phone off. Once the phone is off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again until the Apple logo appears.

An unresponsive iPhone can only be rebooted with a forced restart. The steps to force restart your phone: Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons for at least ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

Reboot Your Windows Phone

Press and hold the volume down and Power buttons until the phone vibrates, then restarts. If the phone has frozen or is unresponsive, Microsoft recommends just pulling out the battery, then turning the device on after reinserting it.

Restore Factory Settings

Restoring to factory settings will erase all data from your phone, including:

  • Accounts
  • Apps
  • System settings
  • Pics, music, videos, etc.

This is the best option if you’re selling your phone or as a last resort when something goes seriously wrong. Resetting is an irreversible process; please remember that a factory reset will wipe everything permanently!


The range of Android devices means that each phone model will have its own specific steps to follow. All Android phones can be reset to factory default either from the settings screen or using the hardware buttons in cases where the phone is completely unresponsive.
Check out this quick guide to resetting the most popular Android devices to ensure that this process goes smoothly.


Resetting your iPhone to factory default is a simple process consisting of four steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on General
  3. Select Reset
  4. Choose Erase All Content and Settings from the list of options

Your iPhone will be restored to its ‘out of the box’ condition.


Like the iPhone; a Windows phone is easy to restore to factory settings, just follow these simple steps from Microsoft support:

  • Tap Settings in the App list
  • Tap About, then tap: Reset your phone.
  • Now you’ll see two warnings: If you’re sure you want to restore the phone to factory default, tap Yes and then tap Yes again.

Image by Flickr


Ana is an internet entrepreneur and one of the founders of iGuides, she loves to give adequate time to her passion which is writing. She holds a PHD in English Literature.

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