How to reset a Samsung tablet – Soft vs hard resets

Samsung tablets are amongst the most popular on the market, and they currently make up the majority of Android sales. They make some of the best tablets for students. Much of their success is down to their usability, with it being very easy to navigate your way around a Samsung tablet.

This includes knowing how to fully reset the device. You may simply want to give the tablet a quick restart, or you may want to do a full factory reset. It’s pretty simple to do both, though not everyone knows the best method to do this.

If you’re one of those people looking for a guide on how to reset your Samsung tablet, then you’re in the perfect place. Let’s get started with the different ways that you can reset your device.

How to reset a Samsung tablet – Force restart

If you want to reset your Samsung tablet, then all you need to is hold down the power button and the Volume down button at the same time. Do this for between 7 and 10 seconds and your tablet should perform a soft reset, also referred to as a force restart.

Now, there may be some circumstances where this doesn’t work, even after holding down the power button for 10 seconds or more. If you are finding this, then you’ll need to try holding down the power button for a couple of minutes.

This should force your Samsung tablet into fully resetting, even if a normal soft reset won’t actually work. Doing this will only perform a soft reset on your device – you don’t need to worry about it deleting all of your settings, data and installed apps.

Though in some cases, you may actually want to do a bit more than this and go for a full factory reset.

How to perform a factory reset

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure all of the data on your tablet is backed up elsewhere. You can do this easily by connecting it to your computer or laptop.

How you perform the reset will depend on whether you can access the device or not. If you can, then all you need to do is;

  1. Go into Settings.
  2. Then, go into General Management or Privacy, depending on your device.
  3. Now, click on Factory Data Reset.
  4. Finally, click the Reset or Reset Tablet button and confirm.

It’s pretty easy to hard reset your tablet if you have access and can turn it on. If you can’t, then you can factory reset if without the password by following these instructions.

  1. Hold down the power, home and volume down buttons simultaneously. Some Samsung tablets don’t have a home button – just hold down the other two if that’s the case.
  2. After doing this, the recovery screen should appear on your screen. Use the volume buttons to navigate up and down to select the Restore to factory settings option.
  3. Finally, use the Power button to confirm your selection when the reset option is selected. This will hard reset your tablet, even without the password.

If your tablet still has battery and you don’t have the password, you’ll need to wait until its battery is drained to do this. Different models may have slightly different options, but for the most part they are all the same.

Bear in mind that a factory reset, also referred to as a hard reset, is a bit more extreme. It will delete all of your files and data from your device, and send it back to its factory settings – so it’ll be like using a new tablet for the first time.

Why you may want to hard reset your tablet

For the most part, you won’t need to factory reset your Samsung tablet. Though there are a few scenarios where it may be worth trying it. They are;

You’ve got an unresponsive tablet – If you’ve tried putting your tablet on charge via both its charger and connected to your laptop, then a hard reset is the next step to trying to get a broken tablet working again.
You want a faster device – As long as there’s nothing too important on your tablet, a hard reset can take it back to its original speed. Just make sure you have anything you need saved externally or on the Cloud and you’re good to go.
You’re about to sell your tablet – The last thing you want when you sell a tablet is the purchaser to have access to all of your old details and downloading. A factory reset beforehand is common protocol when selling a device.


So as you can see, it’s actually pretty easy for you to reset your tablet. Whether this is because it’s crashed or you can’t get it to work, a reset will often be all you need to do to get your Samsung tablet working again.

Just make sure that you perform the right type of reset, as you don’t want to delete all of your files and folders by accident.

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About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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