Galaxy s4 reset

How to factory reset the Samsung Galaxy s4

The reasons for wanting to hard reset your Galaxy s4 back to it’s original settings can be many. Maybe you are selling your phone and want to make sure that all your data is erased.

Or maybe you are having some problems with your phone that you can’t resolve. In these cases a factory reset is the right way to go, as it will completely restore the settings that your phone came with.

One exception implies though. If you have updated your Galaxy s4s Android version, it won’t revert to the original version. It will simply clear all your data and all your settings.

How to reset a Galaxy s4

Remember to backup your data

To backup your data check out our how to backup Android contacts and how to backup android photos.

How to reset Samsung Galaxy s4.

  1. From your home screen press the apps icon in the lower right corner.
  2. Find and press the settings icon.
  3. In the upper end of the screen press the accounts tab.
  4. in the bottom of the next screen press the Backup and reset button.
  5. Press the factory data reset.
  6. Read the info on your cell phone screen and hit Reset device.
  7. Helpful why not

If your phone is completely locked up and you can’t even access the menus there is a second way of resetting the Galaxy s4.

  1. Press and hold the power button to turn the device of.
  2. If your device won’t turn of remove the battery for a second and put it back. ( Do not turn your phone back on )
  3. With your device of press and hold the volume up and the home button, then without releasing the two other buttons press and hold the power button as well.
  4. Hold these three buttons until you can read recovery mode in the upper left corner of the screen. As soon as you can see it release the button combination.
  5. To navigate the recovery mode screen use the volume up and down to go up and down. Use the power button to select an option.

Once you are done your phone should once again be just like it was the day you bought it.

Check out our Galaxy s4 tutorials section for more useful tips and tricks for your phone.

About Bertil Hansen
I am the owner and main contributor to this website. Throughout the years I've owned an embarrassing number of Android phones. Too many to mention in fact. Lets just say it started with the HTC legend and I'm now on the Galaxy Note 4.

120 thoughts on “Galaxy s4 reset

  1. hi my Samsung s4 all the time after one communication the sim card was rejected and need me to retard to used

  2. i have been trying to format my samsung neo and the phone just keep showing me samsung sing only….please i need help thanks

  3. When I downloaded Samsung updates the S4 locked up and refuses to work.

  4. I do the second method and I see the reset text in the top left and let go but the phone continues to start up like normal…. anyone else having this issue? Or have a fix?

  5. Hello,
    I went to do a factory reset on my son phone but instead of pushing the up button I pushed the down and something else happened. Something not good. I took the battery out to stop my mistake and then did a factory reset the right way (using the up button) but now a lot of the Samsung and other programs are “not responding” Is there anything I can do to fix this??? The people at the Verizon store were no help. Thanks!

  6. Ahmad Qayyum says:

    My problem is that after I do either a factory reset or hard reset the phone(S4) wont show the default display of home screen with default apps. What to do?

  7. Cassie Blackwell says:

    Hi ,I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone and my little girl dropped it in the toilet so I put it in rice for a day or two then then it started working again but the next time we went to plug it in it wouldn’t even come on at all and to show that it was charging,til this day it still won’t come on,any tips on how I can get it working again?

  8. heyy..i need your help
    display of galaxy s4 is broken, everything is ok but screen is not working
    i wana sell my cell but i cant becuase i wana reset my phone, data is in the cell
    can yu please tell me how can i reset my cell if screen is totally black please help and reply fast :/

  9. Suhail Rehman Bhat says:

    what does reboot to bootloader mean in recovery mode menu.what if i click on that option and proceed

  10. pls help me I am also using Samsung galaxy s4 anytime I want to restart it says I should confirm pin which pin pls help me

    • Did you have a pin number or a drawing to lock your phone? A figure you draw on the grid or a pin number you enter to unlock? That’s what it’s asking for. If this isn’t it, someone with much more knowledge in the phone will have to chime in. Good luck!

  11. Hi, my samsung galaxy s4 has a gps problem, it says gps signal lost. Would a reset fix the issue ? appreciate feedback.

  12. If i reset my phone, do i have to activate it again?

  13. I did a reset on my phone and then I sold it… however I completely forgot about the sd card :( Will that person be able to get pictures and data from it? It was in my phone when I did the reset!

    • Resets do not typically affect external storage media. You might contact the buyer and request the that card be returned, or offer to buy it back.

  14. Please mine is not responding to any media at all, it keeps on hanging until u remove the battery and put it back again but after some minutes it will went off again. Please any solutions?

  15. Thanks. The second method of resetting the device worked nicely.

  16. i updated my samsung galaxy s4 mobile.the new version is very can redeem older version

  17. It’s it possible to reset it if you don’t have it with you.. I mean if it got stolen?

  18. My Samsung Galaxy S4 just showed “Recovery Booting” then it went off. It didn’t change a thing and the Android didn’t show up.

    Help please.

  19. I reset my phone but when I turned it on again it doesn’t go past the light up Samsung screen.

  20. My daughter just passed away. I have her Galaxy S4, and am unable to get into it. I would like to reset it to factory settings, to be able to sell it. But, since I am unable to get into it, I don’t know what to do. I have no idea what her unlock pattern was. Please help

    • Sorry to hear about your daughter. The 2nd section of this tutorial will allow you to reset the phone without needing to access the phone. If you can’t turn off the device, remove the battery and after a few seconds place the battery back in. Then follow the instructions in the 2nd section of the tutorial to reset the phone.

  21. My galaxy s4 dsnt charge properly.. It charges then stops charging itself and again charges … I did the hard reset but its still the same..

  22. I have a cracked screen on my old phone. I’ve received and activated my replacement phone, but is there any way to do a factory reset before sending it in that doesn’t involve view anything on the screen? Will plugging it in and wiping every file void the warranty?

  23. I tried to reboot and it had the android guy and he was laying down and it said error. Now what ?

  24. I reset my galaxy s4. Its AT&T but i am using a net10 sim card. I never had a problem with my sim card. afterwards I turned my phone on and I noticed that my mobile data was not working. Any help on why it isn’t working? What can I do to fix it? The help would be much appreciated

    • had the same problem before with an att phone and i had to go in and change all the apn and network settings. u may be able to call and be walked through the process but net10 doesnt have the best customer service and you may hold for a while

  25. My S4 keeps looping between the Samsung logo and off it doesn’t give me options to reset. Help please

  26. Tried both of these methods, got to the manual recovery BIOS type thing and did manual reset. No change in being able to boot…

  27. If I factory reset my phone does that mean have to go back and activate the locater in case i lose it or it gets stolen?

  28. My S4 i337 wouldn’t connect to wifi so I did the Hard reset and when I tried turning it on, all it displayed was the Samsung Galaxy S4. Any suggestions on how I can fix this please.

  29. From time to time my s4 will just power down and not power back up without removing and reinstalling battery. What could cause this problem? Thank you for your time

    • I have the same problem on galaxy s4 zoom. It’s caused by the battery being a bit loose in its holder. So any bump causes it to disconnect. Sometimes the battery re-connects but most time I have to re-insert it and then reboot. A bit of cardboard or thick paper helps a bit to keep it in place.

  30. Hi i have a big problem with my phone ,I have Galaxy S4 GT 19500 and my phone asks me to update the android software after updating the software it shows restart is needed,after i restart the phone Wifi doesn’t work till now. what can i do for this problem.Thank you.

  31. Gps not working tried everthing i could find on the web to fix it. Could it be an antenna issue or would a factory reset be necessary

    • I’m having the same issue. I updated about a week ago, and now my GPS won’t work (it’s called “location” now) and my weather app on my home screen is no longer useable because it relies on the GPS to refresh… no GPS, no refreshing. I can’t change the time on the app, so the clock I use the most is set an hour ahead now. Were you able to remove the update or get the GPS to work again? It would also be nice to get my speech-to-text feature back which disappeared aftere the first update this phone did. So aggravating!

      • Hi im james due to your problem ive seem to have come across a soulution if its a new phone dont be hesitant to update it always wait a few weeks to update due to phone softwareit will not be able to do alot because of it being new.
        I hope this helped

  32. Hello, i put a high security password on my Samsung galaxy 4 active but unable to remember . Can someone help tell me how to regain it please?

  33. I am currently doing the HARD reset on my GS4… Anyone know about how long the initial download takes…. i have been waiting for over an hour for the download to finish. :(

    • I am attempting to reset my 4.4.2 stock OS to tame a beast of a wakelock, which is a qualcom problem as far as I can gather. I would like to know, I should remove the SD card and or sim card prior to this procedure?? Alittle help?? Please. Thanks.

    • How long did u have to wait. I’ve waited over an hour already. Did it even work?

  34. Hiii this is manoj, my s4 is having some problem battery is drain out soon and if phone is locked it wil automatically unlocking and when using phone wit some app it vl dark screen and showing time for just moment so…. how can resolve this prob??? Wht i hav to do??? Phone is nly 6 mnths old….

  35. My screen is showing diffren colors and dots on the screan … I can’t see anything on my screen.

  36. Hello…
    My s4 keeps kicking me off of some apps, it also freezes a lot.. I also have problems connecting to my wifi (which I have no problem with my iPad or computer) when I go to turn my wifi on on my phone it turns dark green and instead of taking me to where I can pick my router name it’s kicks me off… I have done a hard reset so I’m not sure what I can do next. Any help?

  37. Hi. I am from the Philippines. And my Dad bought me s4 at the Europe. And then when I restart my phone I can receieve and send messages and calls but when 5 minutes is done I can’t recieve and send messages and calls.And I ask some people if my s4 is open line and then they said Yes. And they said that I will just reprogram it. An I have done it but it is still like that. Please help me. :(

  38. please my samsung galaxy mini is giving me this response when i tap settings: security policy restricts changing settings. i can not access settings function again, please help how do i resolve it. thanks

  39. if i reset the setting will the viruswill be deleted?

    • If you reset your phone as described in this tutorial it will be reverted to the way it was the day that you bought it. Anything stored on your phone will disappear. If your phone got a virus and you need to get rid of it, this is one of the ways to accomplish this.

  40. Hi I reset my aunt’s old phone because she could not remember her password and after resetting it it had said that the phone was active and I only want to use it for WiFi. When it says active does that mean it is on to where you have to pay for it or does it just mean it is just resetted?

    • Not completely sue if I understood your question correctly but if you want to make sure that you don’t get a bill from the carrier, why not remove the SIM card altogether.

  41. Hi,

    I wanna ask regarding my S4, lately it’s always reset automatically to factory setting & i have to start all over again. The things is when i sent & complaint to Samsung Service Centre (for a few times actually with the same problem) they always replied me with “we had changed the motherboard an so on…” but the thing is this problem still occurs. Can anyone gimme an idea how to solve my problem. Thanks

    • Sounds like you need to take your phone to the store where you bought it, so they can take a look at it. If it resets to factory settings on its own there is certainly something wrong with it.

  42. Lina Rodriguez says:

    I think my SGS3 T999 updated itself to the 4.3 version because I started having problem with battery life and now the phone will not come on at all I am literally at my wits end and can not get any help at all, does anyone know what can be done

  43. Hi I just bought the galaxy s4 yesterday and I might have clicked update the latest version and now each time I want to download an app it’s saying how it’s required to use personal information like text msgs etc etc I don’t want that version how do I get the older version?? I don’t like the idea that I’m selling my information like that! Please help! Thanks

    • Stephen Kent says:

      Regardless of what you want your data on usage texts and web will always be used by your provider.
      ALL versions require your personal info, the fact that the newer ones WARN you doesn’t make the old one better.

      How are they supposed to get you your email without your email address and password?

  44. Hi, I dropped my phone and now the screen is completely black…so even if I try the second method I can’t see anything in order to navigate the screen. Is there another way to reset it? I have to return this one and I’d like to erase all my personal data. If not, would you mind telling me how many times I need to click the volume down to get to the reset option so I can do it blindly? Thank you for your time.

  45. I looked through the Q&A but didn’t see my issue. I just tried installing TWRP and apparently it did not install correctly. When I try going into recovery I get a screen with the Android figure and it says “Downloading do not turn off target”. However, it appears to be the stuck there. It never completes the download If I do a factory reset, will my recovery go back to the stock one? Thanks

    • Kinda new, one issue for my sisterinlaws phone, same as george posted, it randomly went to a downloading screen that cannot be bypassed as far as i know. now here are my questions…first, where did it come from (how and why it is on the phone and where it is originates from), and secondly, how to fix/restore the phone, thus bypassing the downloading screen (never finishes, never ends). I’ve tried all but a factory reset if that helps, but i wish to know in as much detail as possible, as i’m sure most feel. Thanks in advance! Please hurry.
      -The guy with a cracked screen

  46. i did a reset on the phone and now when i turn it on the samsung galaxy s4 logo wont show now it shows a droid logo do you know how i can set it backto the galaxsy s4 logo?

  47. i would try that but when i do it only recovery booting comes up. the android and the rest of the stuff doesnt come up. what do i do to hard reset if that dont work?

  48. Hi there
    I dropped my s4 i9505 and have broken the LCD screen am selling but how can I factory reset the phone with no access to screen? Thanks

  49. I’ve ha my S4 since October and had no problems with it at all. For the past couple of days, the phone has been saying ‘Emergency Calls Only’ or ‘No Service’ and I have done everything from a factory reset to battery pulls to cleaning the sim card but nothing seems to be working.

    I also have the 4.3 update and have had 0 problems with it – if anything, it’s solved the problem of being slow at times and the screen is much more responsive (I think!) and sharper.

    If anyone has any ideas with what’s wrong with my phone and how I can fix it, I’d be really grateful.

    Thanks in advance!

  50. Hi there everyone…

    This is a great forum and with my turn, I’m hoping to get an answer to the following:
    I just bought my S4 and as soon as I turned it on I got the prompt for the new version 4.3. I downloaded it but before installing it I thought I’d check out some forums instead. Sadly I realised that many people, (incl. here), are not too happy with this new update: battery consumption, freezings, etc.
    I’m wondering if any of you have very recently updated their phone, (within January let’s say), and if they encountered the same problems as with those that updated previous months and as soon as the update came out.. ! My phone’s origin I believe is French, (since when I first powered it up the default language was French), and bought it from an online store in my country.
    I don’t think I can avoid the update, since it’s sitting in my phone and prompts me a couple of times a day. But, I hesitate doing it since I can’t go back to the original version unless I root, (new phone, loosing my warranty).
    Any advices, tips from anyone please….??

    Thank you

    • Hi. My phone also was of French descent as the box is all French. I had no problems with my phone until I downloaded the new update. My battery now only lasts a few hours. I have tried buying a new battery to factory reset and anti virus apps all to no avail. I really hope this gets sorted soon as I am really annoyed at the update that you can’t clear with a factory reset.

  51. Hi there.
    My samsung galaxy S4 was acting funny for the past few days because its battery life was being consumed much faster than it usually is. And then today it began an endless cycle of restarting itself e.g. it kept going to the start up samsung logo screen as if to restart, but it just kept going back to the logo without ever actually showing the home screen. I have tried to remove the battery and clean the contacts and try again, but the same problem occurs. I have not installed anything new recently, in the past month at least. So would the factory reset help in my case?
    I would sincerely appreciate any advice you could offer.

    • Hi.
      If this happened to my phone I would try a factory reset for sure. If this does not help take your phone to a service center or buy yourself a new phone.

    • I have been on the phone with Samsung and Verizon for hours trying to fix the battery draining issue and the “SD Error Message” an update 4.4 will be out in 2 months however the Samsung rep said to back up my data, pics and so forth and do a factory reset. Hope this helps. I am doing my as I type. So much for new and improved

    • i have the same problem on my phone. did you find a sokution?

  52. Carlos Raul Alegria says:

    i did a reset on the phone and now when i turn it on the samsung galaxy s4 logo wont show now it shows a droid logo do you know how i can set it backto the galaxsy s4 logo?

  53. hi sir,

    when is the kitkat update for hte samsung s4?

  54. OMG Thank you so much, my phone insisted on me downloading an anti virus the second i did i could no longer use my phone this was very helpful and i was able to reset me phone quickly :)

  55. Nick Reisner says:

    if i factory restart my phone will the contacts still be there

  56. Sihle dlamini says:

    i have a s4 active and i dropped it the other night now it wont charge and it only goes into recovery booting now. any ideas on whats happened and what the best solution would be

  57. hi i have a big problem i have a galaxy s4 i9505 and had custom firmware and recovery i put an encryption on it via the phone setting and it stated the only way to remove it was via factory data reset ..long story short did that hasnt worked so i tried flashing firmware via recovery and that didnt work did wipe rom clean instal via recovery and fails to wipe the data folder and i cant find any firmware i can flash via odin is there a way to hard wipe via a pc ore something because atm the phones an expensive paper wait

  58. Hello, I want to do a factory reset for my samsung galaxy s4 I9505, I just want to know if this method will back up, application data (i.e. game saves) tnanks!

    • Hi and thanks for stopping by our site. Sadly though when you factory reset your phone all the data gets wiped. It will be like the day you bought it, without the apps you downloaded and the data from them.

  59. Why is the Kies backup so apalingly bad, and what do we do about it?

    • In my opinion the Kies backup is not ALL bad. Only ever used it for backing up pictures though. I don’t really think there is much we can do about it other than hope that Samsung will keep improving upon it in future updates. I guess you could send them an email or start a facebook group, if there isn’t one already, to try to influence them. Not sure if it will do any good though.
      If you are a programmer you could try to make a better solution yourself :-)

  60. Hi, Thanks for this,my phone was originally used on a different provider and country. All settings including when turn on phone show Telstra Australia, I am in New Zealand is there anyway to change this. A Factory Reset still leaves the old provider on?

  61. Thank you very much. It helped me a lot. Something interested happened! When my s4 restarted I could update it for the new android 4.3!
    Please do you anything about overheathing and batery problems?
    Sergio, Brazil

  62. Hi :)

    Just lastnight I updated my OS to the Android 4.3 on my Galaxy S4. The new keyboard is great and the little smilies aswell but my internet has suddenly become excruciatingly slow. I used to be able to watch videos on YouTube that were an hour long and now it takes an hour just to watch a 3 min video! My Google Chrome browser takes forever to load and only half my Instagram newsfeed loads. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING :(

    • Usually these kinks work themselves out when you factory reset your phone after an update. If you haven’t done so jet you should give it a try and see if this fixes the problems.

  63. Tried to install a rom on my rooted s4 , it didnt work and now it wont switch on , help please !!

  64. Daniel Lennon says:

    I have reset my s4 using the first method but now when I turn the phone on the samsung logo apears and it just stays on this. Do you have any idea why this is happening?

    • Something obviously went horribly wrong. Try this :
      Power off your device completely.
      Press and hold Volume Up, Home and Power buttons simultaneously.
      Release the buttons when the phone’s screen flickers or the Stock / CWM / TWRP Recovery logo appears
      From the screen that appears try resetting and rebooting your phone one more time.

  65. I have tried endlessly to reset but the phone(s4 gt-19500) starts normally
    and takes me to google sign in to unlock. Can’t get in recovery mode, please advise.

  66. So here is my problem.i just bought samsung galaxy s4.when I turned on the device an upgrade poped up ME7.when I was checking the phone I noticed that the wifi is missing from the notification many people say that if I reset my device the eifi toggle will is this true?is it good to reset my new device just for the wifi toggle or not??thank you..

  67. Hello sir,
    I have updated my galaxy s4 to the latest version ,I thought it would be better but I dont like the changes its kinda anoying and I want to return the old version is that possible and if yes how? Thank you.

    • Hi Luke.
      Sadly there is no easy way of reverting your galaxy s4 to the previous software version. I think the only way of doing this is by rooting and flashing your device. If you are interested in doing this you should google the term “galaxy s4 root” just remember that if you do this your warranty is lost forever.

  68. Hello,
    I have updated my galaxy s4 and I regret that but im looking for a way of returning its old version back is that possible and if yes ,how?

  69. Very nice tutorial i wan to ask that when we perform the second method to reset Galaxy S4 using the recovery mode, then it will reset automatically or we need to perform method 1 after the method 2 please guide.

    • Hi and thanks for visiting my site.
      You do NOT need to do both ways. They are simply two different ways of obtaining the same result.
      The second way of reseting the Galaxy s4 is simply there for when or if your phone gets so locked up you can’t acces the first way.

      • Would a factory reset remove the bugs that came along with the recent 4.3 android update? (Overheating , increased battery consumption , freezes and slow performance , poor wifi connection) I’m thinking of trying this anyway but its a pain to lose all my data and conducting the backup process.

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