How to Format Your Android Smartphone

Formatting your Android smartphone may seem scary, but it can actually be quite simple. There are two ways to do this, and you should use one or the other depending on your situation. If you want to reset your phone because it’s freezing or crashing, you should use the factory reset option in your settings menu. This will erase all of your personal data, but will not delete any of the apps that came preinstalled on your phone when you first purchased it.

Step 1: backup your files
Before you format your android smartphone, it’s a good idea to back up all of your photos, files and apps. To do so, tap on Apps at the bottom of your screen. When you scroll down, tap on Settings followed by Backup & reset. Select Back up my data and then hit Back Up Now. You can follow these steps to backup everything or select what specific items you would like backed up. For example, if you already have another cloud storage service that backs up your photos like Google Photos or Dropbox, then leave those options unchecked.

Step 2: Reset your android smartphone using menu options
This allows you to perform a soft reset of your smartphone by restarting it. This will not delete any data or media files on your device, which is good if you’re running into software glitches and need to clear cache files. To do so, open up Settings, then scroll down and select Privacy & security. Select Factory data reset in order to begin with a clean slate on your smartphone. You can also use that menu option to wipe out all media files, should you want a blank device and don’t have an external hard drive for storage.

Step 3: reformat using computer
If you’ve connected your smartphone or tablet to a computer, you can reformat it from there. Head into your device’s settings menu, scroll down until you see storage, then choose format USB storage. You’ll be prompted for a confirmation and must confirm that you want to continue. The process will erase everything on your device’s memory and is generally reserved for situations when there’s no other option—for example, if it has been stolen or broken beyond repair. If possible, it’s always best to use one of Android’s tools for restoring factory settings instead of reformatting. In some cases, doing so won’t even remove files that have been backed up using Google Drive or another cloud-storage service.

Step 4: restore your files
Once you’ve booted up your Android phone, head into Settings and look for Backup & reset. There should be an option here called Factory data reset or something similar. This will wipe all of your personal files from your device and return it to factory settings. If you’re planning on selling your phone, however, it’s a good idea to back up any data beforehand, either through cloud services or another Android device. The last thing you want is someone getting their hands on your personal information. Be sure to check out our guide on how best to securely delete data from an Android smartphone if you need some tips on how to do that quickly and efficiently!

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