How to Hard Reset the Samsung Galaxy S4

Looking for the best way to factory reset a Samsung Galaxy S4? Look no further this guide will demonstrate some common methods that can be used to hard reset the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.

Before performing a reset

Don’t forget that a hard reset will erase all user data from your cell phone and if you have not already backed up your Samsung Galaxy S4 then you should do so, if possible, otherwise you may lose important information such as your contacts, pictures, music, text messages, app data, etc. If you still need to backup your Samsung Galaxy S4 then I suggest reading this backup and reset guide before following the instructions below.

If you have already backed up your cell phone, or are unable to perform a backup but still need to do a factory reset then feel free to proceed with the hard reset instructions listed below.

Factory reset through the settings

One of the best ways to factory reset the Samsung Galaxy S4 is though the phones settings. If your Samsung Galaxy S4 is responding properly enough to allow you to access its settings then this method is usually one of the best options available.

Quick instructions:

Menu key > Settings > Accounts tab > Backup and reset > Factory data reset > Reset device > Delete all

Detailed instructions with pictures:

From the main screen tap on the Menu key.

The Menu key is the physical key to the left of the Home key on the bottom of your phone. When illuminated it kind of looks like a box without a bottom with two horizontal lines within it.

Tap on Settings.

There are going to be four tabs shown on the top of the display. Make sure that the Accounts tab is the one that is selected.

Tap Backup and reset.

Select Factory data reset.

Tap the option on the bottom that says Reset device.

Then press the Delete all button.

The phone will then power off and then power back on all by itself. The hard reset may take a few minutes to complete but once it’s done the phone will be back to like new condition and you will be prompted to setup your phone again as though it was being setup for the first time. Enjoy your Samsung Galaxy S4.

Hard reset key combination

If your phone is unresponsive, frozen, locked up, having issues with the touch screen, you have forgotten its password or any reason that prevents you from doing a hard reset through the settings then you can use the physical keys of the phone to perform a factory reset on your Samsung Galaxy S4.

Quick instructions:

If you are familiar with performing a hard reset by using the keys of the unit then the key combination used to factory reset the Samsung Galaxy S4 is…

Volume Up + Home + Power

If you have never done a hard reset with the keys before or if you have problems doing it from memory then please refer to the detailed instructions below.

Detailed instructions with pictures:

As with most hard resets accomplished using a key combination, make sure that your Samsung Galaxy S4 is unplugged and powered off completely.

You can make sure that your phone is completely powered off by removing the battery from the phone waiting for 30 seconds and then by reinserting the battery. After reassembling the phone your Galaxy S4 should be off and ready to be reset. Note: Your phone should not turn on by itself after reinserting the battery, if it does then check your power key to make sure that it’s not being pressed in.

With your Galaxy powered off and unplugged from a charger you are then going to press and hold three buttons simultaneously until the phone vibrates. Once it vibrates you will release just the Power button but continue to hold the other two keys until the Android system recovery screen appears.

Once the Android System recovery screen pops up you can release all of the keys.

The three keys that you are going to press and hold are the Volume Up button, then the Home key, and then the Power key. Remember that once the phone turns on and vibrates you are going to let go of the power key and continue to hold the Volume Up button and the Home key until the Android system recovery screen appears.

On the Galaxy S4 the text is REALLY small so here are some pictures of what the options are going to look like so you won’t have to squint your eyes or put on your reading glasses.

When the Android System recovery screen appears its going to have a few options available. You are going to want to use the Volume keys to scroll down (or up) and highlight the wipe data/factory reset option.

Once it’s highlighted press the Power button to make the selection.

Another screen is going to appear and give you a warning letting you know that this reset cannot be undone and you are going to have to confirm that you do want to reset your Samsung Galaxy S4.

As you did in the first window use the Volume keys to highlight the Yes – delete all user data option and then press the Power key to make the selection and confirm the reset.

It can take a minute or two but it’s usually pretty fast and once it’s done your cell phone should take you back to the original Android system recovery screen and the reboot system now option will be highlighted again.

Press the Power button to select the reboot system now option and your Galaxy will restart.

Once it restarts the Factory Reset aka Hard Reset on your Samsung Galaxy S4 will be done. Make sure to enjoy your nice and squeaky clean smartphone.

Recap and Conclusion

Performing a factory reset on an Android device can be a very powerful and effective tool in troubleshooting and a hard reset can be accomplished a couple of ways.

Through the settings

Which whenever possible is often the best method available because if you are able to access your phones settings then chances are you can backup your phones information as well and you won’t have to worry about losing any information after performing the reset.

To reset the S4 you simply need to access the Settings, tap the Accounts tab, select Backup and reset, tap Factory data reset, press Reset device, and then confirm the reset by selecting the Delete all option.

The phone will reboot and the reset will be complete.

Through the keys

Using the Volume Up, Home, and Power keys can be the most useful reset method available as it will allow you to perform a hard reset when your phone is not responding properly and you are unable to access the phones settings for whatever reason.

So now you know how to hard reset Samsung’s Galaxy S4 smartphone.

Thanks for reading

I hope that you found this guide informative and that it was able to assist you in performing a hard reset on your Samsung Galaxy S4. If you did find it helpful and would like to show your appreciation then don’t hesitate to leave a friendly remark in the comment section below or by simply pressing the Facebook Like button or Google + button at the bottom of this article.

Thanks again for reading and enjoy your nice and clean Samsung Galaxy S4.

8 thoughts on “How to Hard Reset the Samsung Galaxy S4”

  1. Galaxy S4 I9500
    I read your information, hoping a hard reset would help me with this weird S4 I bought used. As I don’t have the “more” tab on my settings (just Phone Settings – Display – Security – Call Settings – Connections) I tried your 3 button approach. Even with several attempts I can’t get it. The phone just starts up, the same way as it would if I would push just the power key. The volume key and the main key are both working, so it could not be a malfunction on the keys.

    I am at a loss with this phone as many things don’t look right or are not available as they should be….

    1. You’re right that is odd…

      The steps in the article above should help you hard reset pretty much any Samsung Galaxy S4 (to date) as long as it’s not running on some kind of custom software. The guide above uses a Samsung Galaxy S4 running on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean but the hard reset process should be pretty much the same whether your S4 is running on 4.2.2, 4.3 Jelly Bean, 4.4.2 KitKat, etc.

      I would start by checking your cell phones software to make sure that everything checks out properly. Are you 100% sure that it’s a Samsung Galaxy S4? And if so are you sure that it’s not a clone or copy?

  2. Thank you SMPS.
    Thank you SMPS. Have a Samsung screen that suddenly stopped working after 16 months and your reset got me back in action.

    Thought I was gonna have to send it away for repair so thanks heaps!!!!

  3. No response
    Hi, I tried what you recommended here for the hard reset but I can’t get past the initial screen. When selecting wipe data/factory reset, it brings me back to the same screen and doesn’t bring me to the yes/no options. I don’t know what happened as the phone was working just fine. It is a Samsung Galaxy S4/ATT phone.


  4. Galaxy S4
    Very good and clear instructions however my problem is that I cannot swipe the screen.
    After doing this reset I still can not swipe my screen.
    My S4 is only one month old???
    Now useless.

    1. Trying to fix your unresponsive touch screen

      Hi Fred,

      You are correct. A smartphone with an unresponsive touch screen is not much use to anyone.

      Since a hard reset didn’t work this indicates that the problem with your S4 is likely hardware related and at this point you should look into your repair and or replacement options. Since your phone is only a month old it should still be covered under Samsungs manufacturer warranty. So long as it doesn’t have any sign of damage of course. If I was in your position (heaven forbid, as I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 as well) I would look into my warranty options.

      1. Thanks for that…
        Thanks for that. I have no idea how it happened, it has not been dropped or rough handled in any way. I simply set my alarm for 04.30 and when it woke me I couldn’t acknowledge it, I had to remove the battery, and the rest is history, as they say.

        I have been in contact with the seller and I am sending it back for a swap.

        Thanks again for trying.

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