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How to erase and reset your Galaxy S6 (and why you'd want to)

Performing a factory reset on your phone is something most folks never really think about doing. It's the last thing you do before getting rid of a phone, or something you do as a last resort when your device is misbehaving, but it's not something that is regularly thought about. Regardless of your reason, if you need to reset your Samsung Galaxy S6 there's a fairly simple way to do so. It works in mostly the same way as most other Android phones, but Samsung has included some additional features to this function just in case you're doing something other than handing your Galaxy S6 off to another user.

How to factory reset the Galaxy S6

  1. Go into your settings menu.
  2. Go into "Backup and reset."
  3. Choose "Factory data reset."
  4. Your Galaxy S6 will now wipe and reset.

Galaxy S6 reset

Every Android manufacturer organizes things a little differently, and sometimes that means buttons either aren't where you think they should be or don't do exactly what it seems like they should. Samsung, for example, allows users to either perform a total factory reset that erases everything and lets you treat the phone as though you've pulled it out of the box for the first time, or perform a system reset to move all of the settings and options back to their default positions.

The benefit to the second option is the ability to keep all of your accounts and data on the phone, while resetting all of the features that you've either enabled or disabled along the way. You can reset account settings, which includes which apps open links and files by default, as well as restore apps that have been disabled. It's a fresh start from a usage perspective without losing photos or having to log back in to everything.

All you really need to know before pushing either of these buttons is what you're actually trying to accomplish. If you need to delete all of your personal data, a factory reset is what you need. If you've decided you want to undo all of the tweaks and settings adjustments you've been doing since you got the phone, a settings reset is all you need.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

38 Comments
  • I'm slowly starting to agree with others that the quality of content on this site has gone downhill rather quickly. Or should I say.. Non sponsored content. Too bad, AC used to be my go to site for anything Android. Posted via the Android Central App
  • See ya Posted via the Android Central App
  • Bye Felicia Posted via the Android Central App
  • We have just had several new phones released or announced. Imagine what it will be like during the slow months...
  • Chill, they just need to meet their quota.
  • Maybe new converts like myself need these articles. Nobody makes you click you know.
  • You cancel your AC subscription. sent via NoNexus' missing carrier pigeon.
  • Kind of a useless article!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • See ya Posted via the Android Central App
  • Kind of a useless comment. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No its not.
    See Ya, helps identify the TROLLS and get them banned. (Big Smile) Rooted LG G2 Rooted GSIII
    Stock Galaxy Note 4
    (The Sprint Lover)
  • You have a micro penis Posted via the Android Central App
  • And yet you are still jealous. Jim Lloyd
  • This is a very USEFUL article. The S6 is a new device and people are going to want to know the specifics of this device. Samsung has been known to do things a little differently and it's nice to get a heads up on the software. Google+ All Day Everyday
  • Best comment you have ever posted. Stuff is different from one oem to another, AC is not just an android site that deals in rumors and bs, it is a place to learn when you come from wp or ios. We regulars are the 10%, AC is not catering to us but the broader audience, as it should be. Sent via carrier duck. They were out of pigeons
  • +100 Rooted LG G2 Rooted GSIII
    Stock Galaxy Note 4
    (The Sprint Lover)
  • While this is generally true, a lot of their articles recently are just click-through articles (i.e. clickbait) that don't actually provide valuable info unless you click through to another article - and it hasn't always been this way. This is one of the more helpful ones, with actual pictures and instructions - and you don't have to click on any other link to learn something from this article. I love AC and their writers, but don't like the direction they're going.
  • @NoNexus, Thanks Google+ All Day Everyday
  • Spot on ol' chap! sent via NoNexus' missing carrier pigeon.
  • Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • You should go to apple sites where they literally are writing articles on how to turn on the apple watch.
  • Dear editors, please stop excepting revenue from ads and sponsors. I know this might affect your yearly salary or maybe even force you to close your doors. There is a vocal minority who are very unhappy about your business model, who do not understand how a business runs or how to make one successful. Basically a bunch of bitchers. Posted via the Android Central App
  • accepting* Posted via the Android Central App
  • Damn, SwiftKey. That's my excuse anyway. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Please explain to me how to run a successful business tough guy. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You realize it's possible to both generate ad revenue AND provide quality content right? This site used to do that, and still does occasionally in between all the filler articles.
  • This was an informative article... but it also brings up a very interesting question. Since Samsung uses Touchwiz and this "settings reset" is part of the Touchwiz experience... does this mean that other (older) Samsung devices who receive Samsungs Lollypop update will also have this setting? I've done a factory reset on my phone at least a couple of times and it would be nice to have this feature.
  • So glad others agree. The articles are so obvious. I think its so when people new to android go searching for help this comes up. I started using XDA for news. I have this still but its not very good anymore. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What comes up? I am not a Samsung guy but the article is informative. I had no idea about the content of the article. I'm sure this was helpful for many. Sick and tired of hearing about clicks. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sick and tired of seeing you comment Posted via the Android Central App
  • The simple fact that you use XDA means that these posts are not meant for you. Rooted LG G2 Rooted GSIII
    Stock Galaxy Note 4
    (The Sprint Lover)
  • That is a nice feature. Maybe other vendors will see the value in this and add similar features to other Android phones. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's already happening. My LG G3 with KitKat has this feature too.
  • I'm just here to post a comment that isn't a complaint. See, its possible after all! But sadly those who complain will naturally never come on here again to even see this remarkable feat. (Because if you don't like AC you naturally won't read and troll it, right?) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Equating someone expressing a viewpoint you do not agree with to trolling is a bit simple minded, don't you think? I'll let you think about that one. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You can dish it out but can't take it. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm still thinking. Maybe in the mean time you could go read all those LG G4 articles and comment about LG paying AC. Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • That glare on the sides of the Edge screen has to start becoming annoying to some users.