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How to reset the Galaxy S8 to factory settings

The Galaxy S8 is a great phone, but sometimes you're put in a position where you need to bring it back to the state you found it, be it for performance reasons, bugs, or to sell.

Whatever the cause of the reset, it's fairly easy to do it. Here's how:

How to factory reset the Galaxy S8 from inside Android

The easiest way to factory reset the phone is to do it from within Android. But before you do anything so drastic, ask yourself a couple of things:

  • Have I backed everything up?
  • Have I tried every other course of remedial action, such as deleting an app suspected of causing slowdown?
  • Have I called technical support to work through the problem with Samsung directly?

If you've answered yes to all those questions, you may proceed.

  1. From the home screen, swipe down on the notification shade.
  2. Tap on the Settings button (looks like a cog icon).
  3. Scroll down and tap on General management.
  4. Tap on Reset.

  1. Tap on Factory data reset.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom and tap on Reset.
  3. Enter your PIN, password or pattern to proceed.
  4. Wait until reset completes.

Note: Factory resetting your phone can cause data loss if you haven't backed everything up.

How to factory reset your Galaxy S8 from outside Android

If for some reason your Galaxy S8 isn't able to boot into Android and you still want to factory reset it, the instructions are little harder, but they accomplish the same thing.

  1. Turn off your Galaxy S8 (if it's not already).
  2. Hold down the Volume up, Bixby, Power buttons simultaneously until the Samsung logo shows up on the screen. Lift fingers.
  3. You'll see an Android figure with the words No command on screen. Wait a few seconds.
  4. Once the black background with colored text appears, use the volume down button to scroll to Wipe data/factory reset.

  1. Use the power button to select Wipe data/factory reset.
  2. Use the volume down button to scroll to Yes.
  3. Use the power button to select Yes.

What about Factory Reset Protection when selling a device?

If you're factory resetting the Galaxy S8 prior to selling it (which you should always do), you'll need to remove your Google account from the phone prior to resetting it.

That's because, by default, your Galaxy S8 uses a Google feature called Factory Reset Protection, which requires a new user to log into the last Google account that was used on the phone. This prevents would-be thieves from stealing a phone, resetting it and using it as new. But it also prevents would-be buyers from enjoying a new phone if they don't have you nearby to bypass that protection.

Note: Factory Reset Protection only kicks in if you factory reset your phone using the bootloader method explained above. If you go through the reset procedure by entering a PIN, password or pattern, FRP is automatically disabled, since you've essentially verified your identity to Android prior to performing the reset. You only need to manually remove a Google account if you're planning to reset the phone in the bootloader menu prior to selling.

Questions?

Some some questions about these procedures? Got a better way? Let us know in the comments!

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

16 Comments
  • Is it that u guys have slow news days, that u write these "how to" articles that 99% of ur audience don't care about???....or maybe it's to draw in a more moderate, non tech oriented crowd to the site???
  • All sorts of people wander onto this site for tech info. I even recommend it to family members. So I'm happy they do this!
  • Most of our traffic comes from people searching on Google, many of whom are just looking for helpful bits of information. Android is used by a billion and a half people, and many of them know very little about phones before they buy them. We're not just a news site but a services portal for all Android and Google users. Hope that helps explain why we post things like this!
  • not billion and a half. 2 billion
  • @truly_nice: You could always, you know, not read articles that don't appeal to you. The site targets a wide audience, not every single article will apply to everyone.
  • So glad to know about the factory reset protection. In case my s8 would get stolen, I have peace of mind knowing that it's basically paper weight.
  • How. By resetting it you're giving a thief a blank canvas. Am S8 can't even be turned off without the PIN or security verification. I'd leave it be. Maybe I'm wrong. But every time I reboot mines out requires my PIN that I know
  • @dizzle16 that's missing the point. If it's stolen the account will not have been removed by the owner, rendering it useless. https://www.androidcentral.com/factory-reset-protection-what-you-need-know
  • All sorts of people wander on to this site for tech info. I also recommend it to my family members. So I'm happy they do this!
  • Pretty sure if you factory reset it by using the built in recovery then let it boot do it again you bypass the reset protection
  • You can even tell Bixby to "reset my phone ro factory settings" and it goes straight to the option.
  • Nice to know! Too bad that's only possible in the U.S. right now!
  • These 'How to' articles are always welcome. Many inexperienced android users find them very helpful. Please don't stop posting articles like these.
  • These articles are helpful. Some people only think about their level, not minding a writer writes to wide target audiences. That's how some reviewer nearly discouraged me from getting a very useful book, "Mobile Phones and Tablets Repairs: A Complete Guide for Beginners and Professionals ". He said there were needless padding of small stuff on phones forgetting those small stuff were for novices to learn and be up to speed to what others know already. I am glad I got the book and it trained me practically(hw & sw) to start up my repair shop business. Now I just update with snippets of new info from around the Web like Android Central and others. So dude, shove your snickering opinion.
  • Well I agree with ya man. But don't be rude to the guy.
    YeaHe I used that book too to start up here in SA.
    It's a democracy yo. All man got opinion koz it cheap
  • Thanks for the useful article which will always be read, no matter the date.
    Hard or soft reset, that's the question?