difference between soft reset and hard reset


Cell phones today perform a wide range of tasks which were not even thinkable 10 years ago. Hence there are always chances of malfunctioning even without a cause. Most of the smartphones today tend to start showing abnormalities after completing their honeymoon period!


The hardware related problems and faults like broken screen, no outgoing or incoming sound, no charging, SIM detection failure require the handset to opened and thereafter either serviced or parts to be replaced. But the software problems can be easily repaired by anyone either by soft-reset or hard-reset.


The most common software problems are as follows: 

  • Freezing or becoming unresponsive
  • Getting stuck on logo while booting
  • Slow processing
  • Blank screen without booting
  • Switching off automatically
  • Improper functioning of apps


To overcome the above faults, we first try soft-reset. If the problem is not solved, we then try hard-reset.


So lets know what is the difference between soft-reset and hard-reset.



Rebooting or restarting your cell phone is called soft-reset. You just need to press the power button to switch it off. If it is not switching-off, keep the power button pressed for 15-20 seconds until it shuts down.

In basic, normal, feature phones, there is an option in the menu to reset settings only. This will reset only the settings and not delete the data. If this option is available, you can also try it as it solves many of the minor software-related faults. But this option is not available in smartphones; it is only available in cheap, low-end phones.



Hard-rest (also known as factory-reset) means deleting all the user data in your handset. It will delete all data which you have downloaded or saved in your handset including contact numbers, music, pictures, videos, apps, etc. It also brings the handset back to its original settings. It will not delete the data in the memory card by this procedure.


Hard-reset will delete the following data

  • Google account / Phone account
  • Downloaded apps and their data.
  • App settings
  • Contacts, messages, music, pictures, videos, etc.


Things to check before performing a hard-reset

  • Backup of necessary data is taken.
  • Battery should be charged enough to last at least 10-15 minutes.


Caution: Before doing any procedure, we need to know the root cause of the fault. If the problem is not known, the procedure to be followed is by ‘trial and error’ i.e. try step by step. First try a soft-reset, and then try a hard-reset. If the fault is not yet resolved, you will need to flash or upgrade your mobile phone.


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