Just a quick question. I have been trying to figure out the difference between Soft Reset, Hard Reset, Factory reset. If anyone could please help me to clarify the differences, it would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

A little bit of random information. So my phone was in my pocket, seems that it was reset (Turned off and instantly came back on) by the power button being held down for fifteen to twenty seconds, wondering if this is considered a Soft Reset, or Hard Reset, or if there really is a difference.

2 Answers 2

  • Soft Reset is simply powering your phone off and on by using power button - no data is lost

  • Hard Reset is forcibly stopping the power to phone by removing the battery ( if the battery is user replaceable)- no data is lost

Both these are first level means of rectifying minor issues and are harmless

  • Factory Reset is restoring the device to the state it was when you purchased it (with few exceptions) - all user data is lost. This is next level of troubleshooting or happens when you unlock bootloader. See also What is hard reset and what is factory reset?

What you describe is not any of the above. It is sleep state or sleep mode which your device goes into when it is inactive for long. This is a battery saving measure. One activates or wakes up the device by power button or home button ( if it was soft reset, it would have displayed start up logo and process)

Edit: OP clarified that start up logo appeared so it was actually a soft reset . Mobile likely got switched off accidentally

  • Thank you for the reply, and one final question, how do you hard reset if your phone is not user replaceable? Also, the logo screen did appear when it restarted, the power button was held down for long enough for the phone to restart.
    – Valbunny
    Mar 9, 2017 at 20:55
  • 1. You can't do hard reset, if battery is not user replaceable. So it is not a user option. 2. So what you did actually was soft reset- will edit the answer 3. If the answer satisfied you , you can click the green arrow next to vote up and down buttons to indicate that it met your expectations. There is no obligation at all and you can wait for other answers as well before deciding- mentioning it since you are new here, and yes, welcome to the community :)
    – beeshyams
    Mar 9, 2017 at 21:02
  • Hm, this deviates a bit from my knowledge... Or maybe I mixed up "soft reboot" with "soft reset"? I thought that means a SystemUI restart (am restart). Also, why does holding POWER key long enough still counts as soft reset? Isn't the circuit programmed to instantly cut power, similar to hard reset as you described it?
    – Andy Yan
    Mar 10, 2017 at 0:13
  • @AndyYan:: I am not conversant with internal workings, so you may have a point and possibly correct and different view. Regarding the power key press being soft reset- that is in the context of start up happening and logo showing as confirmed by OP in the first comment. Just googled found some more types of resets I wasn't aware of :) , but confirm what had been stated. Please correct me if I am wrong or there are things I am missing out
    – beeshyams
    Mar 10, 2017 at 0:26
  • In hard reset power disabling is by pulling out the battery unlike in soft reset where the circuit terminates power flow- that's why said forcibly on the case of former @AndyYan
    – beeshyams
    Mar 10, 2017 at 1:10

A hard reset is initiated from the hardware keys. (Volume, power, home, etc.) Whereas a soft reset is initiated from within the devices software. (Usually located in the Settings area of the device) Merely pressing the power button for 10 or so seconds to reboot the phone doesn't factory reset the device. It only reboots or restarts and doesn't erase user data. There seems to be confusion by a lot of folks on the differences of a hard reset vs a soft reset and a hard boot vs a soft boot.

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