Whether you want to restore your Samsung tablet’s default settings to start fresh or sell it, the only way to make sure all old data is gone is by factory resetting the device. The process is as straightforward as it gets if you have access to the tablet, but what if you’ve been locked out and can’t unblock the device?
With access or not, here’s how to factory reset a Samsung tablet quickly and easily.
How to Factory Reset a Samsung Tablet from Settings
The easiest way to factory reset a Samsung tablet you have access to is from the device’s settings. Let’s see how to do it.
Step 1: Open the Apps
Press the power button and swipe to unlock the screen. If you’ve set up a secure start-up, draw the pattern or insert the PIN or password to unlock the device. You might also be able to use your fingerprint or facial recognition to gain access if you’ve set up a biometric screen lock.
Once the screen is unlocked, swipe up on the home screen to open the Apps page. If this doesn’t work (swiping up doesn’t work in older models), tap the Apps icon on your home screen.
Step 2: Go to Settings
On the Apps page, locate the icon Settings and tap on it. You can usually find this icon at the top of the screen among the first apps in the list unless you’ve rearranged the icons. For easier identification, this icon looks like a white gear on a blue or gray background, depending on the Android version.
Alternatively, if you can’t find the Settings on the Apps page, you can access them from the home screen. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the Quick Access panel and locate the gear icon at the top right-hand corner. Tap on it to access the Settings.
Step 3: Open the Reset Tab
In the Settings menu, scroll down to General Management and tap to open a separate tab. This tab allows you to manage various general settings, such as the system language, date, time, and contact support. This is also where you can open the Reset options. Simply tap on Reset to open the new window.
Step 4: Go to Factory Data Reset
In the Reset tab, you can find various options that allow you to reset all settings to their defaults, for instance, or reset your network settings. You can use these options if you want to only reset some settings on the tablet but not erase all data.
If you want to erase everything, including account accesses, photos, and other documents stored on the device, tap on the Factory Data Reset at the bottom of the options.
Step 5: Confirm Your Choice
After choosing the Factory Data Reset option, the following tab informs you what data will be erased from your tablet if you proceed. This includes your Google account access, system, and app data, downloaded apps and files, as well as the decryption key for files on the SD card, meaning that you won’t be able to use any encrypted files stored on your SD card after resetting to default settings.
The tab also shows you which personal accounts are in use on the tablet. If you only want to remove some of these accounts but save others, you shouldn’t factory reset the tablet. If you want to erase everything, tap on the Reset button.
Step 6: Confirm Again
Tapping on Reset opens a new tab that only informs you that all your personal information and downloaded apps will be erased and can’t be recovered if you proceed. Tap the Delete All button and wait while the system erases all your data and returns to the factory settings. You can then restart the tablet and start anew.
How to Factory Reset a Samsung Tablet That You Can’t Access
Sometimes, you might want to factory reset a locked Samsung tablet that you don’t have access to. The only way to do this is by accessing the Android Recovery screen.
To do that, turn off your tablet, then press the home, volume up, and power button simultaneously. In newer models that don’t have a home button, you should press the Bixby button instead.
Hold the buttons pressed until the Samsung logo appears, then release. A blue text on the top left-hand corner of the screen will let you know the system is rebooting.
Wait until the Android Recovery screen shows up. This screen includes a list of options, and among them, one to wipe the data and factory reset the device. Use the volume down button to move the cursor down and select the option.
Press the power button to confirm your selection. The system will ask you if you want to proceed — use the volume down to select Yes and press the power button to confirm. Wait for the system to complete the factory data reset process, then select the Reboot System Now option to turn to the main interface.
Before proceeding, you should know that for devices with Android Device Protection turned on, the system will ask you to confirm your identity using your Google sign-in credentials (which should match the Google account associated with the tablet). If you don’t have these credentials, you might not be able to use this method to factory reset the device.
You can factory reset a Samsung tablet directly from Settings if you have access to the device or from the Android Recovery screen if you’re locked out. No matter what route you choose, factory resetting the device will erase all of your data. For this reason, you should download or save any important files (such as photos or documents) in the cloud before proceeding.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Thanes.Op/Shutterstock.com.