Soft Reset

Written by John Harris, Updated on October 13, 2023

A soft reset is a process of restarting or rebooting a device, such as a tablet, smartphone, laptop, or personal computer (PC), by clearing the internal (non-storage) memory of the running programs. A soft reset will close all open applications and clear any data associated with them in RAM (Random Access Memory). While unsaved data currently in use may be lost, the data stored on the hard drive, applications, and settings will not be affected.

On PCs, a soft reset consists of restarting the PC rather than shutting it down completely and then starting it again. For handheld devices like smartphones, a soft reset generally involves shutting the device off and then starting it fresh. This is a simple and fast way to resolve issues when an application is causing problems and is normally only performed on smartphones.

Soft resets are typically performed to attempt to fix malfunctioning applications or when applications require software installation. However, a soft reset does not edit or remove any user data, settings, or applications. It simply returns a device to the same state it was in when it was first purchased from the factory, restoring it to its default factory settings.

Some of the issues that a soft reset can fix include:

  1. Device continuously resets/reboots.
  2. Device frequently crashes or freezes.
  3. Device doesn't ring or vibrate.
  4. Unable to make or receive calls.
  5. Device locks up, and the keypad doesn't respond suddenly.
  6. Not receiving text and picture messages.
  7. Not receiving emails or unable to send files.
  8. Issues with audio.
  9. Responsive issues with touch screens or when navigating the phone.
  10. Network-related issues and a few minor software-related issues on phones.

The Benefits of a Soft Reset

Performing a soft reset can have several benefits:

  • Enhanced Performance: Clears temporary glitches that may be slowing down your device.
  • Improved Stability: Resolves software conflicts, leading to a more stable device.
  • Battery Optimization: Can help optimize battery life by closing unnecessary background processes.

When to Consider a Soft Reset

There are various scenarios where a soft reset can be incredibly helpful:

Smartphones and Tablets:
  • For most Android devices, simultaneously press and hold the power and volume down buttons until the device restarts.
  • On iPhones, press and hold the power button and either the volume up or down button until the Apple logo appears.
Laptops and Computers:
  • On Windows, you can perform a soft reset by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete and selecting "Restart."
  • On Mac, press and hold the power button until the device powers off and then turn it back on.

Remember, always back up your data before performing a soft reset to avoid any potential data loss.


Soft resetting your device is a handy skill that can help you overcome minor issues and keep your gadgets running smoothly. Remember, always back up your data before performing any reset, and if problems persist, don't hesitate to seek professional assistance. In case of data loss from various storage devices, you can rely on professional data recovery software like Remo Recover.

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