How to Factory Reset Your Galaxy S6

Because maybe you need a fresh start

A woman sitting at desk looking at cell phone.

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A factory reset of a Galaxy S6 can help if it's running slow, the battery is running down quickly, or if you’re running out of space. It’s also essential to do before selling, donating, recycling, or giving your smartphone to someone else.

Luckily, the process for resetting Samsung devices is straightforward, and if you take the time to back up your device properly, you won‘t have to worry about losing any data.

These instructions apply to the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, and S6 Active, running Android 7.0 Nougat or later.

What Does a Factory Reset Do?

Before you perform a factory reset, you should know what it means. In short, this process takes your device back to how it was when it came out of the box. After this reset, you or the next owner need to go through the setup process, sign into Google, and download or restore apps.

There is no undoing a factory reset. If you need this data, make sure to back it up properly before proceeding.

If you’re not prepared to go through a factory reset, try a soft reset first. Doing so doesn’t remove data, but can solve some performance issues, just like rebooting your computer can. A soft reset means simply powering your smartphone off and then on again; you can also use the restart option if that doesn’t work. Note: If you are unable to power your device off or if it becomes unresponsive, press and hold the Power/Lock button for 10 seconds, until it reboots.

How to Reset the Samsung Galaxy S6

Before you do a factory reset, you should back up your Android so that you won’t lose any data or settings. Go to Settings > Backup and reset and toggle on Back up my data. Then, connect a Google account if you haven‘t already. Once you’ve successfully backed up your data, you can safely do a factory reset.

  1. Go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset.

    Samsung Galaxy S6 Backup and Reset Screen with Factory data reset at the bottom.
  2. At the top of the screen, you’ll see a list of some of the data that a reset will erase including your Google account, System and app data, Phone settings, Downloaded apps, Music, and Pictures. It also lists the accounts you're logged into on the smartphone.

    Samsung Galaxy S6 factory data reset screen.
  3. Tap the Reset Phone button at the bottom.

  4. One the next screen, you’ll need to unlock your phone using the password, PIN, or pattern you created.

  5. Next, you’ll get a warning that this process will delete all your personal information and downloaded applications, which can’t be recovered.

  6. Tap the Delete All button.

    Samsung Galaxy S6 Factory Data Reset screen.
  7. You might be prompted to log into your Samsung account. Sign in if you need to and tap Confirm.

  8. Your phone should shut down and begin the deletion process.

  9. When the process is complete, the phone restarts and brings you to the welcome screen.

How to Reset a Galaxy S6 Without the Unlock Code

If you want to reset a device that you can’t unlock, there’s another method to try. However, you might still need to have your Samsung password handy when you restart the phone after reset.

  1. Turn off your Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, or S6 Active.

  2. Press and hold the volume up, home, and power buttons at the same time. The causes the phone to boot up; you can release the buttons when you see the Android icon or logo on the screen.

  3. Next, you’ll see your phone’s boot menu, which looks like command lines.

  4. Use the volume down button to navigate to Wipe Data/Factory Reset, and tap the power button to select it.

  5. You’ll get a warning: Wipe all user data? THIS CAN NOT BE UNDONE!

  6. Scroll down to yes using the volume down button, and press the power button. 

  7. When the reset is finished, a message at the bottom of the screen says: Data Wipe Complete.

  8. Press the power button to finish the reset.