Google Nexus 5: How to Hard Reset

Phones don’t last forever these days, and the “smarter” phones get, the more they tend to have problems over time.

If you begin to have major problems with your Google Nexus 5, or if you plan to sell it, you’ll likely want to hard reset the phone to get it back to factory defaults.

How to Restart the Device

The first step in any troubleshooting process is simply forcing the device to restart, especially if it’s just simply locked up and won’t respond.

To force the device to restart, just hold down the power button for around eight to fifteen seconds. This should turn the device off completely, allowing you to turn it back on.

How to Hard Reset from the Phone Menu

Hard resetting the phone using the hardware buttons is a long process as you’ll see in the next section, so I recommend trying to hard reset the phone from the settings menu first.

1. Press your Apps button and go to Settings

2. Scroll down to Personal section

3. Press Backup & Reset

4. Press Factory Data Reset

5. Press the Reset Phone button

6. Press Erase Everything to confirm

The device will power off and come back on, requiring you to go through the initial setup

How to Hard Reset Using Hardware Buttons

This method is pretty long, so I only suggest doing this if the device isn’t responding at all.

1. First make sure that the device is powered off completely

2. Press and hold down the Power Button for several seconds

3. When you see the Google logo appear, press and hold the Volume Down key while still holding the Power Button.

4. When the phone vibrates, let go of both buttons and you’ll be presented with the Android Boot menu, characterized with an Android lying on its back

5. Press Volume Down twice to go to Recovery Mode and press the Power Button to select, which will restart the device

6. You should see a smaller Android lying on its back, now with a red caution triangle

7. Press and hold Volume Up for about five seconds, then release to access the Recovery screen

8. Press Volume Down twice until you see Wipe Data/Factory Reset, press the Power Button to select

9. Press Volume Down seven timesĀ (yes, seven times.. there are a bunch of No’s here) until you see Yes – Delete All User Data, press the Power Button to select

Wait, it’s not over yet? WTH!

10. When the device comes back up, you’ll be presented with one more menu with Reboot System Now selected, press the Power Button to confirm

The device will power off and come back on one more time, and you’ll be presented with the initial device setup.

Whichever method you chose to reset your Google Nexus 5 smartphone, let us know how it went in the comments below.


  1. Yuri says

    I just bought a new Nexus 5 and after 1 week the phone started acting up. So I tried to reset the phone twice and now all it does is stay on the boot screen. The long way works, bu my phone is now stuck on the boot screen with the Android 4 colour flashinglogo. Help!

  2. Robb Barrow says

    I’m a new smartphone user and I managed to lock my Nexus 5 without being able to unlock it. The quick start guide and “user guide” were no help. This worked. I’m saving the info in case I have to use again. Thx.

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