You can format your Windows phone to its factory settings when you have locked yourself out of the phone or when you just need to start over fresh. You have two options to format the phone; using a software reset or using a hardware reset.
If you can access the phone properly, software reset is recommended. If not, opt for the hardware reset. Windows phone help guidelines for formatting the device are given below.
Using Software Reset
- Connect the phone to the charging cable. Else, make sure that the phone battery is fully charged. If your phone runs out of battery power when the formatting process is going on, your phone will become inoperable.
- Before formatting the device, you can backup important data to the cloud. Swipe through the list of apps and locate the Settings The icon resembles the shape of a gear or cog.
- Once you have located the icon, touch on Settings and then the icon for Backup in the consecutive screen. Next, touch the button for App list + settings and then Backup now. Your data will be backed up now.
- In the Settings screen, touch the About In the About screen that opens up, select Reset your phone. You will be shown a warning message notifying you that resetting the phone will remove all your apps, music, and personal data.
- If you need to format the data in your SD card as well, place a check mark in the box labeled Erase SD card too.
- When prompted to confirm the formatting process, touch on Touch Yes one more time in the next screen.
- The phone will start formatting. Wait until the device completes the automated process.
Using Hardware Reset
- Press and hold down on the – and the Power keys for 10 to 15 seconds. The phone may start to vibrate, depending on your specific model.
- Next, release your fingers off the Power key and press on the – volume button. Hold on to it unless a large exclamation mark appears on your device screen.
- To initiate the hardware reset process, press and release the + volume button, – volume button, Power button and then the – volume button. Make sure that you press the keys exactly in this order.
- The process will initiate and your phone will be reset to its factory settings.
Note that if you have lost your Windows device, Windows phone help desk offers the option to reset the phone so that no one else gets access to your data.