The Samsung Galaxy S8 may be one of the older members of Samsung’s Galaxy S range, but it’s an absolute classic. Its sleek looks, capable hardware, and great camera mean anyone who has one may not want to give it up anytime soon. But a phone starts to slow down as it ages, and if you’re not planning on replacing it, that’s going to get very annoying very fast. Thankfully, there are ways to help speed a phone back up, and one of those is a factory reset. A full reset helps to clear out all the cobwebs that have built up over the years, and can significantly speed a phone up.
On the flip side, you may be palming off or selling an old Galaxy S8 — at which point a factory reset is even more crucial, as it makes sure your precious data doesn’t fall into anyone else’s hands. But regardless of why you’re doing it, a factory reset is simple. Here’s how to factory reset a Samsung Galaxy S8.
Factory reset protection
Factory Reset Protection (FRP), a security measure Google introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop, is designed to prevent thieves from wiping your device and using or selling it. But if you don’t disable it, then it can interfere with a factory reset.
When you reset a phone to factory default with FRP enabled, it’ll prompt you to enter the user name and password for the last Google account registered to the device. That’s good and fine if you’re the owner, but obviously problematic if you’ve sold it or given it to another person.
Thankfully, you can disable it so this doesn’t happen. Here’s how to disable Factory Reset Protection on the Galaxy S8:
- First, remove your Google account. Go to Settings > Cloud & accounts > Accounts and tap on Google. Then tap the three vertical dots in the upper right, or More > Remove account. Make sure to remove every Google account you see.
- Next, you’ll have to remove your Samsung account. Head to Settings > Lock screen and security > Find My Mobile. Enter your password, tap on your account at the top, and select More > Remove account.
Now that you’ve disabled Factory Reset Protection, it’s a good idea to back up your apps and settings. Alternatively, you can skip straight to the factory reset process.
Backing up your data
How to back up apps
To back up the apps and games you’ve installed on your Galaxy S8, head to the Settings menu.
- Tap Cloud and accounts, then Backup & restore.
- Tap Back up my data, and choose whether or not you’d like to back up your account data, Wi-Fi passwords, and other settings to Google’s servers.
How to back up contacts
Saving your contacts to the cloud is just as easy as backing up your apps and settings.
- Open the Settings menu, and then tap Cloud and accounts.
- Tap Accounts, and then select the account you’d like to sync.
- Tap the three vertical dots in the top-right corner, and tap Sync now.
Your cloud-stored contacts should now be up to date.
How to back up media and pictures
Factory resetting your Galaxy S8 doesn’t have to mean losing your photos, videos, and other media. Here’s how to back everything up.
- Tap the Samsung folder, and then tap My Files.
- Tap Internal storage.
- Tap the three vertical dots icon, and then tap Share. Select the content you want to backup.
- Tap Share, and select the location you want the content to be shared with.
How to back up to a microSD card with Smart Switch
One of the benefits of using a Samsung Galaxy S8 is having a microSD card slot. Not only are they an affordable option for more memory, but they function as storage space to back up your apps, contacts, and media files. The built-in Smart Switch app on your phone allows you to seamlessly do that.
- Make sure you have a microSD card with enough storage inserted into your Galaxy S8.
- Open up your settings and search Smart Switch.
- Tap on the microSD card symbol on the upper right corner.
- Tap on Back up on the bottom.
- Check or uncheck the items that you’d like to back up. You can tap on the arrows next to the labels to expand.
- Tap Back up and let Smart Switch do the rest of the work!
Reset your Galaxy S8 from the settings menu
The easiest way to factory reset your Galaxy S8 is from the phone’s settings menu. Make sure it’s powered on, and then go to Settings > General management > Reset. Tap on Factory data reset, then Reset, and finally Delete all.
Now sit tight — the process takes a few minutes. Once it’s finished, you’ll see the Galaxy S8’s welcome screen.
Reset your Galaxy S8 from the recovery menu
Sometimes, software corruption, persistent malware, and other factors make resetting your Galaxy S8 from the settings menu an unrealistic proposition. Luckily, you can erase the phone’s data without having to boot into its operating system by using the recovery menu.
Make sure your Galaxy S8 is powered down.
- Hold the Volume up, Bixby, and Power buttons at the same time, and keep them held down until you see the Samsung logo.
- After 30 seconds, you should see the Android Recovery Menu. If your phone boots up as normal, try repeating the previous two steps.
- Press the Volume down button four times, until Wipe data/Factory reset is highlighted. Select it using the Power button.
- Press the Volume down button seven times until Yes — delete all user data is highlighted. Select it using the Power button, which triggers the reset process.
- Once the factory reset is complete, press the Power button and select reboot system now.
Once the Galaxy S8 boots, you’ll see the default welcome screen.
Reset your Galaxy S8 using Samsung’s Smart Switch PC software
If you’d prefer to use a computer to reset the Galaxy S8, good news: Samsung’s Smart Switch software makes it simple. It’ll guide you through the factory reset process, install the newest firmware on your Galaxy S8, and wipe your apps, settings, and personal data.
There are a few prerequisites, though. You’ll need to plug the Galaxy S8 into one of your PC’s USB ports using a USB-C cable, and you’ll have to download and install the Smart Switch software from Samsung’s website. From there, it’s all downhill.
If you’re plugging in your Galaxy S8 for the first time, you’ll have to wait for the necessary drivers to install. Once that’s finished, move on to the next steps.
- Launch the Samsung Smart Switch software you installed earlier. Your phone will appear in the list of devices.
- Click more in the top-right corner of the screen, and then click Emergency Software Recovery and Initialization.
- Click Device Initialization. Click OK; click OK again to confirm the initialization; and click OK a third time to confirm you’ve read the list of precautions.
- Choose whether you want to create a backup. If you’d rather not, click Skip backup.
- If you get a User Account Control prompt, click Yes.
- Smart Switch will download and install the latest Galaxy S8 firmware to your device. Once it finishes, click OK.
Reset your Galaxy S8 using findmymobile.com
Find My Mobile has a custom security feature that allows concerned users to override their phones and force a factory reset online— even if their phone is lost or stolen and not in their possession. Users can also backup their important and sensitive data to the Samsung Cloud remotely before the factory reset even starts. The only requirement to successfully back up your data via a remote connection is to ensure that your smartphone is on and connected to wireless internet. To remote-factory reset your lost phone, follow a few quick steps:
- Navigate to the Find My Mobile website and punch in your Samsung account login to connect.
- In your account, you’ll find a list of devices that are linked to your login number. Select the device you wish to reset.
- Click Erase data > Erase.
- If the phone erases successfully, a progress bar should appear on your screen to inform you of the remaining time left in the reset.
There are a few other factory reset techniques you could try out to revert your device. In our experience, most resets will make your S8 as good as new. It’s a good idea to restore your device to factory settings if you’re preparing to sell it or if your phone has been stolen. You can learn more about the features of your Samsung smartphone with these Galaxy S8 tips and tricks. If a factory reset doesn’t reverse your phone’s problem, check out this list of common Galaxy S8 problems and how to fix them for detailed solutions.