There are a few reasons why you might need to factory reset your J5, you might be locked out of it, there could be a software fault, or maybe you're trading it in and just need to wipe your data. Whatever the reason, here's how it's done.
A factory reset, or 'hard reset' will remove all of your personal information from the phone, including photos, contacts and text messages. If you want to keep any of that stuff, you'll need to make sure you back it up first.
There are a few ways to make a backup – you can use a 'cloud' service, or back-up to your computer (Google and Samsung both offer cloud services). If you've already added a Google, or Samsung account to your phone, then there's a good chance it's already being backed up.
If you want to back up your Galaxy J5 to a computer, you'll need to download and install 'Samsung's Smart Switch', which you can find here.
Once it's installed, just open the software, plug in your phone, and press the Backup button. We've got a full guide here, on backing up your phone to Samsung Smart Switch.
The Samsung Galaxy J5 has a security feature called 'Android Device Protection', which stops it from doing a factory reset if you don't know the username and password of the Google account that's on the phone. It'll ask you for the login details when it's done the reset, and if you don't know them, you'll be locked out. That's why we recommend removing it completely before you do the factory reset.
From your Apps list, go to Settings > Accounts > Google.
Tap on the name of your Google account.
Press more (or three dots) in the top-right of the screen, then press Remove.
Confirm by pressing Remove account.
If your phone's working fine and you can open the Settings menu, this is easiest way to reset it.
Go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset. If it says you're signed in to a Google account, follow the steps above to remove it.
Tap Reset device > Erase everything.
It'll take a few minutes to remove everything, and when it's finished, you'll be back at the J5's initial Setup.
If you can't get into your J5's Settings menu for any reason, you'll need to do the reset from the 'Recovery Menu'. Here are the steps.
Turn the phone off, and remove the back cover, and battery.
Wait for 10 seconds and put the battery back into the phone, then replace the back cover.
Hold down the Volume up and Home buttons at the same time.
While holding down the Volume up and Home buttons, start holding down the Power button. Keep all three buttons held down until you see the Samsung logo.
After about 30 seconds, you'll see the Android Recovery Menu (If your phone starts up as normal, you'll need to go back to step one and try again).
Press the Volume down button 4 times to highlight the wipe data/factory reset option, and use the Power button to select it.
Now press the the Volume down button 7 times until Yes – delete all user data is highlighted, and press the Power button.
It'll take about a minute to delete everything, and when it's done, reboot system now should be highlighted. Tap the Power button.
It'll take a few minutes to finish the reset, and when it's done, you'll see the initial Setup screen.
If your phone's been lost or stolen, it's possible to wipe it remotely using an online service. You can use Google's 'Android Device Manager' service, or Samsung's 'Find My Mobile'. You'll need to have either a Google, or a Samsung account, and your phone will need to have an internet connection.
Go to the Android Device Manager website.
Log in to your Google account.
When you see your phone, press the Erase button.
Confirm you want to delete all your data by pressing Erase again.
Go to Samsung's Find My Mobile website.
Log in to your Samsung account.
Make sure your phone's selected in the top-left corner.
On the right-hand column, choose Wipe My Device.
If your phone's crashing a lot, or you can't open the settings, or recovery menu for any reason, then your only option might be to reset it using a PC.
You'll need a MicroUSB cable so you can connect the phone to the PC, and you'll also need the Samsung Smart Switch software installed on your computer, you can download it here.
When you're ready, follow the steps below.
Plug your Galaxy J5 into the PC (if you haven't done that before, it'll take a few seconds to install the drivers).
Open up the Smart Switch software, and wait for your phone to show up in Smart Switch.
Click more in the top-right, then Emergency Software Recovery and Initialisation.
Press OK to confirm you're ready to download the latest software and wipe the phone.
This is called a 'soft reset' and usually fixes minor software glitches, like if your phone's frozen, or stopped responding. This won't delete any data from your phone, it just forces it to reboot itself.
Take the back cover off the phone and remove the battery.
Leave the battery out for about ten seconds.
Put the battery back into the phone, and put the cover back on.
Try turning it on.
If you don't get any response at all, leave the phone charging for at least an hour, then try the soft reset again. If you still don't get any response, try reloading the software using a PC as described in Fix 4.
Hopefully that's you sorted, but if you need more help, you can get in touch with a Team Knowhow Expert here.
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