How to format an Android phone if it won't turn on

Updated: May 12, 2023
6 min read
How to format an Android phone if it won't turn on
by Jahed Torres
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

How do I format my Android phone if it won't turn on? Of course, traditional formatting will not be effective in this case. However, do not get upset and panic. It is possible to carry out the conceived bypassing the operating system. Consider the main ways to format your smartphone, if it hangs and refuses to work.

Before we start

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Formatting in Recovery mode

This method is relevant for those users whose device does not work at all or when switching on, the logo is lit, and then the phone hangs. To enter Recovery mode, you must perform one of the following combinations (for different smartphone models, it can be different, so here are the most common combinations):

  1. Press the off button in parallel with pressing the volume down key.
  2. In some LG lines, you must perform the above action, but immediately after the logo appears, press the power key again.
  3. For Samsung models, hold down the home, volume up, and power keys simultaneously. After the logo appears, release the power key while continuing to hold down the other keys.
  4. For Sony Xperia, press the volume up and down keys and the power button at the same time.
  5. Press the home, power, and volume up keys at the same time.
  6. Press the volume up and volume down buttons simultaneously.

You will then be taken to the Recovery menu. You can navigate through the menu using the volume buttons or the touch screen. When confirming the selection, you need to press the power key on the smartphone. Confirm the action by pressing the "yes" key. Then select Reboot System Now. In some models of Android, it may be called differently. The device will reboot and will be formatted.

The pitfalls

This method is relatively simple and effective, but it can have unpleasant consequences for the user. In some models, after turning on the Android, you are asked to access the Google account. This requires you to enter your account and password. If you have entered the required data, the smartphone will be blocked. You can resolve this issue with the manufacturer. However, to do this, be sure to take the warranty documents, confirming the fact of purchase. Otherwise, the employees of the center will not be able to help you. The Android will still be blocked.

The "grandfather's method" of formatting Android phones

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Some Android models still have a specially designed format button, which is represented by a tiny hole. It can be located on the side of the panel, on the bottom of the phone, or hidden under the battery cover. To format the smartphone, you only need to press the secret button with a thin, sharp object.

A toothpick or a woman's manicure scissors are good for this. However, remember that in this case, you lose all the files and information stored on the phone. It cannot be restored.

Formatting Android via computer

To do this, you need to connect your phone via USB to your Windows PC. If, after connection the computer detects the smartphone as an unknown device, then you need to download the appropriate drivers for the phone model and install them on the PC.

If even after this, the computer does not recognize the Android, you need to unplug it from the cord, remove the back cover, remove the battery, and plug it in again. Now the problem will definitely be eliminated.

Follow the algorithm:

  1. Download the Android SDK program on your PC.
  2. Start the application, click cmd to go to the command line.
  3. Specify the path to the folder where the information you want to format is stored. You can do this by using the "CD". If you have not installed the Android SDK, you will have to specify the path manually.
  4. Enter the following value into the command line - adb shell recovery -wipe_data.

After that, the smartphone returns to the factory settings, turns on, and works properly, turning from a non-functional brick into a functioning Android. If the above method does not work, then the problem lies in the hardware. And you should contact a service center to solve the problem.

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