Android power options.

If you occasionally restart your Android device, it clears its memory and speeds things up. It can also be a quick fix for minor problems, like crashing apps. Here’s how to restart your Android smartphone or tablet to fix common issues.

Perform a Standard Restart

A “standard restart” means you reboot your device with the built-in software options. Press the power button on your device (it’s usually on the top or right side but can also be on the left) for a few seconds to launch the onscreen power menu. You don’t have to unlock your device to do this.

The Power Menu on a Samsung Motorola Android phone.

The onscreen power menu options might vary slightly depending on your device, and which version of Android it runs. Tap “Restart” if there’s an option to do so, and then wait for your device to reboot.

If you don’t see an option to restart, move on to the next method.

Turn It Off and Back On

You can also restart your Android smartphone or tablet manually by following the tried-and-true method of switching your device off, and then back on again.

The effect is the same as the previous method, and it’s a good alternative if your device doesn’t have a restart option in the power menu.

A "Power Off" option on an Android device.

The same as before, hold the smartphone or tablet’s power button down for a few seconds to see the power options. Tap “Power Off” (or the equivalent on your device), and then wait for your phone or tablet to switch off completely.

Once your device is off, press the power button to turn it on again.

Perform a Hard Restart (or Hard Reboot)

If your device isn’t responding or you have trouble completing a typical reboot, you can perform a hard reset (or hard reboot) instead.

Don’t worry—this isn’t the same as a factory reset. This option is just a more drastic method of turning your Android device off and back on. It’s like holding the power button down on your computer.

To give this a go, press and hold the power button for at least 20 seconds. If Android isn’t responding, this will (usually) force your device to reboot manually.

Remove the Battery

Sleek smartphones and tablets are all the rage these days. Manufacturers now use integrated, nonremovable batteries to reduce the overall size of the hardware.

An Android phone with its battery cover removed.

If you’re lucky enough to have a device with a removable battery, and it still won’t restart, you can remove the battery. We recommend you try to turn off your device before you pull the battery.

To begin, carefully remove the back casing from your device. Each manufacturer has a different way you can do this, but there are usually little areas where you can get your nail or a thin plastic spatula underneath to separate the two pieces. Avoid using any tools that might puncture the battery or otherwise damage your device.

After you remove the battery, put it back in, and then press the power button to turn on your device again.

Use ADB to Reboot From Your PC

If the power button is broken, you might be able to plug your device into a computer and use the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) tool to reboot it. This tool—provided by Google—allows several remote operations, including rebooting your smartphone or tablet.

First, you have to install ADB with the Android SDK along with your Android device drivers. You also need to make sure USB debugging is enabled in the developer options area of your Android settings.

RELATED: How to Install and Use ADB, the Android Debug Bridge Utility

An Android Debug Bridge (ADB) reboot command on a Windows computer.

Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable, open Command Prompt or Terminal, and then type adb devices to make sure your device is detected. If it isn’t, double-check that you correctly installed the drivers for your device and followed the setup guides linked above.

If you see your device listed, type adb reboot and your Android device should reboot normally.

If All Else Fails, Factory Reset

When you troubleshoot problems on your Android device, a restart should always be your first step. This is often all that’s required to get things back to normal. But not always.

Android devices do slow down over time. If a reboot doesn’t help, a factory reset might be the only way to get your device back in working order.

Ben Stockton Ben Stockton
Ben Stockton is a freelance tech writer from the United Kingdom. In a past life, he was a UK college lecturer, training teens and adults. Since leaving the classroom, he's been a tech writer, writing how-to articles and tutorials for MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Cloudwards.net. He has a degree in History and a postgraduate qualification in Computing.
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