power button on a google pixel
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

Rebooting an Android device is usually a simple thing to do. But that’s not the case when your phone or tablet is stuck and won’t respond to any input. We’ll show you how to force restart your Android handset.

The specific situation we’re talking about is when the screen is unresponsive and the power button does nothing. Usually, if an app is frozen, you can still go to the home screen or reboot the phone like normal. However, if the entire phone is stuck, you’ll need to try something else.

This Is Not a Factory Reset

It’s important to note that what we’re doing here is not a factory reset. A factory reset is when you completely wipe your device of all data and start over from scratch.

What we’ll be doing is sometimes called a “hard reset” or “hard reboot.” You’re only restarting the device, not deleting anything. It may feel like you’re doing something “wrong,” but this process is harmless.

Perform a Hard Restart/Reboot

Some Android devices have special button combinations to do a hard reboot, but there’s one trick that almost always works for any device.

All you need to do is press and hold the power button for at least 20-30 seconds. It’s going to feel like a long time, but keep holding it until the device powers off.

Samsung devices have a slightly quicker method. Press and hold the volume down key and the power/side key for seven seconds.

samsung reboot keys

It’s really as simple as that! Press, hold, and wait.

Remove the Battery

person removing the battery from a smartphone
Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock

This method is not as relevant as it used to be, but it will still apply to some devices. If your Android device has a removable battery, you can simply pull it out to reboot it.

Carefully remove the back cover and pry the battery out as safely as you can. Wait a few seconds, and then put it back in. Power on the device like you normally would.

You’re all set! An unresponsive Android phone can be a pain, and you might think that something serious is wrong, but in most cases, a simple reboot will solve the problem.

RELATED: Why Is My Android Phone So Slow? 10 Ways to Speed It Up

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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