How to Hard Reset the Google Nexus 7 Tablet

If you are having problems with your Nexus 7 tablet from Google, or if you purchased it used, you’ll probably want to do a hard reset to restore it to factory default settings.

Note that this will wipe the hard drive, so make sure to back up any documents and such you intend to keep. Google backs up certain data automatically, but not everything, so better safe than sorry.

This first method can be used if the device still functions enough to get through the menus.

1. Open up your apps list and go to Settings > Backup & Reset which is under the Personal section
2. Press Factory Data Reset
3. Press Reset Tablet
4. If the device is password protected, it will prompt you to enter your password, pin, or pattern, etc. Press Erase Everything to finish

This method must be used if the device is no longer functioning at all.

1. Turn off the device if it is turned on, and connect it via USB cable to your computer
2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Volume Down, and the Power Button at the same time for about three to four seconds to turn the device on, if done correctly you’ll see an Android lying on its back. This may prompt a driver installation on your computer, so let that driver install before you proceed if so. If you need the driver, download my zipped copy here. Go to file and download the entire zip file, unzip it to a folder, and point the installer to that folder.
3. Use the volume buttons to navigate to the Recovery Mode option, and press the Power Button to confirm your choice
4. The device will restart, and after a few minutes the device should boot to a screen showing an Android with a red triangle, press and hold the Power Button and Volume Up on this screen for about two seconds and let go to make the menu options appear
5. Use the volume buttons to navigate to Wipe Data / Factory Reset and press the Power Button to confirm your choice
6. Use the volume buttons to navigate to Yes and press the Power Button to confirm your choice

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  1. Catie says

    Thanks Donny for helping to get my Nexus 7 back up and running again … quick and easy steps to follow … my 7 is now downloading Android 4.3 … hopefully this update will remove the issues that got me into needing to hard reset in the first place.

  2. Too Confident for my own Good says

    My mum is very glad that there’s smart people like you in the world. Thanks for saving my ass!

  3. elnolino says

    i downloaded your driver but then when i pointed the installer to that folder, it said that it cant find it or it doesnt work, what should i do?

  4. says

    Firstly, I’d like to say thanks so much for taking the time to make these instructions!
    I let my roommates borrow my tablet, only to have it returned with the explanation that it randomly crashed and wouldn’t boot correctly. That being said, I followed the second version of your directions.
    Everything goes as it should from step to step until the very last bit. There’s the standing android with the progression bar below it, and the words “Wiping data… Formatting data…” to the left. Only… it never progresses beyond that. I’ve left the device in that state for hours with 0 change.
    What do you think I should do?
    Thanks in advance!

  5. aimee says

    Thank you! After days of trying fixes for the constant rebooting, the volume up + power button displayed the right menu to do a factory reset.

  6. tracee says

    I am selling a broken Nexus 7. I went to setting and erased and restored. The tablet is now back to the factory setting and asking me to select a language as when I first purchased. Is it now safe to send off? Just want to be sure I did as much as possible to erase any personal information that may have been on the tablet.

  7. olga says

    I am trying to unlock my Nexus 7 and nothing is happening!! I get to the point where I am trying to enter my email or get to the icon lying on his back and nothing it goes dead. What should I do??? This is a new tablet.

  8. Rhino says

    Thank you so much guys this was freaking me out i was bootlooping in cynogenmod ten on my brand new nexus i bought an hour ago my mom was going to freak

  9. B says

    On Step #4. Once I got the screen showing an Android with a red triangle, pressing two buttons never worked. However, I pressed and held all three buttons (Power , Volume Up and Volume Down) for about two seconds and let go and the “Wipe Data / Factory Reset” option appeared.

  10. Heather says

    followed instructions and have got to the android on its back with red triangle. When I hold the power and volume up button I get a message under the android which says “no command”. HELP

    • says

      thank you♥♥♥
      its connecting my tablet to the computer that made it work!!!!!. when i did the powder and and volume button than to recovery mode action, the android would appear with the red triangle exclamation mark thing, but when i hold the power and the up bottom no menu would appear. i tried this for three days the menu would never appear. ive search google and youtube, most users had the problem with the menu for the factory reset never showed up. BUT BY ME CONNECTING TO THE COMPUTER IT WORKED!!!!!! thank you so much♥♥♥
      i hope everyone could get theirs to work:)

  11. says

    Thanx mate, you saved me! Since 4.2 update, my Nexus has started misbehaving and it eventualy got stuck in a bootloop, this helped me reset… even though, I still don’t know what to do with it, since I’m sure it will do it again… wish I never updated from 4.1.2 wich was fast, stable and w/o problems…. 4.2 is total crap. Lost my data, can’t use it… terrible…

  12. Austin says

    IF your tablet does not turn on, Hold power button for up to 2 min. IT WILL BOOT!!!! sometimes it just takes a bit to power up. Had the same problem and now everythings working great! THANKS!!!!

  13. HB says

    None of these methods work for me. I have it connected to my computer via usb. No android on his back, no triangle, no google, no x. I installed the drivers on my computer and although it no longer tells me usb device not recognized, my computer does give an alert sound that something is plugged in and then another alert warning sound, but no messages appear to tell me what the sound means. I have held the buttons for at least three minutes because I timed it. Is there a way to connect it to a website to return it to factory settings, similar to what itunes provides for ipod and iphone?

      • HB says

        I have tried pressing and holding the power button alone for a couple of minutes. I have tried pressing and holding the power button and the volume-up button for a couple of minutes, as well as pressing and holding the power button and the volume-down button for a couple of minutes. I have even pressed and held the power button and alternated the volume-up/down button. I have done these steps with tablet connected to wall outlet and then connected to computer. And still my tablet does not respond.

  14. sriharsha says

    Initially when windows did not download the usb drivers automatically, the device was struck at android icon with red triangle. After downloading and installing the usb drives from the link it did not work for the first time. I powered off the device and started the same steps again.
    It worked.
    Thanks a lot.

  15. Pam says

    I got the blue options to come up, but am not able to use volume up/down button to toggle to choose wipe data/factor reset. Help please!

  16. Carlos says

    If I connect it to my computer, the N7 freezes. The drivers were installed correctly, so I don’t know what to do anymore.

  17. Gracie says

    My nexus 7 won’t except my password. I was able to get the andrid on its back but the vol. button does nothing. Screen is frozen. HELP

  18. DJ says

    My N7 gets stuck on the bootloader screen when I plug it in to my PC. The volume rocker or power button doesnt work. But when I restart it by holding the power and vol up/down rocker while not plugged into my PC i can get the buttons to work and choose recovery….then it just stays at the Google logo and does nothing. Need help. My screen is cracked and broken and I want to erase everything on my N7 and sell for parts on ebay.

  19. Ella says

    After several tries, I succeeded and went through all 6 steps to do the wipe data/factory reset. But when rebooting, I’m still stuck in the “X” screen.

  20. Ryan says

    When i have mine plugged into a computer it freezes on the android on its back screen. My computer says it failed to install the driver. Does anyone have the driver or a link to it?

  21. Rob says

    I got stuck on step 4. I was holding power and vol up and the tablet just restarts. If you hold power and press (and release) vol up it works.

  22. The Jellybean says

    Its working for me! You have to plug it in to a computer. When i did not plug it in, it would stay on the google screen.

  23. sabrina says

    trying to reboot nexus 7 just received google screen stuck have not seen android with rede tringle yet, it has been 20 min.


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