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How To Reset the Google Nexus 7 Tablet and Return to Factory Specs



For those who find that their Google Nexus 7 Tablet quit running smoothly, one solution is to reset the tablet to factory settings. Users should always try to resolve their problem using other means first because this step totally erases the tablet removing all apps, documents, videos, pictures or files of any kind.

This is also an easy way to wipe your settings and data from the Nexus 7 before giving it to another user, like a child or spouse.

Since the Google Nexus 7 Tablet doesn’t include a removable storage solution, like a micro-SD card. This means the user can’t easily copy their files to such a card to safeguard it during this process. So take this step carefully.

Read: 16GB Nexus 7 Back In Stock, Shipping in 3-5 Days

Backup and Prepare to Reset the Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Nexus 7 tablet

First, a Google Nexus 7 Tablet user should back up their data. Look for documents, music, videos, pictures and any other files that reside on the tablet. Check all apps used regularly and back any data up that the apps create. With Android, the user can do this easily using the Share feature that allows any app that supports it to share content. I use DropBox or Email to send such files to myself or my online Dropbox storage.

If the user turns it on, the Instant Upload feature of Google+ will help a lot with picture backup. Open Google+ and tap the settings button. Turn the Instant Upload toggle to On.

Getting those images back onto the tablet isn’t as easy with Google+ Instant Upload, so I use Dropbox. It features an automatic photo upload feature which turns itself on by default when the user installs Dropbox.

Don’t forget downloads, which will show up in the Downloads folder on the built-in SD card. I use ES File Explorer, a free app in the Google Play Store, to browse my files on the Google Nexus 7 Tablet. Users can use the app to share files. Long press on a file and use the Share command in the menu. Send it to an email address or Dropbox or other appropriate locations.

Erase and Reset the Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Open Settings by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping the settings icon in the top row furthest to the right or by opening the App Drawer. Find Backup & Reset and tap it.

Backup and reset

From the next screen hit the Factory Data Rest button and you’ll see the following screen. Tap the Reset tablet button at the bottom of the screen.

Reset tablet

The tablet will restart, erase itself and then load again. The user must set up the tablet all over again.

This might be the best time to unlock the boot loader and root the Nexus 7. Doing so erases the tablet, so performing the operation at this point means the user won’t lose anything.



  1. Peter Versage

    08/02/2012 at 7:39 am

    Hi Kevin, I read your summary on the reset. I simply want to delete my linked Gmail account and remove all email data. If I do the reset, will I get the identical information that was on the tablet as it was when I first “powered up”. There are a couple of magazines and sound files that shipped with the tablet. I downloaded a few apps, but they are not important.. don’t care if they are removed. The tablet will be used by my boss for demonstration to his customers. I have no pictures or video on the device.
    Thanks in advance!

    • [email protected]

      08/08/2012 at 6:16 am

      Peter, when I’ve added and removed google accounts from mine I’ve found that all associated data, eg emails stored in gmail, are removed too. When I first got it I set it up with my account, but as it is a “family” tablet I swapped it out for a new account I set up for this purpose. Anything associated with my old account just vanished. Apps, etc remain in place, even the ones purchased with the account I removed.

      • Pete Versage

        08/08/2012 at 6:50 am

        Hi Kevin, thanks. I did find a way to remove the GMail account and it worked – all email history was removed from the tablet. After deleting the email account, power the tablet off, then power on. If you removelink the only email account, you will see a startup prompt to link an email account (as when the tablet was opened out of the box.

  2. Heng Bunna Reth

    08/05/2012 at 8:44 pm

    How to shipping to cambodia ?

  3. R Graves

    08/11/2012 at 3:32 pm

    I set up my new Nexus 7 without difficulty until Talk back was activated. I have some visual problems and wanted text to voice for reading books. From that time on I an unable to go to settings to deactivate by trying everything.

    Any suggestions as to where I can find a solution would be appreciated.

  4. william

    09/27/2012 at 8:56 pm

    i forgot my password so apart from reseting the tab from main dashboard isnt there any way i can reset if i cant get inside the tab menu??

  5. abqgirl

    10/02/2012 at 11:32 am

    i want to give my daughter the tablet, but she thinks it has never been opened (oops), had to try it, I reset it, but what will be left on there? any trace of me?

  6. Glen

    10/18/2012 at 5:41 pm

    My own keep talk I can’t do noting on it can’t find settings

  7. Glen

    10/18/2012 at 5:42 pm

    Am stress out

  8. Rodrigo Frias

    10/28/2012 at 7:20 am

    I have a nexus 7 bought in NYC, the tablet failed and the screen is not responding to anything, I see white lines going up without answering the touchscreen in order to reset it.
    I am in Chile and I dont have support and warranties.
    How can I send the tablet back to the US and get use my warranty?

  9. Ednny

    10/28/2012 at 12:18 pm

    help me, I’m brazilian and I have a nexus 7 (a friend of mine bought for me) firstly it was incredible, I just loved the N7, but now, after 1 month I can’t turn it on! what I have to do?
    it doesn’t work!

  10. Dee

    11/17/2012 at 3:41 pm

    i just factory reset my nexus 7. i cant get passed the network page

  11. Michelle

    12/18/2012 at 6:32 pm

    My 8 year old son got one of these and shortly after that changed all his login info to something he forgot and never told us about it…in other words, we have no clue how to log in now and neither does he. Then, his brother tried to log into it so many times it now says we’re locked out. Sighhhh…. He saved up allowance, Christmas money, and birthday money to buy it and hasn’t been able to use it for over a month. What can we do?

    • ang

      05/15/2013 at 4:27 pm

      My 9 yr old jus did it to mine….put a zigzag code in it……lol trying figure out now…

  12. Abed behrooz

    01/06/2013 at 9:03 pm

    I have read that a hard reset is done by following process

    1. Turn off.
    2. Hold vol up/vol down/power on
    3. connect USB cable to a PC.
    3. Select Recovery using vol buttons and press power button
    4. After several minutes, screen with red triangle will appear
    5. Hold volume up and press return for menu to make hard reset

    All goes well til #4. Here I get blank screen showing “Google” and when i log on to Andriod page which show don’t show me any red triangle option on Android logo and also it never moves any option of ( Recovery mode ) and just freezes. I have waited over 25 minutes as well for the boot into recovery menu and nothing happens.

    • Taz

      04/14/2013 at 6:39 pm

      I was successful on the boot. I start it up it only goes to WI-FI and stays stuck.

  13. cathrine agostino

    06/16/2015 at 5:19 pm

    voice will not let me access my settings

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