Hard Reset HTC One M9

Learn how to hard reset your HTC One M9 if it is not responding to commands. A hard reset will revert the device to factory default settings. While the HTC One M9 is a powerful device. There are some things that haven’t improved though: the screen is still “only” 5 inches, which could be too big or too small depending on your opinion on the subject. The resolution is “only” 1080p, but again, some are questioning whether the pin-sharp QHD resolution is needed, given that it’s harder on battery life.

It also has its fair share of software/hardware problems. The following steps will help you hard reset your M9 but before you do so, here are some things you should know or would like to know beforehand:

What is a Factory Data Reset?

A factory data reset or factory reset is a type of hard reset which removes information from your HTC One M9.

What is a Hard Reset?

A hard reset is a tool used to remove, erase, or delete all user data from a cell phone. It removes all imported, installed, or added information and reverts the One M9 to the factory default settings.

There are many types of resets available for smartphones some of which erase information from the cell phone such as the Hard Reset, Factory Data Reset, Master Resets, etc. while other resets such as a Soft Reset, or a Second Level Reset, etc. do not affect or erase data from the device.

If I do a factory reset on my HTC One M9 will it erase the data on my SD card?

This is one of the most often asked question about factory data resets. By default, a hard reset WILL NOT erase or remove the information saved on your external memory card. It is important to know however that when performing a hard reset, depending on the device that you are using, options to format the SD card which WILL erase the data saved on your device’s external storage do exist.

This option, when available, is typically not selected by default but when available and you do not want to erase your memory card during the reset make sure that the option to do so is not selected. If you don’t see this option, then your SD card in your One M9 will not be touched during the factory reset.

As an extra precaution however, you can always remove the SD card from the device, and then do the hard reset. With the memory card removed from the phone during the hard reset there will be no chance of losing any data.

What gets deleted during a hard reset?

All user data and custom settings will get erased from the One M9 after performing a factory reset. Basically, everything added to the M9’s internal storage that did not originally come pre-installed on the device will be deleted.

If I do a factory reset will I lose pictures saved on my HTC One M9?

Yes, any and all pictures that you have taken with your camera or any images saved on the phone’s internal storage will be erased after performing a hard reset. Be sure to export your images to a computer or memory card prior to performing the hard reset.

If I do a hard reset will I lose my text messages saved on my M9?

Yes, all text message threads, both sent and received will be erased when performing a hard reset. Messages can be difficult to back up by default. If you have important text messages on your phone that you need to save before performing a reset then check out How to backup and save text messages on an Android phone for some suggestions.

If I do a hard reset will I lose music downloaded on my One M9?

Yes, any music that you have downloaded to your phone’s internal storage or have uploaded from a computer will be erased from the phone’s internal storage. Make sure to copy any important music or audio files to a computer or memory card before performing a reset.

If I do a factory reset will I lose the contacts saved on my HTC One M9?

Yes… any contacts saved to the phone will be erased. Luckily Android smartphones create a backup contact list to the primary Gmail account associated with the phone and contacts are often automatically backed up online by default. You can learn how to back up your contacts here.

If I do a factory reset will I lose my apps?

Yes, and No.

Any applications that came pre-installed on your HTC One M9 will stay on your smartphone as clean and fresh installs with their default settings.

So for example:  Android phones come with a Camera application by default. After performing a hard reset on the device the phone is still going to have a Camera application but any customization such as custom settings to the camera will be lost. So if you had turned on the Flash to be used for every picture taken, or had adjusted the default resolution, or changed the size that you wanted your pictures saved as, or changed the save location of your media taken with the camera, or the camera’s zoom settings, or focus, etc. these settings will all be reset to default.

Any third party applications that did not originally come on the device, such as applications from the Android Play Store (formerly the Android Marketplace) will be removed from the phone’s storage.

Will I lose app data such as points or levels from a game if I perform a hard reset on my M9?

If information such as points, coins, unlocked levels, unlocked characters, rewards, tokens, etc. are saved to your phone’s internal storage then a factory reset will cause that data to be lost. It depends on how the application was written when it was developed.

If the application saves your app data online or onto your memory card (external storage) as opposed to the phone’s internal storage, then your apps information and data will be safe. If this is the case, you WILL have to re-download the application onto your phone after the reset but once it’s downloaded apps will often search an existing memory card for preexisting information and restore it to the app automatically. If the information was stored online, then you may have to log onto an account to regain access to the apps information but it should restore as well.

It all depends on the application in question and how well it was written. If you are concerned about losing data for an app then before hard resetting your One M9 you need contact the app developer directly to ask whether you need to back up the information, if so, how to back up the information and most importantly how to restore the information after the reset.

Will a hard reset affect the software on my HTC One M9?

Although a factory reset will put the phones settings back to their factory default it will not technically put the phones software back to the original software that it was released with. The software and OS (Operating System) will not be directly affected by a hard reset.

Will I have to update my One M9 again if I do a Factory Data Reset?

No, the software on your M9 device will remain the same and will be same Android version that it was before the reset. A hard reset will not touch the OS or its current version of Android.

So for example: If you purchased a One M9 that originally operated on Android 4.4 KitKat, and you updated your phone to Android 5.0 lollipop and then needed to do a hard reset.  After performing the reset, the phone would still be running on the latest version of software; in this case it would continue running on Android 5.0 Lollipop and would not go back to any of its earlier versions of software.

If I do a factory reset will it un-root my M9?

No it will not un-root or remove any custom ROM or software changes made to the phone.

If you install a custom OS and want to remove it from the phone you will have to reinstall another custom OS, which may include the original Operating System. A hard reset will not remove a custom OS and will not change the device back to the originally installed software.

If an error occurs during the rooting or flashing process and your device begins to have issues or is not functioning correctly, then a hard reset will not typically solve that problem either. You can however often fix such issues by re-attempting what you were trying to do originally

USE CAUTION when changing the software on your Android device. A hard reset isn’t always a fix all solution in those types of circumstances.

Will a hard reset remove my M9 unlock pattern?

Yes, your phone reverts like new and you need to set up the security features on your phone once again. Including the creation of a new unlock pattern.

If I reset my One M9 will it remove a virus?

Yes, factory/hard reset will erase viruses.

Since a hard reset erases everything added to the device, factory resetting your M9 is one of the best ways to get rid of a virus or an unwanted app and can wipe out most types of undesirable software or content that has found its way onto your device.

If I factory reset will I lose my service?

No, no service issues should occur when doing a factory reset. In fact, some service issues can even be fixed by performing a hard reset.

Will I lose my wireless plan?

No, your plan and all of that type of information is stored by your wireless service provider and it doesn’t reside on your phone. A hard reset will not affect your wireless plan or wireless contract.

Will a hard reset re-lock an unlocked HTC One M9?

If you’re One M9 has been unlocked so that it can connect to and use the service of a different wireless carrier than it was originally intended for then a factory data reset should not re-lock the phone.

Note: if for some reason your cell phone doesn’t seem to want to connect to your wireless carrier like it did before performing a hard reset then reboot the phone and try again. If it still has issues, then you can use the same unlock code that was used to unlock the phone originally.

Will a factory reset delete my voicemail messages?

Standard voice mails are stored by your wireless service provider and don’t get saved to your phone’s storage or its memory card. As such voicemails are not affected when performing a hard reset on your cell phone.

If I reset my One M9 will I lose my number?

You will not lose your personal phone number by performing a hard reset on your cell phone. As mentioned above, you may need to create a backup of your address book if you don’t want to lose other people’s numbers.

How can I backup my HTC One M9 before doing a hard reset?

Since a hard reset erases everything from the phone’s storage you are probably going to want to back up much of your information before performing the reset. If you would like some tips to do this then I suggest reading How to Backup and Reset an Android smartphone for some more information and suggestions.

Don’t forget what a Hard Reset does

Remember that a Hard Reset erases all personal data from the mobile phone. Make sure to backup everything that you don’t want lost or deleted before performing the Hard Reset.

This is often the LAST resort in troubleshooting and a Hard Reset is a VERY POWERFUL tool that can solve most software related issues on a phone including but not limited to:

  • Fixing corrupted software.
  • Removing viruses
  • Fixing glitches
  • Reverting unwanted Settings
  • Removing bad applications
  • Removing anything that has been changed or added to the phone that can or is causing it to respond or act incorrectly (a Hard Reset removes everything but the OS).

How to do a factory data reset on HTC One M9?

There are actually a few ways that you can do a hard reset on an M9. One of the best methods is to do a factory data reset through your phone’s settings.

Hard Reset from Settings

  1. Open “Settings “.
  2. Choose “Backup & reset “.
  3. If desired, select the option to “Erase SD card “.
  4. Select “Reset phone “.
  5. Select “OK “.


Hard Reset from Startup

  1. Turn the phone off by pressing and holding the “Power” button for 3 seconds, then selecting “Power off “.
  2. Press and hold the “Volume Down” button and press release the “Power” button to turn the M9 on.
  3. When the HTC logo appears, release both buttons.
  4. Press “Volume Down” to select “Factory Reset “, then press the “Power” button to choose it.

The HTC One M9 will then restart and the hard reset will be complete. If you just want to soft reset the device then you can follow this guide.

How to hard reset a frozen or unresponsive HTC One M9

If your HTC One M9 is not responding and you cannot access the factory data reset option through the phone’s settings, then there are still some options available. Before turning to a hard reset as the solution make sure that you try to restart the phone.

If the phone will not restart or if a restart doesn’t resolve the problem then if possible try to remove the battery from the phone with the phone  powered on, wait 10 seconds and then reinsert the battery, turn on the phone and see if it helped. If your device does not have a removable battery, then try performing a simulated battery pull.

How to do a simulated battery pull on a HTC One M9?

  • Step 1: Make sure that the power is completely off. Make sure that the phone is not plugged into a charger either. Note: if the keys on the bottom of the device are lit then the phone is on, if there aren’t any lights showing or lit up then don’t worry about whether your phone is on or off, simply go ahead to step 2.
  • Step 2: Hold the Volume Down button and then the power button and continue to hold these 2 keys for 20 secs (count out loud it could take 15-30 sec).
  • Step 3: The phone should power cycle, powering back on to full.


  • Step 1: Make sure the power is completely off and that the phone is NOT plugged into a charger.
  • Step 2: This time instead of the Volume Down key use the Volume Up key. Hold the Volume Up and the Power key simultaneously for 20 seconds and see if anything pops up on the screen.
  • Step 3: Release the Volume Up and Power keys if/when you get a response.
  • Step 4: If you get some options then use the volume down key to cycle through your choices. Look for an option to restart or reboot. (don’t do the wipe data/factory reset option… yet… that’s kind of a last resort)
  • Step 4: Once selected use the power key to execute.
  • Step 5: The M9 should reboot.

How to hard reset a locked One M9?

If your phone is locked and you cannot access the phone’s content much less its settings, then performing a factory reset through the settings is not going to be an option. Most Android phones will allow you to do a hard reset on the device by accessing an Android recovery menu and selecting a “Wipe data/factory reset” option.

The methods used to get access to this Android Recovery menu or Fastboot menu will depend on the make and model of Android device as well its current version of Android.  You can try the following combinations on your One M9 until one works. Each new number (#) is a new method, moving from 1 through to 4:

  1. With the M9  off, press and hold the Volume Up and the Volume Down keys both at the same time, then press and hold the Power key until a test screen that shows some available options appears, usually takes about 15-20 seconds. When that screen pops up you can let go of the keys.

Press the Volume Down key to navigate down through the options until it highlights FACTORY RESET then press the Power key to select it.

  1. Power the phone off all the way, press and hold the Volume Down Key and press then release the Power key, still holding the volume down key for about 10-15 seconds. When you see some more options pop up on the screen you can let go of the keys.

Press the Volume Down key to navigate down through the options until it highlights the reset option; it usually says FACTORY RESET, then press the Power key to make the selection.

  1. While powered off, press and hold the Home Key, while continuing to hold the home key power the device on by pressing the Power key.

Once the Android Recovery screen appears release the Home key, then while on the Android Recovery screen, press the Volume Up and Volume Down keys both at the same time.

If/when you’re on the HTC One M9 System Recovery screen release all the keys, and then use the Volume down key to navigate down to the “wipe date/factory reset” option. Once it’s highlighted press the Power key to select it.

Once you see the “Confirm wipe of all user data?” Press the Volume down key to highlight “Yes—delete all user data”, then press the Power key to select it.

  1. Power the device off, then press and hold the Home key and press and release the Power key (while still holding the Home key).

From the HTC One M9 Recovery screen, press the Search key.

Tap to select wipe data/factory reset then select Ok (in the lower left of the screen). Note: if screen is not responsive use the Volume keys to scroll and the Camera key to select.

Select Yes – delete all user data, and then select OK (again lower left).

Select “reboot system now” and press OK.

There you have it. All the possible ways to go about performing a full factory/hard reset on any HTC One M9 device. If you know of any other way to factory reset the device then do let me know so that I can add it to the list. Thanks for reading this rather long yet informative post on: How to Hard Reset the HTC One M9. Have a great day!


  1. Ron November 30, 2015
  2. Vicky December 5, 2015

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