How to factory reset your HTC One M8 for Windows phone

When it comes to mobile operating systems, Windows Phone has a solid reputation for stability. As a result, the need to reset the OS to rid the phone of bugs or start anew is rare. Still, there may be occasions where you want to return the device to the state you bought it in from the Store.

Here are two ways to do that for the HTC One for Windows.

Soft reset (hardware)

If you just need to reboot the phone, but it is frozen or unresponsive, a soft reset using the hardware keys is your answer. This method simply reboots the phone and it keeps all your data and settings. The only difference here is you are using the hardware keys to initialize it, instead of holding down the power button and swiping down on the lock screen.

  1. Hold Power + Volume down for 10 seconds
  2. Release
  3. Phone should re-start

Hard reset (software)

On all Windows Phone, the system reset is universal and found under Settings. This method wipes the device of any saved personal data, so make sure you have backed up your photos, music, and settings before executing.

  1. Settings
  2. About
  3. Reset your phone
  4. If micro SD card is present, you can choose to leave or wipe the extra storage

This method is the most simple, and it assumes your phone is in working order, meaning you can boot it up and get to the Settings menu to initiate. All Windows Phones have this function.

Factory reset (hardware)

There are rare instances where the phone cannot even boot into the OS. These situations are very uncommon; in fact, I have yet to see a situation where this is needed, though others have needed it.

The Factory reset uses hardware keys to initiate, and it is a bit more powerful than a standard Hard reset described previously. This method wipes the device of any saved personal data, so make sure you have backed up your photos, music, and settings before executing. Factory resets can vary from device to device, as there are different hardware keys present and key combinations required, depending on what the manufacturer has chosen. Here is how the One for Windows does it:

  1. Turn the power off.
  2. Press and hold the VOLUME DOWN button, and then briefly press the POWER button. Release the VOLUME DOWN button when you see an icon on the screen.
  3. Then press the following hardware buttons in sequence: VOLUME UP > VOLUME DOWN > POWER > VOLUME DOWN

As you can see, the HTC One for Windows has a somewhat tricky way to Factory reset it. It is not hard, but do not be surprised if it takes a couple of attempts to get it started.

Differences between Hard and Factory resets

A Factory reset is the most powerful of the two reset options. The whole phone is reformatted, with the OS reinstalled. A hard reset restores the OS and most settings to the initial state, whereas a Factory reset wipes all the data and reinstalls the OS to day-one status. You can think of the Hard reset being a subset of a Factory reset, although, in most instances, the result looks the same to end user.

For practical reasons, a Hard reset is adequate for most instances. However, knowing how to Factory reset your phone is also valuable, especially if you find yourself in the rare situation where you cannot even boot into the OS (or you are stuck in a reboot loop).

Either method is appropriate if you want to re-sell your phone, although a Factory reset may be more thorough if you are concerned over security.

I hope that you never need to do either, but just in case you do, you now know how. Also, if you need the user guide for the Verizon HTC One M8 for Windows, you can find that right here (opens in new tab).

Finally, remember that you can always go into our HTC One M8 for Windows help forums in case you need assistance, or want to chat with others who own your phone!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • The hardware hard reset seems to be the same as the Lumia one. Power on, hold volume down till exclamation mark comes up. Then up, down, power, down.
  • Yeah man ;)
  • It is
    Couldn't find the kb article
  • Whoa! Shit just got real.....but so quickly?!
  • I have reset my Lumia 520 more than 10 time in last 10 months.
    It is the worst phone.
    Next time I'll buy a Windows phone with at least 1GB RAM.
  • At least take good care of that new one you are up to get.
  • Lol
  • What the hell are you doing man? Been using my Lumia 520 since February, and it's been rock solid.
  • I have a Lumia 520 since a year and no Reset ( Hard or Factory ) just update's with Preview for works just PERFECT
  • Yeah, why have you had to reset? That's not normal.
  • Buddy i am using my L520 from last 16 months, formatted only once only because of that irritating 'Other storage' !!!
  • No factory reset done since May 2013 on my 620, and it's running smooth as butter.
  • Using from more than 1 year , works perfect, no need to reset it,
  • Hard reset get rid of other on dp8.1.1...going great for one year and 4months...I just become a hater to lover of wp...
  • Bought mine for 50. great backup phone
  • I have the same phone. Lots of apps installed, no microSD, a lot of care regarding apps working on background and I've using the L520 for over a year having to perform a hard reset only once after I upgraded to WP8.1-DP because I had some issues with a couple of apps. I never had to hard reset my phone before that nor after that... nope, never before and never again, so I guess you don't really know how to take care of your phone (in which case not even the L1520 would be safe in your hands) or your L520 has some rare and very rare problem that needs to be fixed. But the L520 is not even close to be the worst phone.
  • Just adding to the chorus that the problem is either you or your specific 520, not a general 520 or 512MB issue. I would exchange it or just buy another for $50... you time has to be worth more than that...
  • I am using 520 since Aug 14 last year its more than a year & I have never done any kind of reset I have installed 165+ apps & games all are working smoothly, even I have upgraded to 8.1 also, using it smoothly, I have installed Apps which are big in size like Six Guns which takes 900mb but I never felt any hanging issue, You might have done something wrong, 
  • Good news
  • The HARD reset on my ATIV S Neo wiped all Sprint data from itself...
  • That's some hard reset...
  • I wish it would have wiped sprint off of everything! ;)
  • Not even 1,000 people would have bought it by now!!
  • A 1000 is generous lol
  • A number is a number.
  • Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start. Seriously, that's what the hardware factory reset sounds like to me.
  • Lol
  • Knew I wasn't the only one here who speaks ancient cheat code. ;-)
  • Tmnt, I like that one!!
  • Haha best comment ever, and yeah, sounds a bit like that to me as well xD
  • What is that for infinite lives.
  • Among other things. It was a Konami thing and folks used it on Contra and other games back in the day.
  • Exactly what it did varied according to the game. Here is a list.
  • It's the same for Lumias too. Guess it's the same for all windows phones
  • What was your camera issue, Daniel?
  • I'll follow up on that. Not HTC's fault, appears to be an 8.1 issue (albeit very rare). And this did not fix it.
  • Ok.
  • If I got an M8 for Windows Phone, would it screw things up if I put the developer preview on it?
  • No, though I haven't yet tried it myself (for the review, treating it is out-of-the-box). The only issues is there is no way, AFAIK, that you can not downgrade it like on Lumia devices.
  • We can or can't?
  • You can't. That goes for all non-Nokia WP's. I would be hesitant to put DP on any non-Nokia device. I did it to an ATIV SE and it turned into a bug nest with no way to roll it back. Ended up tossing it in the recycle pot trade ins for my HTC. Not putting DP on this one after that fiasco.
  • I thought the M8 already came with 8.1 update 1 on it... So it's already got the latest OS version.
  • True and not true. True, it is GDR1. But since there is no RTM, there are a few versions of GDR1. The HTC One comes with build 14141. The current Preview is up to 14157, making the One M8's version older.
  • Oh that's right, we (those of us on the DP) got that update recently.
  • So is the factory reset on a Lumia different?
  • No not on wp8 maybe it was different on wp7
  • Not sure about stable but I haven't had an Android phone in years for comparison so it could all be relative. My friend never talks about his iPhone locking up though. The past year, my Windows Phones have been the least stable and my Android devices, non phones, have been the slowest. My wife and I have had 2 Lumia 920s, a Lumia 1520, and 3 different Lumia 1020s. The 920s were the most stable and my 1020s have restarted regularly in the middle of calls, locked up and rebooted while taking a picture, locked up on the glance screen. My wife's 1520 sometimes just can't hold a signal and you can see the signal strength go full to nothing until restart, sometimes it just spontaneously reboots as well. Sometimes 3 times a week and sometimes they can go a month with no lockups and restarts. This has occurred since Lumia Black. I have Cyan with Developer Preview now so at least I get some extra features for the instability. Before DP, I just got the instability. The big thing I gained from DP now is better battery life. On Lumia Black, not only did the phone act possessed at times but I would have to charge it three times a day with no apps installed. Now I just charge 1 to 2 times with lots of apps. Sometimes I think they are just bum units because they were warranty replacements that AT&T calls "certified like new". That doesn't explain my wife's brand new Lumia 1520. Has anyone else had so many problems with Nokia phones?
  • This is more suited for the forums.
  • WP7 was stable. WP8 not so much.
  • My wife was having issues with her 920 resetting sometimes a couple of times a day, most often in the middle of text messages.  After some research, I decided the best option was to get a new SIM card.  The person at AT&T was skeptical, but swapped it out, and that was the last time she had the issue.  That was about 10 months ago. Also, that problem wasn't there initially.  It started after an update. It couldn't hurt to get a new SIM card.  If you think they might not give it to you free, tell them sometimes you have no data service available.  
  • Where is the easiest procedure to hard reset Lumia to get cyan why do we need to downgrade
  • Yay! People in the forums keep telling people to soft reset when they mean power cycle, and hard reset for soft reset ECT. Maybe now people will use the right terms and not confuse people.
  • Soft reset = power cycle
    Hard reset = wipe the device
  • Not accurate. Soft reset is different. Power cycle is holding the power key and then swiping down. Soft reset is power and volume down. It states that in the article.
  • Yes and they do the exact same thing. The hardware combination is there for if your device locks up.
  • The shutdown sequence is not the same. I've lost data from a soft reset. Like text messages that were recently received, ECT. Regular power cycle does a more through shutdown.
  • Little off topic, but can you dual boot this phone with android also? Or format this install android? Can be done?
  • Nobody knows yet.
  • Why bother, but that's what innovation takes.
  • Doubtful. WP8 utilizes secure boot. That will keep you from dual booting. Not sure why you would want to install Android. Just buy the Android version if that is what you want.
  • I had read sometime back that HTC was planning to make a phone that runs both os.. Hense the question.
  • HTC M8 Windows can not come fast enough to ATT
  • I wish Microsoft would offer a trade in. Bring android m8 and get a Windows m8 Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Why specifically for One M8..
    All the WPs have the same way of Resetting the phones right?
  • It's the newest WP, they post basic info primers here occasionally for new converts.
  • Why u post about reset on new phone, after some days any problem are coming.. Like u just posted about Nokia recovery tool.
  • is it possible to flash a android version with winodows phone? 
  • Slow day, huh?
  • Buy anything else than a Lumia and learn to factory-, hard- and what ever reset...
    Running Lumias since L800 and no need for such a behavior.
  • If i factory reset my htc 8x with dev preview, will i go back to wp8?
  • No it won't.
  • Why is this article necessary? Why not just title it how to reset wp8? Slow news day. Yawn!
  • I'm not convinced there is any difference between reset through the settings menu and resetting using the buttons except for how you initiate it. Both format and restore it to a clean rom factory state. Have you guys measured the time it takes it to get through the process to see if there is any difference in the time it takes?
  • The hardware pattern is the exact same as the Lumia and Samsung phones...perhaps even the other manufacturers.
  • How to downgrade from Cyan to Black manually??
  • Not a real fan of the HTC dude to its poor camera, but is has shown a few things. One, WP is more efficient than Android on the same hardware. Two, IE11 scores better than Chrome on the same hardware in benchmarks (for all that is worth). Finally WP camera processes are better than android on the same hardware.
  • this is the most stupid article