Smartphone operating systems might not always be as easy to navigate as desktop OSs—finding files nested on the Android operating system can sometimes be a complex task in comparison to using File Explorer on the Windows operating system—but one thing that does work in their favor is problem-solving.

Rarely do you ever have to spend time trying to figure out the solution to a problem with the Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone because most things can be fixed by simply taking a hard reset instead, a bit like utilizing a get out of jail free card.

Despite many people saying otherwise, a hard reset and a factory reset on the Google Pixel 2 XL device will yield the same outcomes: the phone will be restored to its default, factory state on both occasions. In other words, the same state that it was in when it left the factory responsible for manufacturing it. This means you shouldn’t expect to find any applications that you installed yourself still on the device. Any settings that you changed will be returned to how they were when you first opened the Google Pixel 2 XL out of the box too. And, of course, unless you took a backup, all the data that you accumulated—pictures, documents, music, so forth—will no longer be available once the hard reset is complete.

There are numerous similarities between computers and smartphones: they are made up of many of the same components, and all have the same heart, veins, and brain, so to speak. When it comes to resetting the software though, there are some differences. A modern-day computer operating system will offer three ways to reset: rebooting the OS, force-closing all open applications and forcing a reboot, and then a third way, which will return the device to its factory state, if desired. The mobile operating system offers the factory reset option, and the only alternative being the soft reset, which is the same as a straightforward reboot of the operating system.

You shouldn’t worry about a hard reset causing any harm to your Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone; provided that you’ve backed up any data that you didn’t want to lose, very little else can go wrong.

How to Hard Reset Google Pixel 2 XL

1. Long-press on the Google Pixel 2 XL’s Power button and then choose the option for switching the smartphone off from the menu.

2. Boot the Google Pixel 2 XL device back up again by holding the Volume Down button for about three seconds.

3. With the Volume Down button still held down, press the Power button for a further three seconds.

4. From the Bootloader menu, choose the “Recovery” option. (You can navigate and highlight the recovery link by using the Volume buttons and then confirm you want to select it by pressing on the Power button.)

5. Once you get the Android logo on the smartphone’s display, press the Power button for a couple of seconds.

6. Once the two seconds is up, press the Volume Up button.

7. You should now see the Android System recovery screen. From here you want to highlight and select the “wipe data/factory reset” option. (You can use the Volume buttons to scroll and the Power button to select it again.)

8. From the Android System recovery screen, select the “Yes–delete all user data” option.

9. After the factory reset has been applied, select the “reboot system now” option to get your device back into the Android operating system that you usually use.

That’s all you need to hard reset the Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone.

A hard reset is one of the more thrown around expressions for when people are referring to taking a factory reset, but the same guide above is also handy for a few other reasons as well. You could use the guide if you wanted to wipe all data from the Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone for example. Likewise, it’s just as good for bypassing the screen unlock and restoring the defaults on the Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone, too.

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