Soft Reset

What Does Soft Reset Mean?

A soft reset is the restarting or rebooting of a device like a computer, smartphone or tablet. It closes all applications and clears any data in random access memory. This is different from a hard reset, which could potentially cause loss of settings, saved applications and user data. Soft resetting is usually performed to repair malfunctioning applications.


A soft reset is also known as a soft reboot.

Techopedia Explains Soft Reset

A soft reset is often required for new software installations. A soft reset causes closure of applications and clears any information in the random access memory of the device related to the applications. Like a hard reset, it affects unsaved data which is currently in use. However, it does not impact any stored data, settings or applications on the hard drive of the device. A soft reset is normally accomplished by selecting a “restart” option in the device’s software, as opposed to a hard reset, which is performed by pushing a physical button on the device.

A soft reset can help in fixing malfunctioning applications, solve problems of slowness in the device, fix incorrect settings or help in resolving minor application or software-related problems. It can often help in cases where the device appears frozen or is running inefficiently.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…