Return to Factory settings on the Fairphone 3


If troubleshooting with Safe mode and a new SIM card did not help solve your issue, -or you just want to clear your device form your personal data- you can return the phone to the state it had when you first unboxed it. 

A return to factory settings will remove all your personal data such as photos, sound recordings, downloaded apps, and app settings.

Therefore, the first thing you must do is make a backup of all your personal data.


Back up your data first

Before you perform the reset, we recommend to make a backup (if possible).
Save your pictures, music and all private files or make a mirror image of the content of your phone. You can save them on a micro-SD card, download them on your computer, or synchronize with your Google account.

Reset your Fairphone 3

Fairphone 3 starts normally

If your Fairphone 3 starts normally, you can perform a reset via the Settings menu.

Go to: SettingsSystem → open Advanced → Reset optionsErase all data (factory reset) → push the button Reset phone.

Fairphone 3 does not boot anymore

If your Fairphone 3 does not boot into Android anymore, you will have to perform the reset using the system recovery:

  1. Take the bumper off 
  2. Then:
    1. Press and hold the Power button together with the Volume Down button for about 10 seconds
    2. Once you see Fast boot appear briefly, release the buttons
  3. A text appears with Start as title in green
  4. With the volume buttons, move up or down to go to Recovery mode in red
  5. Select by briefly pressing the Power button
  6. Wait for a couple of seconds until you see a fallen Android robot with the text No command, which could take up to 5 seconds
  7. Then, first press and hold the Power button and, after an instant, tap, and release also the Volume Up button
  8. Once the phone is in the recovery system, you will see another different screen with blue, yellow and white text
  9. Use the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons to navigate into the menu. Confirm your choice with the Power button
    1. To proceed with the reset, select Wipe data/factory reset
    2. Select Yes -- delete all user data to confirm that you want to delete your personal information
    3. Once the action is complete, all the way at the bottom left in white small text, the message Data wipe complete will appear
    4. The Recovery system menu will appear once again. Select Reboot system now. Press the Power button to confirm and restart your system. 
  10. You are done! The first boot will take longer than usual, as the system has to initialize.
  11. In case you want to leave the recovery system and not continue with wiping the data, use the first entry Reboot system now. This will take you back to the regular operating mode. Or you can take the battery out.

Once you performed the reset

If you are trying to troubleshoot a problem

In case you did a Factory reset to try and fix a software issue, we recommend not to restore your data right away.
Test the phone for a day or two without installing any superfluous application or restoring unnecessary data.
If the issue is gone, proceed with restoring your data and application. Try not to do all at once though: if you perform a step-by-step restoration you might be able to identify any application or setting that caused the issue in the first place.

If you are giving the device away

If you performed the reset to sell or gift the phone to someone else, you can now proceed to do so without worrying about your personal information.

Google security feature

On Android, performing a factory reset via system recovery will NOT delete any Google account login information stored on the phone.
This is a safety measure Google implemented with Android 6 to add an extra layer of security. This way someone who stole your phone can not change the Google account assigned to your device into a new one. As soon as you reboot the phone you will be asked to log into the Google account which was registered on the phone at the time of the reset.

If you can not access this account even though it is yours, contact Google to help you gain access. If you can not access this account because it is not yours, contact the person who gave or sold it to you. 

If you are planning on selling the phone, execute the factory reset from the Settings menu (see Fairphone 3 starts normally).



You should now be able to perform a factory reset on your phone. Still having issues? Get in touch with our customer support!