Motorola Q – How to do a real Hard Reset (wipe device)

   Posted June 13, 2007 by Jimmy Selix in Internet

This recipe will explain how to do a real hard reset on a motorola q. This method is not documented anywhere in the manual but will wipe all user data from the phone.

Well, I deal with a ton of PDA/Smartphones each day at work and have been supporting the newer Motorola Q devices.

One thing that i have noticed when I’ve been setting up our demo Q is that the Master Reset in the Start > System Settings area does not actually really wipe a device.

We use Goodlink to sync email from our exchange server to our Motorola Qs and the Goodlink information still resides on the phone after doing a master reset.

This recipe will explain how to do a true master/hard reset and wipe all device data, restoring it to factory defaults/state.

1. Be sure to have atleast 75% battery on your Motorola Q
2. Be sure that you have backed up all data on the device since this will wipe the device clean
3. Power off the Motorola Q
4. Power on the Motorola Q
5. Once you see the initial carrier screen, hold the center button on the navigation pad.
6. Keep it held until you get a “Master Reset?” screen.
7. Click the left softkey for “Yes” and the phone will wipe and reload the OS from ROM

BE SURE NOT TO REMOVE THE BATTERY WHEN YOU DO THIS or you may ‘brick’ your phone.


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
View more articles by Jimmy Selix

The Conversation

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  • Style

    Thank you I have been looking for the master reset for a long time

    Very much appreciated


  • Rob

    Worked Great, thanks !!!!!

  • Angela

    yes this worked great! i am a vzn tech support agent and we have no alternate master reset and cust phone would not let us in to do a hard reset, also tried a few other variations to this method and they did not work your instructions were perfect, thank you!!!

  • Heather

    can this not be done if the phone is password protected? cause I’ve tryed it several times and its not working. =/

    • Anonymous

      yeah it worked for me!!

    • Jen

      Yes it can. I just did 3 hard resets to password protected phones.

  • Pinki Tuscaderro

    Thanks for sharing. you made my day!!!

  • josh

    my phones screen keeps cutting in and out. i can tell its a software problem. i need to empty out the phone completely. a completely blank hard drive. when i turn it on i dont want anything to happen. so that i can then start fresh and install a new OS on it. please email me if you have any ideas at all


    Very useful instructions…i just did it and it worked like a charm!

  • Adam


  • Alex

    Oh my god!! YOU ROCK!!!! My Q turned to a rock everytime I started it up. It did it whenever it checked battery power. The whole thing would just freeze. If this didn’t work I was going to hard restart it with a baseball bat and a .22. But it worked and you rock.

  • tanner

    thanks a ton man!!!!!!!!!!! i somehow deletred like all my short cuts and had no way to do reset it til i found this!! thanks!

  • Miike


  • bob

    I have a verizon MotoQ and this did not work for me for some reason.

  • Lloyd

    I deleted some of my icons so I cant even get that far. How do I restore the icons to have access to the rest of the phone

  • Lloyd

    I got it thanks. I guess I should have read it a little better fisrt.

  • Ted p

    Most excellent. Just saved me a ton of time!

  • Jeff

    I’m always removing the battery from my phone and now it suddenly doesn’t work. I guess I “bricked” it. All I get is the Verizon title screen followed by flashing vertical bars on top of the title screen.

  • Duran St. Louis

    OMFG!!! i was sitting here freaking out that i’d just basically bricked a motorola Q that i’d gotten for free. Thank you so much for putting this up cause i was getting really frustrated that i couldn’t do anything with this phone now thanks a billion…


  • Tameka

    I have reset my phone before by doing this and I couldn’t remember. My phone has frozen again but now it is not working. It is stuck on the Windows Mobile screen and won’t let me even get to the question of if I want to reset it. Can you help me?

  • Yimmy


  • Anonymous

    Will this work if the security code is enabled? Because my phone is locked and i forgot the password to access the phone to make phone calls and stuff…

  • Anonymous

    do you know the secret code for motorola Q. Need to do A ESN Clone

  • Robert

    I dont know how it happen but I hit the master reset on my phone and everything got erased. Is there a way to get all my phone numbers back?

  • igbiele

    Thank you very much …….it has realli helped me on my Job

  • igbiele

    Thank you very much …….it has realli helped me on my Job

  • Anonymous

    If pressing the center nav button during power on doesn’t work you may want to try this trick. Power off the Moto Q then hold down the E and the Z key as you power back on. You will get an Erase message just above the AT&T logo. Then the phone will go through the “First time your phone has been turned on” screen. After that it’s a complete wiped reboot of the OS.

  • Anonymous

    im tryn to do the hard reset on my Q it wont work its password protected would that be da reason

  • Anonymous

    I have a question i have a motorola q and I want to put a prepaid sim in it can this be done and what sim card would be best

  • Anonymous

    Hi,My name is Sheila. I have a problem with my Moto RAZR2 V9 phone, It stucks on Motorola Logo, Can someone here help me ,Please
    I want to use any sim card , the operator network is 3 UK,
    Please help me


  • Great post…worked perfectly!

  • Anonymous

    initial carrier screen meanse pls explain brother

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    It’s effective your advice, I followed your instruction and my phone was unlock.

    Thanks a lot.

    Best regards

  • Blare

    thanks!! My phone starts running really slow and idk why. It will freeze up all the time and when i text it wouldnt let me see what i was typing. Thank you (:

  • Name

    Thanks for the how-to! I am wiping my Q to give to an employee.

  • Anonymous

    My phone is frozen on the flash mode screen . I let the battery fully discharge and then recharged it ..the result is the same.

  • Anonymous

    I need help, i have an alltel motorola q9c phone that was flashed to verizon that was flashed to cricket and now back to verizon to work on page plus. everything works great on it but now im having trouble getting the internet to work and the MMS… im thinking a hard reset would work….should i risk messing it up?

  • drew

    if i try and reset my phone will my SIM card information get erased…like my number info and such…

  • John Deer

    AWESOME! I dug out my old phone to use while I wait for broken phone to be replaced, but couldn’t recall my password. This saved my day!

  • anidas

    ya its working thank youuuu

  • Dadoo

    Well I tried it and also tried a similar “master reset” with a confident vzn tech support guy, and neither worked. It seems I need the advanced recipe. Any suggestions?

  • Mason Sullivan11

    what if the phone is locked

  • Jourdain

    Will it delete your number or any other services?

    • Britt12906

      yes it will delete everything back to factory settings

  • Ashoiab

    My phone is rozen & is not working. It is stuck on the Windows Mobile screen and won’t let me even get to the question of if I want to reset it. Can you help me?

  • Dustin0687

    how long does it take to get to the rest screen

    • Brett

      Just tried this. Worked like a charm. Thanks!

    • Britt12906

      about a minute

  • Ashish

    i have a Q9H phone. i have forgot the pin. now i want to hard wipe the phone. can some one help me.

  • jesska

    my Q9h locked and while trying to unlock it im pretty sure ive bricked it because it wont even turn on :O eeep HELP PLEAAASSSEEE

  • Shaywhite

    i need your help real bad please email at my phone is totally acting up and i would hate to give my phone away and some one else find a way to fix it

  • Rdowdyjr

    Worked perfectly…Lifesaver. make sure you are pressing the center button as soon as your phone turns on

  • Vzw

    thank you for that info even me working for the company didnt know that

  • so i have a verizon moto Q and apparently the entire thing has been wiped, even the os, it wont leave the “verizon wireless” screen. i tried the master reset, and that did show up, but it does the same thing over. can some one help?

  • miftah

    i want to reset all motorola Q9h….cant yuo help me ….?

  • Pablo Alessandro

    thanks man, worked like a charm!!! ^^

  • Jeff

    thanks man nice sharing…

  • Rawhiri

    kia ora, bought a new motorola xt5, worked fine for a few days then went to cool down mode and month later and despite numerous efforts continues to enter cooldown mode at start up at all attempts.
    Any ideas. Thank you.

  • Albelgira

    I have here motorola XT5. I tried many times with camera and power on botton, but nothing happens. Until I tried the camera and red call key then power key, and it says on screen hard reaset. After it restart the annoying words TOO MANY PATTERN ATTEMPTS gone.

  • kalifs

    thank you brother is working welll

  • kalifs

    thank you brother is working welll

  • Khoir_anam88

    boz numpang nanya gmn caranya format motola Q dlm keadaan non aktif

  • grits29715

    OMG!  I thought my phone was a goner!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Javavijayjava

    hi ,

    i have Motorola Q, and like to unlock. what needs to be done?


  • herry

    thank u very much 😉

  • Mwenda Mulubwa

    Wow! this is a great way to solves the problem. Thanks a million times.

  • yayan toto

    my Q9h locked and while trying to unlock it im pretty sure ive bricked it because it wont even turn on :O eeep HELP PLEAAASSSEEE

  • Matthew

    Thx so much! my phone wouldn’t let me access the start menu or contacts. It wouldn’t ring or show time but now it does


    THNX a lot,, my phone is not charging the battery when i connected charger., only start up and after few minutes it automaticaly switch offf,,,,bt nw its perfectly charging

  • Archemoros

    Muchas gracias, Amigo.

  • yuvaraj

    MT4-411A11 my phone had a phone lock….. {problem} on the mobile input password…… plz send the solution…. this is my number 9677708153 send message

  • stacey

    I recently broke my phone and found a motorola q h/w p5 sitting around and figured I would use that until I can purchase another phone..I plug it in to charge and a boot screen pops up saying “motorola flash mode bootloader version: boot_c_03.05.00r_mpap” and on the bottom it says usb is connected..but it never loads or shows it’s charging or even shows anything on the can I fix this problem so that I may get to use this phone?

  • ashley

    I did this and it goes to the master reset screen… but then nothing else. Almost like it is frozen again

  • ashley

    Btw please help

  • fallen god

    the unlock screen pops up when i try to do a hard reset

  • fallen god

    the unlock screen pops up after i followed the steps for a hard reset

  • marius

    hello …got a hard reset solution for motorola wx395 ? i got sim lock message i try to put in any other sim cad but i get same message…..any help great apreciated!

  • Ravi sethi

    Thanks Its works

  • Joseph

    Please Am using Motorola Q9h, But it developed a problem, All the buttons are working perfectly, but the start menu options are not displaying when i press the start button, at the same time the browser is not working at all neither can i go to the network connection settings.
    Please what can i do?

  • Nelson Gbeji

    This post was helpful, thankso much now my phone has boot successful…
    How do i upgrade motoq2 windowsmobile5? Or it netframe..?

  • michael aiese

    Hi Jimmy,

    I have a motorola mc3190 scanner when I scan a barcode it has one extra character. I assume this is the check digit. Is there a way to turn this off so it will not be scanned along with the barcode.