How to Unfreeze Your Motorola DROID RAZR

by Danielle Fernandez, studioD

Your Motorola DROID RAZR was created to withstand a good deal of wear and tear, but like most electronic devices it may occasionally require a reset to get it working again. A soft reset, which essentially power-cycles the device, may be effective for clearing minor glitches -- like a faulty update or an incompatible app -- that have caused the system to freeze and become unresponsive. For more pressing, complex software issues, you may instead have to resort to a device-clearing hard reset -- which is also known as a factory reset.

Power Cycle with a Soft Reset

A soft reset power cycles your device -- that is, it turns the smartphone off and then back on. The process is very similar to restarting your desktop computer: it kills active applications, clears memory caches that might be causing a lag and gives your DROID RAZR a fresh start. In most cases, this is the first step -- and typically the only one necessary -- for troubleshooting minor glitches. You need not worry about performing a device backup of personal data as a soft reset will have no effect on it.

Performing a Soft Reset

You can soft reset your Motorola DROID RAZR two ways. The preferred method involves pressing and holding the "Power" button and then selecting "Power Off" followed by a confirmation of "OK." Give the device a few seconds to power down and then press and hold down the "Power" button again to turn it back on. Alternatively, you can press and hold the "Volume Down" and "Power" buttons simultaneously. The device will power down within 10 to 20 seconds -- at which point you can release all keys -- and then will restart on its own.

Clear the Device Completely With a Hard Reset

A hard, or factory, reset is typically effective for frozen screens or apps. You should perform it only as a last resort, after you have attempted to soft-reset the device. Performing a hard reset wipes all data from the device, including your Google account settings, installed apps and system data. Because most content is backed up to the Google account that you've synced on the phone, however, you should be able to retrieve the deleted content with minimal trouble. Any data stored on the SD card will be left alone.

Begin the Hard Reset

There are two methods for a hard reset as well, though one of them relies on a responsive screen. To implement the alternate method, press and hold the "Power" button and then select "Power Off." Once the device is powered down, press and hold the "Volume Down" button and then press and release the "Power" button. Note that if your device does not respond to powering down via the "Power" button, press and hold the "Volume Down" and "Power" buttons simultaneously. When the screen goes blank, release only the "Power" button. In either case, when you see the "Boot Menu Selection" menu, release all buttons.

Complete the Hard Reset

Press "Volume Down" to select "Recovery" and then press the "Volume Up" key to select. Press and hold the "Volume Down" button and then press and release the "Volume Up" button once -- release the "Volume Down" button at this point as well. Use the volume keys to highlight "Wipe Data" or "Factory Reset" and press the "Power" button to select. Next, highlight "Yes -- Delete All User Data" and press the "Power" button again to initiate the process, which can take several minutes. Once the reset has completed, highlight "Reboot System Now" and press the "Power Button" to select and restart your RAZR.

Restoring the Phone After a Hard Reset

When you first power on your Motorola DROID RAZR after a hard reset, you will be prompted to enter your Google account credentials so that the device can initialize and restore your personal data. This will effectively sync anything you have stored in your Google account, including contacts, calendar information, Gmail messages and app data. To reinstall your deleted apps, launch the Google Play Store and press the "Menu" softkey. Tap "My Apps" to access -- and install from -- a full list of your previously downloaded apps.

About the Author

Based in Tampa, Fla., Danielle Fernandez been writing, editing and illustrating all things technology, lifestyle and education since 1999. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, Working Mother magazine, and a variety of technical publications, including BICSI's "Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual." Fernandez holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of South Florida.

Photo Credits

  • David Becker/Getty Images News/Getty Images