Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

A soft reset is a restart of a device, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop or personal computer (PC). The action closes  applications and clears any data in RAM (random access memory). Unsaved data in current use may be lost but data stored on the hard drive, applications and settings are not affected. 

On PCs, a soft reset consists of restarting as opposed to shutting down completely and starting the computer again. For handheld devices, such as smartphones, the process usually involves shutting the device off and starting it afresh. 

Soft resets are usually conducted in an attempt to fix  malfunctioning applications or because they're required for software installation. Soft reset contrasts with hard reset, which removes all user data, settings and applications and returns a device to the same state it was in when it shipped from the factory. 

 

See also: reboot

This was last updated in January 2013
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • cryptography

    - Cryptography is a method of storing and transmitting data in a particular form so that only those for whom it is intended can read and process it. The term is most often associated with scrambling ... (SearchSoftwareQuality.com)

  • cache memory

    - Definition: Learn what cache memory is, what it has to do with RAM, how it is categorized and how it is configured. (SearchStorage.com)

  • raster graphics

    - Raster graphics are digital images created or captured (for example, by scanning in a photo) as a set of samples of a given space. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.