Palm Pre How-To: Wipe Handheld Clean, Restore Factory Settings

Palm Pre owners may want to wipe and reset their devices to factory default settings for a variety of reasons. The following four-step process will have your Pre wiped cleaner than Grandma's kitchen linoleum in no time.

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Wed, June 24, 2009

CIO — Perhaps you found a manufacturers' defect in your Palm Pre handheld and need to swap it out for another? Maybe you decided to trade the Pre with a friend of colleague for a new iPhone 3GS or a BlackBerry Curve 8900? Or possibly you found that the Pre's just not for you, and you're returning it to Sprint.

Whatever your reason for moving from the Pre to another device, you'll want to completely wipe your handheld and restore it to factory settings for security/privacy reasons before bidding it adieu--and so the next user starts their Pre experience with a clean slate.



image of Palm Pre Device Info Icon
Palm Pre Device Info Icon

Follow these four-step processes to partially or fully wipe your Palm Pre.

And if you still seek more Pre goodness, check out our uber guide to Pre tips, tricks and keyboard shortcuts, as well as our latest free Pre apps listing.

Palm Pre: Partial Erase

Performing a Partial Erase on your Pre deletes any and all applications you installed on your device, as well as any associated settings and data. However, it will not wipe content stored on the device's internal memory, like images, music files and video clips.


Palm Pre Device Info Screen Reset Options
Palm Pre Device Info Screen Reset Options

To initiate a Partial Erase, locate and click your Pre's Device Info icon. Scroll to the very bottom of the following screen and choose Reset Options.

The Reset Options screen lists three different choices: 1) Restart; 2) Partial Erase; and 3) Full Erase. Select Partial Erase by rapidly tapping that option twice. You'll then be prompted to confirm or deny the action. If you choose to confirm it by clicking Partial Erase one more time, your device's display goes black, shows a pulsating Palm logo for a few minutes and then restarts.

Palm Pre: Full Erase

Performing a Full Erase on your Pre deletes any and all applications you installed on your device, as well as any associated settings and data. It also does away with images, music files and video clips stored within on the device's internal memory.


Palm Pre Reset Options Screen
Palm Pre Reset Options Screen

A Palm Pre Full Erase is initiated in exactly the same way as a Partial Erase, but you should choose Full Erase on the Reset Options screen.

Confirm or deny the Full Erase on the following screen, and you're all set.


Palm Pre Full Erase Confirmation Screen
Palm Pre Full Erase Confirmation Screen

Note: After resetting your Pre, you'll need to create a new "Palm Profile" or log in to an existing profile to employ the device.

Palm Profiles

The Palm Pre uses Palm Profiles to register users, associate them with specific devices and to backup up personal information to "the cloud." You must setup a new Palm Profile the first time you use a Pre.

After resetting your Pre, you can log back into an existing Palm Profile using the e-mail address and password you provided when creating it. Your device will then sync your previous contacts, applications and associated information from the Web to your device.

You can also log in to an existing Palm Profile with a new Pre so, for instance, you could use your original information to log in to your Palm Profile on a completely new Pre.

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