If you owned a Windows Mobile 6.5 or below device, you probably got accustomed to having to soft reset (akin to a reboot on your computer) on a somewhat regular basis in times of device instability. A soft reset would flush the RAM and give you a fresh start. In order to do a soft reset, you could simply turn the device off then on again, put a paperclip or stylus in the soft reset hole, or remove the battery. A hard reset (akin to formatting your computer), often done through a setting or by holding down a certain number of the hardware keys for several seconds, would erase your device completely and bring it back to factory condition.
In Windows Phone 7, how does hard and soft resetting work? Before we explain that, know that Windows Phone 7 is far more stable than was Windows Mobile, so don’t plan on soft-resetting often because of a device freezes or instability. To soft reset in Windows Phone 7, you have to either remove the battery, or turn the device off then on again. The Windows Phone 7 devices that are out there now do not have soft reset holes.
To hard reset, just dive into the Settings, About screen, where you’ll find a “reset your phone” button. Hitting this button will revert the device back to factory condition, bloatware and all.