Smart displays are a new breed of devices that will likely be invading your home soon enough. If they have not already.
Amazon, Facebook and Google all have their own smart display products available to buy although when it comes to Google, there's also a number of third-party devices to choose from.
These wider Google smart displays are linked through their use of the Google Assistant and Cast technology. Due to this, and although they are branded as different devices, they are derivatives of the same single product – a Google Assistant smart display.
Like Android, one of the benefits of this derivative market is that many of the features are the same regardless of which smart display you opt for, and factory resetting a device is a prime example.
Does my smart display need a factory reset?
There are many reasons as to why you might want to consider factory resetting a smart display. For example, maybe you are selling or returning a smart display and just want to make sure all of your data has been wiped off the device beforehand.
A far more common reason however is the general performance of the device.
Smart displays are still early in their product line life cycle and this does mean the experience can be a little buggy at the best of times. Sometimes the cast won’t work properly. Sometimes the display fails to connect to the Wi-Fi or consistently. Sometimes, they just fail.
In most cases, these issues can be easily remedied by doing a reset and here’s how you can do that.
Try a soft reset first
If you are encountering issues with a smart display then one of the easiest ways to clear lingering issues is to perform a soft reset. Like any soft reset, this is a non-intrusive procedure so you won’t have to worry about any additional effects related to the reset – unlike with a hard reset.
Therefore, when it comes to annoying issues (whether they be connection, performance or anything else) a soft reset is usually always the first port of call.
Similar to how soft resets are performed on most devices, the procedure could not be any easier. Simply turn off and/or unplug the device, wait ten seconds and then plug it back in again.
The smart device will boot up again and in some cases, you might find this is enough to clear any superficial, but annoying issues you might have.
How to factory (hard) reset a smart display
If you’ve gone down the soft reset route and found it hasn’t worked then it may be time to take things to the next level with a factory (hard) reset.
As the name implies, this type of reset reverts the unit back to its factory settings and condition. Basically, it will revert the device back to the state it was in when you first took it out of the box. This is usually a far more thorough and effective device-cleansing experience but it does come with some additional consequences.
Warning: Factory resets reset everything. This includes all of your user data, information and settings. Once the factory reset is complete you will once again have to go through the process of setting the device up again like you did the first time.
Unlike smartphones, there’s no option within the settings or the interface to perform a factory reset and generally speaking, the information on how to do this is not provided with the device.
Regardless of what smart display you have, as long as it is a Google Assistant-powered smart display, the process is the same – and very easy.
To reset a Google Assistant smart display all you need to do is make sure the device is powered up and then hold down the volume up and volume down buttons at the same time.
However, the length of time you need to hold down the buttons for may vary a little. For example, Google says Home Hub users need to hold the volume up and down buttons for about 10 seconds. In contrast, Lenovo states the volume buttons only have to be held down for 8 seconds.
Unlike Google and Lenovo, JBL does not seem to provide accurate documentation for this online, although applying the Home Hub's ten-second rule works for the JBL Link View.
No matter what smart display you are using, the longest you should have to hold the buttons down for is ten seconds and once the time limit has been reached a message will pop up on the display advising of the request to do a factory reset.
At this point there are two ways to proceed. Users can manually approve the request by hitting the “Yes do it!” button that’s shown on the display. This will then immediately start the reset. Alternatively, once the notification is visible a countdown will commence. This countdown is usually about 10 seconds and if the user does not respond before it reaches zero, the reset will begin automatically.
Users can always cancel the factory reset by hitting the “cancel” button before the countdown finishes or the “Yes do it!” button has been pressed.
Once the factory reset has been initiated, the device will turn off completely and begin the factory reset.
The reset itself can take a few minutes to complete and when it has finished the device will turn itself back on again and boot up.
You’ll be presented with the same “Welcome” screen you were when you first purchased the device along with the instructions on how to set the smart display up again.
Hopefully, you'll also now have an issue-free smart display.