The Importance of Resetting

Every kind of computer offers a means of restarting in case of lockup, plus a means of starting up without any startup add-ons. The PalmPilot is no exception. The following techniques—the soft reset in particular—are amazingly useful. They can get you out of an impressive majority of hangs, freezes, glitches, and other software-based anomalies.

Soft Reset

A soft reset of the PalmPilot means turning it off and on again. But when some piece of buggy software has frozen the thing, you can press the on/off button from now until doomsday with no effect: the PalmPilot simply stays on, with a frozen screen. In such a case, you need to do a soft reset— a method of manually turning the device off and on again.

To do so, unfold a paper clip. Or, if you own a Palm III or later model, unscrew the plastic top (not the point) of the stylus to reveal a built-in “unfolded paper clip” pin. Use the paper clip, or the unscrewed stylus cap pin, to press the button in the Reset hole on the back of the palmtop, gently. (This hole is identified by the word RESET).

When you do a soft reset, the palmtop automatically turns on again. Your programs and information are 100% intact.


The true Piloteer, possessing a pre-Palm III model without an unscrewable stylus, carries a paper clip inside the PalmPilot, ever ready to do a soft reset when necessary.

There’s a perfect place to stash it, too: in the battery compartment. Slip it, or even tape it, in the groove between the two batteries, ...

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