Factory reset Tractive GPS tracker

  1. Intro
  2. Possible cause
  3. Factory reset
  4. tl;dr
  5. Related stuff


I am very happy with the Tractive GPS device when I’m out on a walk with my dog. He tends to wander off following scent trails and running around with other dogs. The live tracking is very helpful to know where he is when I lost sight of him for a couple of seconds. Occasionally the tracker loses connectivity even in areas with good coverage, ending the live tracking session sooner then the maximum tracking time I have configured in the device settings. Rebooting doesn’t seem to resolve the problem as it will return in the next 10 minutes of live tracking.

Oddly neither the manual nor the website have instructions on how to factory reset the device. They rather advice to call on warranty or replace the device when stuff goes wrong, which is probably the safest option, while the solution is maybe simpler: do a firmware reset.

Possible cause

My theory is there may be a bug in the garbage collection where old tracking data points or maybe even gps, network or OS info remains on the device, filling up the storage, and finally the connectivity driver doesn’t have enough space left to do its thing properly. After a reboot the memory cache is cleared which seems to be enough for a couple of minutes of tracking. Until stuff needs to be written to or read from the internal storage.

I don’t known if Tractive does over the air firmware updates or configuration. In case they do, that could also be an explanation.

Factory reset

A factory reset is different from the regular boot process, where you hold the button 3 seconds to switch the device on and off. With a factory reset you tell the device to forget everything it remembers, except for its firmware and most crucial settings like about how to communicate with the network.


Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your actions. When the device is damaged that is on you or the warranty.

  1. Turn off the device by holding the button for 3 seconds, unless it’s already off.
  2. Hold the button for 30 seconds.
  3. First you get the regular LED blinks and beeps: the device is on.
  4. After holding for 30 seconds the LED blinks white and you hear a couple of beeps: the reset is complete.
  5. Release the button. It is already up and running, ready to resume normal use.

You can do this right when the problem occurs as it does not need a power supply or special tools. Though I recommend to not do this when the battery is low and not more often than once in a while. A problem that keeps coming back can be more serious and then repetitive resets could damage the device!

Contact Tractive support when you need them. They are very kind and considerate people.

Because you’ve got all the way to the bottom of this post, let’s throw in a little referral link: 15% discount on your next order and 1 month free for me. :-)

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