In a stunning move, the deeply unpopular president will become the first French president since the second world war not to seek a second term in office.
His current approval rating have hovered between single digits and the mid teens.
"I decided not to be a presidential candidate, not to seek resuming my mandate," Hollande said, addressing the French people in the Elysee Palace.
He said that he made a lot of efforts to keep his pre-election promises but conceeded that there were some mistakes in how such were implemented.
Hollande has presided over a time when France has endured multiple terrorist attacks, including the November 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people. In July, a cargo truck drove into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, resulting in the deaths of 86 people.
In light of his low approval ratings, Hollande cited that politically his candidacy might have posed "risks" to the French left.
The French presidential election is scheduled for April and May 2017.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls and former economy minister Arnaud Montebourg are expected to compete to be at the top of the Socialist ticket.