How to Factory Reset Your iPhone or iPad: A Simple Guide to Wiping Your iOS Device

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Bernard Perron
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Do you need to factory reset your iPhone or iPad? Maybe you are planning to sell your device and want to wipe all your personal files, or maybe you have been the victim of a theft and want to remotely wipe everything of value on the device. device.

If so, performing a factory reset is the quickest way to delete everything and start all over again.

Back up your device

An important reminder: before resetting your iPhone or iPad, make sure you've backed up anything you want to keep to iCloud or iTunes. Apple devices are encrypted out of the box. This means that erased files are not just hidden and shown as free space, they are completely deleted – no software can revive deleted files.



Apple has support pages explaining methods you can use to back up your iOS device, including via iCloud or via iTunes.

  1. To back up to iCloud, connect to your Wi-Fi network and go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Backup. after hitting Save now, your files will be stored in your iCloud account and linked to your Apple ID.
  2. You can verify that this backup was successful by going to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Storage > Manage Storage. This will reveal the time and size of your last backup. You are now free to factory reset your iPhone or iPad.

Alternatively, open iTunes, connect your device to your computer (enter your password or tell it you trust this computer) and follow the on-screen steps. Choose your iPhone, iPad or iPod when the device list appears and click Save now.



The easiest way to back up your media is to connect your iPhone or iPad to a laptop.

How to Factory Reset Your iPhone and iPad

Erasing your iOS device is easy, the only thing you will need is your device password, Apple ID and Apple password.

Sign out of iCloud

One of the first steps to erasing your phone is to sign out of iCloud. This will delete your iCloud account and disable Apple's Activation Lock. Once the recipient has received the iPhone or iPad, they can sign in to their own iCloud account.

Notes: You don't have to do this if you're trying to fix a problem with your device or just want to start over. As long as you know your Apple ID and password, you can recover your data after factory reset.

Tap your name in settings, then tap "Sign Out"

In your phone's Settings menu, sign out of iCloud.

How to sign out of iCloud remotely:

You can also do this by logging into icloud.com and removing the device from the list. Tap the Find my iPhone connection and select "Remove from Account" after selecting the device.

Doing this before selling an Apple device is vital because if this is not done first, the new user will not be able to log into their own iCloud account. If your device is missing and you want to track it, do not perform these steps.


How to reset your iPhone/iPad – Settings

If you have your device handy, it's simple to erase it using the phone or tablet settings. To do this, open the settings and follow these steps:


  1. Tap General.

2. Then press reset at the bottom of the screen.

3. Now press Clear all content and settings.

4. Then choose either Save then delete ou Clear now.

How to Reset an iPhone or iPad Remotely

If you've lost your iPhone or iPad and want peace of mind knowing the stored data won't be accessible, you can also wipe your device remotely.

Open Find My iPhone on a web browser

  1. Visit iCloud.com and sign in. Then click on the “Find my iphone” icon.

You will need to send a verification code to the registered phone number or to another Apple device with the same iCloud account. If you don't have either, contact Apple.

2. Select the device from the drop-down menu.

3. Then select Delete (device).

Note that if you have lost your device, you can remotely play a sound on your iPhone/iPad to help you locate it.


Factory reset using iTunes

You can use iTunes on a PC or Mac to reset your iPhone or iPad. Although this method is not as easy as performing the reset from the iPhone or iPad itself, it is an effective way to reset your device.

What you will need:


  • A computer running the latest version of iTunes
  • Your charging cord
  • An iPhone or iPad running the latest version of iOS
  1. To get started, make sure everything is updated and running the latest Apple software.
  2. Connect your device to your computer using the charging cord. Your device will ask for your screen unlock code. Enter the code and press Trusted device.
  3. iTunes should open automatically, giving you the option to select your device on the left side. When finished, select restore iphone and confirm you want to continue when the pop-up window appears.
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If you are using a PC with iTunes to perform these steps, you will need to click on the Summary tab to access the restore iphone option.

If you're experiencing any errors or your device won't turn on, Apple Support has a great article here to help you troubleshoot and fix the issue.

How to restart (soft reset) your iPhone or iPad

If your iOS device is crashed or frozen and you just want to reset (reboot) it, you can do that easily without deleting any of your data by pressing Home and Power button simultaneously for 5-10 seconds.

For newer iPhone models you won't have a home button, try this instead:

  1. Press and release the Volume up button.
  2. Press and release the Volume down button.
  3. Hold it Side button.

This will force restart your phone by closing all unnecessary processes and will solve many of your problems. This also works if your phone randomly shuts off and won't turn back on. Make sure to plug in the phone and perform the soft reset, using an iPad charging pad works best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to other questions about resetting an iPhone or iPad

Can I recover the information I lost after a reset?

No. Once your phone is factory reset, the information is completely gone. You can try checking with cloud services you may have had on the phone for saved information.

iCloud, Google Photos, Google Drive, Dropbox, and your email account are all ways to recover photos, documents, and contacts.

I can't get the verification code to log back into my iCloud. What can I do?

If Apple is trying to send a verification code to another Apple device and you don't have one, select the option that says you didn't receive a code, then tap the option to send it to your phone number.

If your phone number is no longer valid, call Apple at 1-800-MyApple. The support team is usually very helpful and will try to get you back into your iCloud account.

It's a long process and you may have to provide proof of purchase or wait several days for a new code after updating your phone number. Apple's activation lock is basically an anti-theft device, so it's very difficult to bypass without proper verification.

Should I factory reset my device if it's been stolen?

It really depends on a few factors. Did you have a password? If your phone is password locked, the data on the device may be secure enough that you can use Find My iPhone to track it.

If you don't have a password, it's probably best to protect your private information from those who took it and factory reset it.

If your Apple device is locked or stolen but the thief turned it off, you can set an alert on icloud.com to notify you if the device is on and connected to an internet connection.

Can I erase iPhone without Apple ID or password?

Although you can erase an iPhone without the password, whatever you do, you will need that Apple ID and password. Even if you connect the device to iTunes, the software will need this information.

Assuming you bought the iOS device from an individual seller and they neglected to sign out of their iCloud, your best bet is to contact them and ask them to remove the activation lock by signing in. to iCloud and deleting your device.

If you can't reach the seller, you can contact Apple, but you're unlikely to get too much help without the seller's permission.

That said, there are many third-party services that offer factory reset without Apple ID or password. If you choose to do so, do so with caution. Yes, you can put an iPhone in DFU mode, connect to iTunes, select "Restore" and the phone will be completely reset. But, there will still be an activation lock to bypass, which you cannot do until you know the original Apple ID or password.

Will Apple help me factory reset someone else's device if I provide a death certificate?

Assuming you're going through the unfortunate loss of a friend or loved one, you might want to continue using their iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, even with a death certificate, Apple isn't very helpful here.

For reasons of confidentiality and protection of the data of others, the company continues to protect the information of others even after transmission. There are plenty of online forums and third-party websites that promise to give you access, but many of them are scams (especially if you're using a newer version of iOS).

If the owner of the phone did not leave you the screen unlock code or if you do not have access to their iTunes account on their computer, there is no official way to access their phone.

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