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How to Factory Reset Your iPhone in 10 Simple Steps

Factory resetting your iPhone is simple, but it’s not something you want to do just because you feel like it. The process of factory resetting your iPhone will wipe it clean and restore it to its original factory settings, which means that all of your saved contacts, apps, photos, and other data will be deleted before the new owner can access them on their own device. To learn how to factory reset your iPhone in 10 simple steps, keep reading!

Step 1: Prepare your device

First, backup your data and make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. This is important so that all of your personal information is backed up and accessible once again. If you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi network, set up a free 3rd party Cloud Service Account, such as Apple’s iCloud or Dropbox (to name just two). Then follow these steps: Go into Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Confirm by tapping Erase iPhone at the bottom of your screen when prompted. Your device will turn off, erase all its content and settings, then turn back on with factory default settings—ready for setup all over again! You can restore from a previous backup during setup. Just sign in with your Apple ID, select Set Up As New iPhone, and choose to Restore from Backup when prompted. The above process takes around 15 minutes but varies depending on how much data you need to transfer from one phone to another. Be patient though—it’s worth it!

Step 2: Navigate to Settings

Navigate to Settings (gear icon) > General > Reset. You’ll be presented with a list of options: For example, you can choose Erase All Content and Settings or Erase All Content and Settings (and Apple will wipe your phone entirely clean). If you opt for Erase all content and settings, note that you will lose any music, video, photos, messages (iMessage or SMS), documents or other files that are stored on your device. To continue your reset process tap Reset All Settings. The Erase All Content and Settings option is useful if you wish to give away or sell your phone but want to ensure all information contained on it is no longer accessible. However, please note that once you have erased all content and settings from your device, it cannot be recovered. This action cannot be undone so please make sure you have everything backed up before proceeding. Once done, tap Reset All Settings again to confirm your choice.

Step 3: Tap General

Scroll down and tap General. This will take you to a screen with options for setting up your device as new or restoring from a backup. Tap either option, depending on whether you’re setting up your phone for use after an upgrade or resetting it entirely. The latter is what we’re doing here, so choose Restore and Install: You’ll be asked if you want to Erase All Content and Settings, which is what you want. Agree by tapping Erase iPhone… If prompted, enter your passcode (not necessarily required) and tap OK/Done. Enter your Apple ID password when requested. Your iPhone will now begin restoring itself to factory settings. When complete, it should restart and prompt you to set up your device as new—which means choosing a language, connecting to Wi-Fi, signing into iCloud, etc.—or restore from a backup. Follow along with whichever process you need. And that’s all there is to it! Congratulations on successfully erasing all content and settings from your iPhone.

Step 4: Select Reset

This is your last chance to change your mind, so make sure you have all of your files backed up and everything downloaded onto your computer. And just as a reminder: If you’re planning on selling or giving away your phone after doing a factory reset, you’ll want to remove all personal information from it beforehand. After tapping Erase All Content and Settings, enter your passcode one more time and tap Continue. Once again, Apple will warn you that a full factory reset will erase all of its contents forever—if that doesn’t sound like what you want to do, hold off on erasing everything. But if you’re ready to start fresh, tap Erase iPhone. The process can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour depending on how much data needs to be erased. When it’s done, your iPhone will restart and prompt you for some basic setup info before asking if you’d like to restore a backup of your old device or start fresh with no content. You’ll also get an option here for restoring from iCloud backups; if you’ve turned that feature on (and we hope you have), then iCloud should automatically sync most of your content back over once it’s done restoring from iTunes backup.

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Step 5: Choose Erase All Content and Settings

This deletes everything on your device and restarts it. Enter your passcode. If you have Touch ID, you’ll need to enter your passcode as well. You can’t erase everything and keep your media, settings, or information linked with iCloud or iTunes. If there are data files you want to save, make sure they’re backed up before going through with a factory reset. Once your phone is erased, restart it. The first thing that will appear is an activation screen where you can sign into your Apple ID if you aren’t already signed in. Follow any prompts to set up your phone again from scratch. After about 15 minutes of setup time, you should be back at home screen with all of your apps and content restored.

Step 6: Confirm on your device

Your iOS device will be erased from a factory reset. If you want to keep your content, use a computer and iTunes instead. To learn how, see Back up or transfer files using iCloud Backup or iTunes. If you still want to do a factory reset, tap Erase All Content and Settings (or Erase iPhone [Device Name] [Version Number] if iOS 7 is installed). After it erases all content and settings, choose Restore. When your device turns on again it will start as new. You can set it up as a new device with an Apple ID, or restore from backup. See Set up an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch for more information about restoring from backup.

Step 7: Device Restarts

Sometimes you need a clean start. Sometimes you’ve tried everything, but there’s just something off with your phone—the lagging is unbearable, or maybe it won’t boot up anymore. In these cases, it’s time for a device restart. To do that, hold down both home and power buttons for at least ten seconds until you see an Apple logo. Then let go and watch your phone boot back up! If it doesn’t work, see step 8 below. If it does work, proceed to step 9 immediately! You can try a hard reset without doing a full restore as well if you’re running into issues on your phone. For instructions on how to do that, click here . You should always make sure your iPhone has updated to its latest version of iOS before attempting any troubleshooting steps! You can check by going into Settings > General > Software Update . Restoring from backup: Connect your device to iTunes (latest version) on your computer. Click Restore Backup under Summary section in iTunes when connected. Note: This will erase all data from your device including photos and videos so please ensure they are backed up before proceeding. After clicking Restore Backup, follow instructions in iTunes till completion.

Step 8: Enter Passcode (if necessary)

If you have an Apple ID and iCloud account associated with your device, you’ll need to enter that passcode or provide access to it. If you do not have a passcode set up on your phone, skip ahead to Step 9. On your iPhone, launch Settings then select Touch ID & Passcode or Password & Fingerprint if you’re using iOS 11 or later. Enter your passcode, if prompted. If necessary, select Forgot? and follow the instructions provided by Apple Support. If you don’t remember setting up a passcode, back up your data then use iTunes or iCloud backups until before changing any settings on your device. Once you’ve backed up your data, reset your device as instructed below. Once you’ve completed these steps, restore from backup (see Restore from Backup below). You can also set up a new passcode after completing these steps.

Step 9. Done!

Congratulations, you’ve factory reset your iPhone. Now it’s time to set it up as a new device so you can begin using it again. Make sure your smartphone is connected to a WiFi network and launch Settings from your Home screen. Scroll down until you see iCloud, tap on it, then enter your Apple ID and password when prompted. Next, tap on Storage & Backup. In the next menu tap on Manage Storage. Here, select iPhone, which will show you what apps are stored there; if there are any apps that you don’t want transferring over, remove them by tapping Edit at the top of your screen, then tapping Delete All. Once done, scroll down and tap Back Up Now at the bottom of your screen.

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