Computers and Technology

How to Factory Reset or Soft Reset an iPhone or iPad

The point is that whether you’re selling your iPhone or taking it in for repair, you should reset it so that all your accounts and content are deleted – and there’s more to it than just wiping your phone. Will your data be erased? What if you simply want the phone to work again after it has frozen?

The easiest way to reset your iPhone or iPad is to go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase all content and settings. Before the process is completed, you’ll be asked for your Apple ID and passcode.

Back up before you reset

Factory resetting your device may be necessary at times, not because you wish to give it away, but because it is exhibiting unusual behavior.

iCloud is the easiest way to back up your iPhone or iPad – there is 5GB of free storage available to you, but if you need more, you can purchase additional storage. 

Simply access your Settings app > [Your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup to back up your device with iCloud. You will need to turn it on if it’s off. A backup should already be on since your iPhone was charging and connected to Wi-Fi last time, although you can force a backup by selecting Backup Now.

Alternatively, you can connect your iPad or iPhone to your computer and make a full backup. When using iTunes under Windows (or macOS 10.14 or earlier), the process is as simple as plugging it in, unlocking it, and then clicking it. You should see the Backups section on the Summary screen. Select the backup button.

iTunes has been replaced by Finder in macOS 10.15 Catalina and later. Open the Finder, locate your iPhone in the left-hand menu, and back up using the Finder. Under the General tab, select Back up your data. Start the process by selecting Back up all of the data on your iPhone to your Mac. Now you can reset the phone. Before you part with your iPhone or iPad, make sure the SIM card is removed, as it may have personal data stored on it. You may want to use it in a new phone or tablet.

Learn how to soft reset an iPhone or iPad.

You can perform a soft reset if you want to restart your phone but none of its buttons work.

The Apple logo will appear on devices without a home button (iPhone X and later) when you hold and release the volume up button, then the volume down button, and then the  side button (sleep/wake).

Hold down both the power button and the home button at the same time until the screen turns off and the Apple logo appears.

How to reset an iPhone or iPad

Here’s what you need to do to reset an iPhone or iPad based on your version of iOS or iPadOS. 

Step 1. Click General in Settings. If you are using an earlier version of iOS, scroll down until you see Transfer or Reset iPhone (also known as Reset in earlier versions).

Step 2. Hit Erase All Content and Settings. It may be necessary for you to enter a code or password, depending on whether you’ve set a Passcode and/or Restrictions Passcode (they are different). The device cannot be reset unless the code(s) are entered.

Step 3. The removal of data from your iPhone will be summarized for you. Tap Continue if you want to proceed. Next, you will be asked for your Apple ID password. To remove the account from your device and turn off Find My iPhone, follow these steps.

As soon as the iPhone reboots after being restored via iTunes, you will be prompted for the Apple ID and password. If you reset your iPhone using the method described here, the iPhone will never ask for your Apple ID again.

Step 4. It may take a few minutes for the reset to finish, after which the welcome screen will appear, requiring you to swipe to continue. The device can now be sold, given to a family member, or brought to an Apple Store for repair.

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