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iGBHow-toHow to factory reset your iPhone and iPad

How to factory reset your iPhone and iPad

Key Takeaways

  • Before you factory reset your iPhone, you must turn off Find My. Go to SettingsApple ID → Find My → Find My iPhone, and toggle off Find My iPhone.
  • To reset your iPhone or iPad to default, go to SettingsGeneral → Transfer or Reset iPhone → Erase All Content and Settings, and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • You can also factory reset your iPhone or iPad from iCloud.com on other devices and Finder/iTunes on a Mac or Windows PC.

There are a few different situations in which you may want to factory reset your iPhone or iPad. For instance, if multiple apps are repeatedly crashing, if your device is running slow, or if your iPhone is behaving erratically, and you can’t work out the reason or solution.

The factory reset wipes out your device and can fix specific problems that may be impairing its performance. This applies to all iPhones, from the latest iPhone 15 and iPhone 14 series to the iPhone 6s.

However, it should be thought of as a last resort and must only be done after more straightforward solutions, such as restarting or force restarting your device, have not fixed the issues you’re encountering.

What happens when you factory reset your iPhone?

As the term ‘factory reset’ suggests, this option restores the software on your device to the way it was when it left the factory. This means that all the settings return to the default, and all your data, such as downloaded apps, photos, music, documents, and other files, are deleted. After a factory reset of your iPhone or iPad, you can practically set up your device from scratch ‘like new’.

Does a factory reset delete everything?

This depends on what exactly you are resetting. Whether you’re looking to factory reset an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, iPhone 14 series, or any of its predecessors, there are six different options available. Let’s have a brief look at each of them.

General Transfer or Reset iPhone

When you go to Settings → General → Transfer or Reset iPhone, you’ll find the following options:

  • Reset All Settings: This will reset your Home screen layout, location settings, network settings, privacy settings, the keyboard dictionary, and your Apple Pay cards to the default. If you choose this option, it will not delete Files and media.
  • Reset Network Settings: This deletes all your network settings, such as WiFi login credentials and networks that your phone automatically connects to. Further, manually trusted website certificates are rolled back to untrusted, and your device’ name’ is reset to just “iPhone”
  • Reset Keyboard Dictionary: Selecting this option will delete any words you might have added to the default keyboard dictionary on your iPhone
  • Reset Home Screen Layout: This will eliminate your custom layout or app folders on the Home screen. All the stock iOS apps will return to their default positions, and the Home Screen will look like it did when you first set up your iPhone. Your data will be safe.
  • Reset Location & Privacy: As the name suggests, this option restores the location services and privacy settings of your iPhone to their defaults.
  • Delete all eSIMs: This option is only available when you have eSIMs on your iPhone. As the name suggests, it will remove all the eSIMs you’ve saved on your iPhone.
  • Erase All Content & Settings: This option is what we usually refer to when talking about factory reset. It completely removes all of your content and settings, restoring your iPhone to the way it was when you first bought it

So, it is only the Erase All Content & Settings option that will delete all the data from your device except the default apps and settings.

Get your device ready for factory reset

Before you start resetting your iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to turn off Find My on your device. Follow these steps to disable Find My on iPhone and iPad:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Apple ID (your name) → Select Find MyFind My iPhone.

    Tap Find My iPhone in settings on iPhone
  3. Toggle off Find My iPhone → Enter your Apple ID password → Tap Turn Off.

    turn off find my iphone

Once disabled, your iPhone or iPad is ready to reset!

How to factory reset iPhone or iPad (including iPhone 15 series)

There are four ways to reset your iPhone or iPad. Let’s first look at the easiest and most convenient one.

  1. Go to Settings → General.
  2. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  3. Pick Erase All Content and Settings.

    Erase All Content and Settings on iPhone
  4. Optionally, you’ll be prompted to back up your device.
  5. Tap Continue → Erase iPhone → Enter the iPhone Passcode. Then, you may follow the on-screen instructions once the automatic iCloud backup is complete.

    Tap on Continue and Add Passcode on iPhone

How to factory reset iPhone or iPad using iCloud

In any case, if your iPhone or iPad is lost or stolen, you still have the option to remotely wipe it using Apple’s official iCloud website.

NOTE: This process will lock your iPhone. You’ll have to enter your Apple ID and password to unlock your iPhone again.

Here’s how to factory reset your iPhone or iPad using iCloud:

  1. Visit iCloud.com and go to Find My.
    Click Sign In and log in with your Apple ID associated with your iPhone or iPad.

    click find my in icloud
  2. Click the Expand button next to All Devices.

    click the expand button beside all devices in icloud
  3. Select your iPhone or iPad from the list.

    select iphone from find my list
  4. Click Erase This Device.

    click erase this device in find my to factory reset iphone

Follow the on-screen prompts and read all the warnings before you proceed to remotely wipe your iPhone or iPad. Once you confirm, the remote erase will begin as soon as your selected device is connected to the internet.

Once the process finishes, you’ll receive an email on your registered Apple ID.

Reset your iPhone or iPad using a Mac or PC

You can also reset your iPhone or iPad using Finder on Mac. If you’re using an older version of macOS or have access to a Windows PC, you have to launch the iTunes application.

Factory reset iPhone/iPad using Finder

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac using a cable.
  2. Open Finder on your Mac.
  3. Select Trust when prompted on Mac and iPhone and enter your iPad or iPhone’s Passcode.
  4. Select your device’s name from the sidebar.

    click iphone from finder sidebar
  5. Click Restore iPhone/iPad on your Mac. Tap Back Up if you haven’t or select Don’t Back Up if you already backed up your iPhone/iPad.

    click restore iphone in finder
  6. Select Restore again when the confirmation prompt appears.

    click restore to factory reset iphone using mac

Finder will start erasing your device and installing the latest iOS or iPadOS on it. Once done, your device will restart, and you can go through the setup process.

Factory Reset iPhone/iPad Using iTunes

  1. Launch iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer with a lightning/USB cable
  3. Click the small device button on the top left.

    Click on iPhone icon in iTunes on Mac
  4. In the left panel, click on Summary.

    Click on Summary under iPhone in iTunes
  5. Now, click Restore.
  6. Confirm to Restore the device
  7. Your device will be erased and restored to factory settings. Once the process is over, it will restart, and you can then set it up from scratch once again

How to factory reset iPhone or iPad using Recovery Mode

You can also use Recovery Mode to reset your device. This is usually necessary when:

  • iPhone or iPad is stuck on the Apple logo for several minutes
  • The computer does not recognize your device when you connect it
  • The computer says your device is in Recovery Mode when you connect it

To erase your iPhone or iPad using Recovery Mode, follow these steps: 

  1. Connect your device to a computer and put it in Recovery Mode. The procedure for this varies according to what model you have
  2. Once your computer locates your device, a message will appear to Restore or Update
  3. Select Restore and follow the on-screen instructions
  4. This will wipe out your iPhone or iPad data and will download the latest version of iOS or iPadOS supported by your device
  5. Once the process is complete, you will see a notification on-screen, and your device will restart

What to do after resetting your iOS device?

Once you have factory-reset your iPhone or iPad, all your data will have been deleted, and your device will be ‘like new’. So here’s what you can do next:

  1. Set it up as new
  2. After a factory reset process, your device will display the initial setup screen. Follow the instructions on the screen to set it up from scratch. Alternatively, you can choose to restore your iOS device from iCloud backup

Factory resetting your iPhone or iPad is a straightforward process. We hope this comprehensive guide has equipped you with everything you need to know. If you have further questions, let us know in the comments below.

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  • Arshmeet

    A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.

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