How to Factory Reset iPhone and iPad (Ultimate Guide)

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 or if your device is running slow and getting stuck. Or even when it’s behaving erratically, and you can’t work out the reason or solution.

A factory reset wipes out your device and can fix specific problems that may be impairing its performance. However, it should be thought of as a last resort and must only be done after simpler solutions such as restarting or force restarting your device have not fixed the issues you’re encountering.

Apart from being a final solution to troubleshoot your device, a factory reset is essential when you are giving away or selling your device since it ensures that all your personal data is deleted. With that said, let’s learn all about the process.

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 essentially set up your device from scratch ‘like new’.

Does a Factory Reset Delete Everything?

This depends on what exactly you are resetting. When you go to SettingsGeneral → Reset, there are six different options available. Let’s have a brief look at each of them.


  • 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. None of your files or media will be deleted if you choose this option
  • 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 get rid of 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 return to looking like it was when you first set up your iPhone. Your data will not be deleted
  • Reset Location & Privacy: As the name suggests, this option restores the location services and privacy settings of your iPhone to their defaults
  • 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 attempting to factory reset your iPhone or iPad, please ensure that you do the following:

  1. Backup your device. This is essential so that you can restore your data after the factory reset is complete
  2. Make sure that you have the latest version of iOS installed on your device. To check this, go to SettingsGeneralSoftware Update.
  3. Make sure you have the latest version of macOS or iTunes installed on your computer
  4. Turn off Find my iPhone on your device.turn-off-find-my-iphone

How to Factory Reset iPhone or iPad

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 Erase All Content & Settings.
  3. If you have not backed up your device, you’ll be prompted to do so
  4. Tap on Erase Now.tap-on-erase-all-content-and-settings-tap-on-erase-now-and-enter-password
  5. You’ll then be asked to Enter Screen Time Passcode if you have set one
  6. You’ll see a warning. Tap on the Erase iPhone (or iPad) option
  7. To confirm, enter your Apple ID password.  And tap on  Erase from top right corner.use-screen-time-passcode-tap-on-erase-iphone-and-enter-apple-id-password-and-tap-on-erase
  8. Your device will take a few minutes to wipe all your settings and data. It will then revert to the setup screen that you would have seen when you used your device for the first time

How to Factory Reset iPhone or iPad Using iCloud

If your iPhone gets lost or stolen, you can remotely wipe all its content using the iCloud website. This is only possible if you had set up Find My iPhone.

  1. Go to
  2. Login by entering your Apple ID and password
  3. Go to Find
  4. Click on the option All Devices and select the iPhone or iPad that you want to factory
  5. Click Erase iPhone/
  6. Once you confirm, the remote erase will begin as soon as your selected device is connected to the internet. Once the process is complete, you will receive a confirmation email on your registered Apple ID email

This process will lock your iPhone. And if you following this process to reset your device, you can unlock it by entering your Apple ID and password.

How to Factory Reset your iPhone or iPad using Mac or Computer

You can reset your iPhone using Finder on macOS Catalina or iTunes on older macOS version or Windows computers. Here’s how:

Factory Reset iPhone/iPad Using Finder on macOS Catalina

  1. Launch Finder.Open Finder on Mac
  2. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac with a lightning/USB cable
  3. Tap on the Trust button on your device, if asked
  4. From the left panel, select your device.Click on iPhone from Left Sidebar on Mac
  5. Select Restore iPhone/
  6. Click Restore from the pop-up box to
  7. Your device will be wiped and restored to factory settings. Once the process is over, it will restart, and you can then set it up from scratch once again

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 on the small device button on the top left-hand side.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.Restore iPhone and iPad using iTunes
  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

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
  • Computer does not recognize your device when you connect it
  • 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 screen to set it up from scratch. Alternatively, you can choose to restore your iOS device from iCloud backup

Summing Up 

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

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I have been writing about tech for over 10 years now. I am passionate about helping people solve their tech problems with easy and practical solutions. At iGeeksBlog, I write and edit how-to guides and accessory reviews for all things Apple. My work has previously appeared in Live IT and Woman’s Era magazines. When not working, I love reading and traveling.