How to Erase iPhone or iPad and Restore Default Factory Settings

Introduction

Whether you’re getting ready to trade in an old iPhone or iPad, give the device to a friend or family member, or sell it yourself, the first thing you’ll want to do is erase your iPhone or iPad and restore it to its default factory settings. This will erase all media and data from your Apple device, and return it to the state it was when you first took it out of the box. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in the YouTube video below. Additionally, before you get rid of the device, you’ll also want to remove it from being able to make purchases with your Apple ID. You can click here to see my video that will show you how to do that.

YouTube player

Steps to Erase iPhone or iPad and Restore Default Factory Settings

  1. Launch the “Settings” app on your Apple iPhone or iPad, and then tap “General” in this menu. The General screen is shown.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of this screen and then tap “Reset.” The Reset screen is displayed.
  3. Tap “Erase All Content and Settings.” A message is displayed asking if you want to update your iCloud backup before erasing this device. If you need to backup your device tap “Backup and Erase.” However, in this example, I’ll tap “Erase Now” to completely erase my device. The next screen prompts you to enter the passcode associated with your iPhone or iPad.
  4. Enter the passcode associated with your device. You’ll return to the Reset screen where you’ll see a menu letting you know that moving forward will delete all media and data from your iPhone or iPad, and reset all settings back to the factory state.
  5. Tap “Erase iPhone.” Another menu is shown, warning you that this can’t be undone. Tap “Erase iPhone” again. A screen prompting you to enter your Apple ID password is displayed.
  6. Enter the password associated with your Apple ID and then tap “Erase.” You’ll see an Apple logo on the screen with a progress bar. Eventually, your iPhone or iPad will boot up to the Apple Hello screen where either you or someone else can set up the device for use.

Reasons to Erase iPhone or iPad and Restore Default Factory Settings

1. Selling or Giving Away

When it comes time to part ways with your iPhone or iPad, it’s important to make sure that none of your personal data falls into the wrong hands. Erasing your device and restoring it to its factory settings is a quick and easy way to ensure that all of your personal data, like photos, messages, and documents, are wiped clean. Doing this will give you peace of mind, knowing that your information won’t be accessible to the new owner. While it may seem like a hassle to erase everything, it’s worth the effort to protect your personal data.

2. Resolving Software Issues

If you’re experiencing software issues on your iPhone or iPad, like crashes, freezing, or other problems, restoring your device to factory settings can help to resolve the issue. This is because it wipes out any potentially problematic files or settings that may be causing the issue. By restoring to factory settings, you’re essentially starting from scratch and eliminating any potential software issues that may have been plaguing your device. It’s important to note that this process will erase all of your personal data, so be sure to back up anything you want to save before you proceed.

3. Speeding Up Your Device

If your iPhone or iPad is running slow, restoring it to factory settings can help to speed it up. Over time, junk files, cache, and other data can build up on your device, which can slow it down. By erasing everything and starting from scratch, you’ll be able to eliminate all of this excess data and give your device a fresh start. This can help to improve its overall speed and performance, making it more efficient and enjoyable to use.

4. Security

If you’re concerned about security or suspect that your device may have been compromised, restoring it to factory settings can help to eliminate any potential security threats. This is because it wipes out all of your personal data and any potential malware or viruses that may be lurking on your device. By starting fresh, you can be sure that your device is secure and free from any potential security risks.

5. Starting Fresh

Sometimes, you may just want to start fresh with a clean slate. Perhaps you’re getting a new iPhone or iPad and want to start over, or maybe you’re just tired of the clutter and want to simplify things. Whatever the reason, restoring your device to factory settings will erase all of your data and settings, giving you a brand new device to work with. This can be a great way to simplify your life and start fresh with a device that’s free from excess data and clutter. Just be sure to back up anything you want to save before you proceed.

Will Restoring My Device to Factory Settings Delete All of My Data?

Before restoring your iPhone or iPad to its factory settings, it’s important to know that all of your data will be deleted. This includes your photos, messages, documents, and any other personal data on your device. However, if you’ve backed up your data before restoring your device, you can restore it once the process is complete.

How Do I Back Up My Data Before Restoring My Device to Factory Settings?

Backing up your data before restoring your iPhone or iPad is crucial if you want to keep your data safe. There are several ways to back up your data, including using iCloud, iTunes, or third-party backup software. Once your data is backed up, you can then proceed with restoring your device to its factory settings.

How Long Does It Take to Erase and Restore My Device to Factory Settings?

The time it takes to erase and restore your device to its factory settings depends on several factors, such as the age of your device, the amount of data on it, and the speed of your internet connection. Generally, the process takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more.

Will Restoring My Device to Factory Settings Fix Software Issues, Like Freezing or Crashing?

Restoring your iPhone or iPad to its factory settings can help to fix software issues, like freezing or crashing. This is because it wipes out any potentially problematic files or settings that may be causing the issue. However, it’s important to note that restoring your device will also erase all of your personal data, so be sure to back up anything you want to save before proceeding.

Will Restoring My Device to Factory Settings Remove Any Pre-installed Apps or Data from the Manufacturer?

Restoring your device to its factory settings will remove all of your personal data, but it won’t remove any pre-installed apps or data from the manufacturer. This includes apps like Safari, Contacts, and Messages, which are part of the iOS operating system.

What Happens If I Lose Power or My Device Shuts off During the Restore Process?

If you lose power or your device shuts off during the restore process, it can cause problems with your device. If this happens, you may need to start the process over again, which can be time-consuming. To avoid this, make sure your device is fully charged before starting the restore process and keep it plugged in during the process.

Will Restoring My Device to Factory Settings Improve Its Performance and Speed?

Restoring your device to its factory settings can help to improve its performance and speed. This is because it removes any potentially problematic files or settings that may be slowing down your device. However, it’s important to note that the improvement in performance and speed may not be significant, especially if your device is old or has hardware issues.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you click one of the product links I may receive a small commission. This helps support my content, and enables me to continue creating content like this. Thank you for the support!