If you’re selling on an iPhone or iPad or are having trouble with iOS misbehaving, a factory reset may be necessary. You’ll find the reset option in Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings, but there are some steps you should take first, as we’ll outline below.
If you are selling or passing down your iPad or iPhone to a family member or friend it’s absolutely vital that you delete all the sensitive data stored on it. If not, an unscrupulous buyer could gain access to your social media profiles, your financial information, and even your personal photos and videos, enabling them to browse through your private moments or steal your identity.
A factory reset can also help resolve issues with your iPhone or iPad if it’s crashing or freezing, or suffering from problems you can’t identify. Modern electronic devices can be very complicated and can get themselves into a bit of a confused state from time to time. Resetting and wiping a device can clear out problems that cause the device to get stuck in a loop, appear sluggish or otherwise impair performance. It’s not a guarantee, but you’d be surprised how often it works.
For a less drastic solution to undiagnosed problems, you should first try restarting or force-restarting your iDevice.
Before you wipe your device make sure that important information is backed up. We have an article about how to back up an iPhone here, although that is the first bit of advice we will give below.
How to reset your iPhone to factory settings
If you want to erase your device completely, then there are a few steps to take.
Back up your iPhone
Start by backing up your device, here’s how:
- First of all, make sure you have a backup ready. You can use either iCloud or iTunes to back up your iOS device.
- For iCloud go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and ensure that the feature is enabled. To see when the last backup was run look under the Back Up Now option where the date and time should be displayed. If you haven’t done a backup before you can tap the Back Up Now button and follow the instructions. For more detailed advice on this process, read our tutorial showing how to back up an iPhone.
- To use iTunes to back up your iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to plug your device into your PC or Mac using the charging cable. Click on the iPhone or iPad icon in the top left corner of iTunes, under the Play button.
Factory reset your iPhone
Once you’re confident that you’ve backed up your iPad or iPhone, you’re ready to perform a factory reset. This will completely wipe your device, which is why having a backup beforehand is so important.
- To reset your iPhone or iPad go to Settings > General > Reset and then select Erase All Content and Settings.
- After typing in your passcode if you’ve set one, you’ll get a warning box appear, with the option to Erase iPhone (or iPad) in red. Tap this.
- You’ll need to enter your Apple ID password to confirm the action, then the iPad or iPhone will wipe everything off its storage and go back to the initial setup screen you saw when you first used the device.
- You can also fully reset your iPhone or iPad through iTunes. When you plug in your iOS device, you should be able to see a ‘Restore iPhone’ button, which will fully reset the device.
Your iPhone or iPad is now ready to sell.