iPhone Factory Reset: Here’s How To Wipe It When All Else Fails

iPhone Factory Reset: Here’s How To Wipe It When All Else Fails
Image: Getty

Having issues with your iPhone? Want to flee the country and assume a new identity? Or maybe you’re just selling your phone and don’t want the new owner to have access to all of your personal information. Regardless of the reason, you probably need to know how to reset your iPhone

Resetting your device reverts all settings to exactly how your iPhone was the day you purchased it. All files will be wiped, all passwords forgotten and all apps deleted.

So how exactly do you do this? Apple has recently changed the way this is done, so let’s drill in to the now (even more) simple way to reset your iPhone.

Backup before you reset your iPhone

Before we get started on how to reset your iPhone, you should perform a backup to your iCloud account to save all of your files and data. You know, because otherwise you’re going to lose it. If you need to borrow iCloud Storage to transfer data to your new iPhone, you can.

  1. Open the settings app and tap your name at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the ‘iCloud’ button
  3. Scroll down and select ‘iCloud backup’
  4. Tap ‘Back Up Now’
  5. If you’ve done this correctly, you should have the screen as below:


To sign out of your Apple ID

If you don’t trust the ‘reset your iPhone’ process to sign out of your Apple ID, you can manually do it before you perform the reset.

  1. Open settings and tap your name at the top of the screen.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select ‘Sign Out’.

How to reset your iPhone

And now we can move to how to factory reset your iPhone. Apple has actually made this process super easy now. Let’s go:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Select General
  3. Scroll down to ‘Transfer or Reset iPhone’ (you’ll see it right at the bottom, as you can see in the below screenshot)
    how to reset iphone
  4. This screen will now allow you to move through the backup process (and everything else you need to prep for a new device). If you want to continue with iPhone reset, click ‘Erase All Content and Settings’
    how to reset iphone
  5. The screen ‘Erase this iPhone’ will then pop up. It will confirm you do in fact want to erase your apps and data, sign out of your Apple ID, kill off Find My and deactivate access to the cards stored in your Apple WalletYou will now be prompted to enter your passcode and confirm the decision.
    how to reset iphone
  6. Press ‘Continue’ to confirm (please only do this if you’re confident you’ve backed everything up)
  7. Enter the passcode used for your iPhone
  8. You might be served a prompt from iCloud to confirm you want to erase the iPhone before upload of something is complete. If so, your screen will look like the below:
    uploading to icloud
  9. If you want to make sure everything is stored in iCloud, it’s best to hit ‘Finish Upload Then Erase’, but if you want to just hurry up and reset your iPhone, select ‘Erase Now’
  10. Now, enter the password for your Apple ID
  11. One more prompt, where you choose to reset your iPhone (by tapping ‘Erase iPhone’) or to cancel the whole darn thing by selecting ‘Cancel’
  12. The factory reset can take a few minutes to complete, but when it’s finished your iPhone will serve you up the welcome screen.

If you’re not giving away your iPhone after performing the reset, you can then press ‘Restore Your iPhone From Backup’ to get your saved data back onto the device.

This post has been updated since it was first published.