Step by Step Guide on Factory Resetting an iPhone
There are any number of reasons why we may need to reset an iPhone to its original factory settings.
You may have upgraded to a new phone and want to sell your old one and need to make sure none of your data ends up in the wrong hands. A factory reset might be in order. Every now and then your phone may experience an unexpected software glitch and the only way around it is by restoring those original factory settings. No matter your reason, this article will answer the question you’ll ask yourself, “How to reset my iPhone?”
This cannot be said enough. You must back up your iPhone. Let us repeat. You must back up the data on your iPhone. It can be a lifesaver should you drop your phone in a pool or it gets accidentally run over. So a factory reset won’t be so traumatic.
How to restore data from your iCloud account
It’s a smart idea to get into the habit of backing up your phone to iCloud every day if possible. It’s easy and you’ll thank yourself later. To back up to iCloud, simply follow these steps:
- Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
- Tap Settings > iCloud > Backup.
- Open iCloud Backup
- Make sure you’re connected to WiFi
- Tap Back Up Now
- Check your backup by tapping Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, and select your device. The latest backup should be listed.
How to back up using iTunes
There are some people who prefer not to back up their devices using iCloud. That’s okay. You can back up your phone using iTunes instead. If you’d rather back up using iTunes instead of iCloud, follow these steps:
- Connect your device to your laptop.
- Open iTunes.
- Go to the left side of the iTunes window and click on the Device icon next to the category dropdown menu.
- Select Summary.
- Select This Computer under Automatically Back up.
- Click the box for Encrypt [device] backup to ensure that passwords, health, and HomeKit data is backed up. You'll have to create a password to protect your encrypted backups.
- Click Done when you’re finished.
How to reset your iPhone with factory reset options
Once you’ve made sure that all the information on your iPhone is backed up, you can go ahead and do a factory reset on the device. Depending on your needs, Apple® has built in a number of different reset options, including “soft reset” and “hard reset.” Soft reset options clear all the open programs and restart the device. If you’ve ever held the power button down for a few seconds until your iPhone restarts, you’ve done a soft reset.
A hard factory reset is very different, and more serious. A hard factory reset clears the RAM, wiping the device clean and restoring it to the original settings it had when you first took it out of the box.
Here are the different factory resets you could choose to do with your iPhone.
How to reset your iPhone - Reset All Settings
This option keeps your apps and data but resets your personal preferences and network settings. Reset Network Settings removes any Wi-Fi network information, including connection passwords. If you want to use this method, follow these steps:
- Launch the Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap Reset. You’ll find it at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap Erase All Content and Settings. You’ll have to enter your password. Once you do this, the phone will erase itself, restart, and return to the setup screen.
How to reset your iPhone - Erase All Content and Settings
This factory reset only erases the content on your iPhone and resets the system to its default settings. iTunes will restore all the software on your phone. To use this factory reset method, simply:
- Launch Settings app from the home screen.
- Tap General.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Reset.
- Tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
- Tap Erase iPhone.
- Tap Erase iPhone a second time to confirm.
- Enter your password.
How to reset your iPhone - Reset Network Settings
This factory reset option is highly effective at solving network-related issues. It clears and resets all network settings, current cellular network settings, saved Wi-Fi network settings, Wi-Fi passwords, and VPN settings. To use this factory reset method, simply:
- Go to Settings
- Tap General
- Tap Reset
- Tap Reset Network Settings
How to reset your iPhone - Reset Keyboard Dictionary
Like a lot of technology, autocorrect can make our lives easier. But sometimes it gets a mind of its own and starts making some very odd choices. Fortunately Apple provides a quick way to get your dictionary working the way it’s supposed to. To factory reset your dictionary, simply:
- Launch Settings.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on Reset, at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap on Reset Keyboard Dictionary.
- Enter your password.
- Tap Reset Dictionary.
How to factory reset your iPhone - Reset Home Screen Layout
With all the apps some people have, it’s easy for your home screen to get a little crowded. If you want to clean it up and start over, you can factory reset the home screen layout and start over. Remember, if you’ve arranged your apps in folders, you will lose those folders. To factory reset your home screen, simply:
- Tap the Gear icon
- Open the Settings menu
- Tap General
- Tap Reset
- Tap Reset Home Screen Layout
How to factory reset your iPhone - Reset Location & Privacy
Every time you download an app, it asks to access your location. This helps to make the app more efficient and push notifications to you. But over time, all these permissions can start to get confusing. Sometimes it makes sense to reset these settings and start over. To factory reset these permissions, simply:
- Go to Settings > General > Reset
- Tap Reset Location & Privacy
How to restore data from iCloud or iTunes
If you’ve done a hard factory reset on your iPhone, you will need to restore the data onto your device. Fortunately, you can do that from either iCloud or iTunes.
To restore your device from iCloud, follow these steps:
- Go to the Apps & Data screen
- Tap Restore from iCloud Backup
- Enter your iCloud password
To restore your device from iTunes, follow these steps:
- Open iTunes on the laptop you used to back up your iPhone.
- Connect your iPhone to the laptop computer with a USB cable.
- Select your iPhone when it appears in iTunes.
- Select Restore Backup.
A Few Things to Remember When Factory Resetting Your iPhone
There are all kinds of reasons why it’s a good idea to factory reset your iPhone. And depending on whether you’re selling the phone and need to secure your personal data, or simply want to get a wonky phone to perform the way it’s supposed to, Apple offers a wide variety of options and methods to perform a factory reset on your phone. The best news is that many of them take no more effort than tapping a few buttons.
But the number one rule with any iPhone? Back up your data. How to restore data from iCloud? Rest easy knowing your personal data is secure and should something happen to your iPhone, you can sleep well knowing you can restore it no matter what.
Knowing how to control your digital device can help you to get the most out of it. But if you really want control over your digital devices, you should consider buying the latest refurbished models for less, through MyWiT®. These are gently used devices that have been completely inspected, refurbished and come with a 90-day money back promise.