How to reset an iPhone to factory settings?

restore an iphone

Do you need to reset an iPhone to factory settings? You’re in the right place! In this article we’ll explain how to do it step by step and using 4 different methods:

  1. How to reset an iPhone from the settings menu
  2. How to reset an iPhone by connecting it to a computer
  3. How to reset an iPhone with iTunes and a Mac
  4. How to reset an iPhone via iCloud

Why should you reset an iPhone to factory settings?

There are several reasons why a user might want to reset an iPhone. 

You may need to improve the performance of an iPhone that is not working properly, for example, if it’s malfunctioning when booting up or you can’t get past the home screen, or simply because it crashes frequently. 

Or maybe you need to remove a virus or malware that has entered your phone. Or even a Jailbreak that you have installed on your device.

Whatever the case, there are several methods to reset an iPhone, and some are easier than others… But don’t panic! Here’s a step by step guide from the easier to the most complex method.

⚠️ WARNING

Whatever method you choose, we always recommend that you create a backup of all the files and data you have on your phone before restoring an iPhone. That way you’ll make sure you won’t lose anything important!

1. How to reset an iPhone from the settings menu

  • Step 1: Follow the path Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset.

  • Step 2: Here you’ll find several options to reset your iPhone. Choose the one that suits you best depending on what you want to do:

    • Reset Settings: removes all previous settings and the iPhone returns to its original settings. 

      Applies to all initial settings such as: network settings, keyboard dictionary, home screen layout, location and privacy settings, and Apple Pay cards.

      No data or content is deleted, but remember that it’s always a good idea to back up, just in case.

    • Erase All Content and Settings: removes all previous settings and erases all data and files on the device.

      Applies to all initial settings such as: network settings, keyboard dictionary, home screen layout, location and privacy settings, and Apple Pay cards. No data or content is deleted; however we at doctorSIM advise, again, backing up beforehand.

    • Reset Network Settings: deletes all network settings.

      The name assigned to your iPhone (you can check it by going to Settings > General > Info) will be reset to “iPhone”, and the certificates you have marked as trusted (e.g. for websites) will be marked as untrusted certificates.

      Data roaming may be disabled.

      In addition, previously used networks and VPN settings that weren’t installed by a profile that wasn’t allowed to change settings or the MDM’s own profile (the administrator’s one) will be removed.

      Your iPhone will be disconnected from any Wi-Fi network it was connected to.

    • Reset Keyboard Dictionary: will allow you to add words to the Dictionary or reject iPhone suggestions when typing. All words you have added will be deleted.

    • Reset Home Screen: You will see the initial settings for apps (and their original location on the home screen).

    • Reset Location and Privacy: resets your privacy and location settings.

⚠️ WARNING

If you choose the option “Erase Content and Settings” you will delete absolutely all content on your iPhone. Everything. Handle with care!

2. How to reset an iPhone by connecting it to a computer

If for some reason you were unable to access the settings menu on your iPhone, you can reset it by connecting the iPhone to a computer. Just follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Connect your iPhone and the computer using a lightning cable (the one you use for charging your iPhone). The next step will depend on whether you are using Mac or Windows.

  • Step 2 (with Mac)
    • Open Finder
    • Select your iPhone (it will appear in the list on the left)
    • Click “General” at the top of the window and then click “Reset iPhone.”
    • Follow on-screen instructions.

⚠️ Caution

If you reset your iPhone to factory settings using Finder, you will need macOS version 10.15 or later. With an earlier macOS version you will need to use iTunes to perform the reset. That’s OK, we cover that in the next method.

  • Step 2 (with Windows)

    • If not already installed, download the iTunes app for your Windows version.

    • Inside the iTunes app, click on the iPhone button (you will find it near the top left of the iTunes window); then click on “Summary” and then on “Reset iPhone.”

    • Follow the on-screen instructions

3. How to reset with iTunes and a Mac

  • Step 1: connect your iPhone to your Mac using a lightning cable. It may ask you if you trust the computer you have connected the device to: mark it as trusted.

  • Step 2: In the iTunes application on your Mac, click on the iPhone button (the cell phone icon); you will find it near the top left corner of the iTunes window.

  • Step 3: Click “General”.

  • Step 4: Click “Restore iPhone”.

  • Step 5: Click “Restore and Update” and follow on-screen instructions.

⚠️ Watch out!

This process will delete all the information on your iPhone so, before you get down to it, create a backup of all the files and data you have on your phone if you don’t want to lose them!

4. How to reset via iCloud

doctorSIM recommends following this method to restore an iPhone to factory settings and erase all data if, for example, you have lost your iPhone or got it stolen. Also if it was stolen we recommend that you contact the company through which you purchased it so that they can block your IMEI. This way no one will be able to use the device.

Do you need to know if your second hand iPhone was reported stolen?

  • Step 1: Sign in at icloud.com/find

  • Step 2: Click “All Devices” and then select the device you want to erase. If the “All devices” option is not shown, it means you already have a device selected by default. Click on the device name in the middle of the toolbar.

  • Step 3: Click Delete [device].

  • Step 4: Here you’ll see several options. Choose what you want to erase: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch by entering the corresponding Apple ID password. Answer your security questions if you are not using your usual browser. If you are using a trusted computer, then you can just click on “Trust”.

  • Step 5: If you have lost your device and you are prompted to enter a phone number or message, say you’ve lost it and also provide a contact number.

  • Step 6: If the device is on, the content will be remotely wiped following the instructions. If it is not, the erase will begin once it is turned back on.

Do you need to know if your iPhone is locked by iCloud?

We hope you found this article useful – share it with your friends if you think they might need it! Or find more useful articles about your iPhone here. 💙

doctorsim

Unlock your phone! Save on your Wireless Bill! Reclaim Your Freedom! doctorSIM is an 8 year old company specialized in wireless freedoms solutions. We provide unlocking and saving solutions for individuals, SMEs, as well as large corporations with TEM requirements!

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