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How to Factory Reset iPhone

Most of us have been in a situation where we must completely wipe everything off our iPhones.  The reasons could differ — whether to prepare the device for sale or improve its performance. But no matter the goal, a factory reset is the most efficient way to achieve the result and clear the device.

Factory reset doesn’t just remove your personal files. It also completely erases all the traces of the device being used. So once completed, your iPhone basically returns to its original state, as it was when you first bought it. Let’s find out how you can easily reset your iPhone with just a few simple clicks.

Back up iPhone Before Factory Reset

Since factory reset wipes your device clean, it is important to note a few important things before moving forward with instructions. You should consider that once the process is completed, you lose all the data stored on the device, including contacts, calendar events, documents, photos, and any other files and settings. That is why creating a backup is a great way to prevent the risk of data loss.

It is crucial to back up your iPhone before you proceed with any factory reset instructions. This way, you will be able to restore data from the backup once it is done. You can transfer all the data from an old iPhone to a new one with a few simple clicks or recover only some specific files.

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This step is recommended even if you think there is nothing valuable on the device. It is always a good practice to have a backup plan in case anything goes wrong. You can back up your iPhone to iCloud or transfer the data to your Mac through iTunes.

You should also disable the “Find My iPhone” feature and sign out of iCloud before proceeding with the reset if you intend to give away or sell your iPhone.

Back up iPhone to iCloud:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings and click on your account name
  2. Choose iCloud
  1. Click on iCloud backup and move the toggle to turn on the feature
  1. The backup process will start automatically.

Back up iPhone via iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB cord
  2. Open Finder and click on the iPhone’s name on the left sidebar
  3. Locate the Backups section
  4. Click on Back Up Now to start the process
  5. In this window, you can also manage different backup settings and restore from the previous backup.

When You Should Factory Reset iPhone

As mentioned above, factory reset completely wipes off your iPhone. So you should be clearly aware of the results of your actions and follow the instructions only when you are sure that this is the outcome you want to achieve. So here are a few main reasons to factory reset your iPhone:

  1. Selling, trading, or giving away the device. It is always best to remove all personal data and any traces of the previous owner before passing your iPhone to another person. This is a double win as you not only protect your identity but also give a new owner that out-of-the-box experience of a new iPhone.
  2. To fix device issues and improve performance. With time you might notice that the phone is acting weird, freezes, or gives unexpected errors. Factory reset could be helpful with such problems as it resets your iPhone and all its setting. Although this is a bit extreme option, so should be used with caution and only once you have tried all the other ways to fix the issue.
  3. To remove malware and viruses. Even though iPhones are considered one of the most secure devices, they are still prone to cyber-attacks. Usually, a factory reset removes malware, but this option should be the last resort when your antivirus software has failed to locate and remove the malicious files.

Steps to Factory Reset iPhone

Once your data is backed up, you can proceed with the iPhone factory reset instructions. The easiest way to completely clear your phone is through the device’s settings menu.

To factory reset iPhone:

  1. On your iPhone, open Settings > General
  1. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on Transfer or Reset Device
  1. Choose the Erase all content and settings option and click Continue
  1. Enter the passcode to confirm the factory reset
  2. Wait a few minutes while the content gets removed.

Make Sure iPhone Was Reset

It is easy to check if the factory reset process was successful. Once you follow all the instructions, you should reboot your phone. If everything worked out as expected, you will see the initial iOS Setup Assistant screen on the startup. It should offer you to restore from a backup or set up the phone for a new user.

To Sum Up

A factory reset is a great solution when you need to remove personal information before selling the device, optimize its performance or remove malware. Once you reset an iPhone, everything gets wiped off, returning your device to its original out-of-the-box state. This way of removing your files is highly effective but should be used with caution. Ensure you back up all the data before performing the factory reset to prevent losing your files.

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