Are you having problems with your iPhone? Do you think you might need to start from scratch? Our guide below will walk you through the entire process of factory resetting your iPhone.
If you have access to your iPhone and password, you can use the normal method to factory reset your phone using Settings. If your iPhone is missing, you can use Find My to erase the device. If you forgot your iPhone passcode and it got locked, you can use recovery mode.
At WhistleOut, we’re dedicated to ensuring you get the most out of your technology. We’ve outlined the steps for each method below so you can choose the right one for your situation.
Should you factory reset your iPhone or perform another type of reset?
A factory reset restores your iPhone (see our review of the latest iPhone 14) to its original factory default settings and completely erases everything you’ve put on it, including apps, messages, settings, and photos. It should be done before you sell your iPhone or give it away to a friend or family member.
However, if you’re considering resetting your iPhone due to performance issues like lag or unresponsiveness, a factory reset should be your last resort. You should first try to turn it off and on again. Typically, this type of reset is known as a soft reset, hard reset, reset, or reboot. It won’t affect any of your settings or data, making it a much less drastic option. Also, making sure your apps and iOS are up to date will help keep your iPhone running smoothly.
Stop! Please read this before you factory reset your iPhone:
Backup your iPhone using the linked guide before doing a factory reset so you don’t lose all your data permanently. You can restore your phone data later including contacts, photos and settings using the backup after you have restarted your device.
If you’re wiping your iPhone because you’re going to sell it or give it to someone else, you’ll need to disable Find My, also known as Find My iPhone, and sign out of iCloud. Doing both before the factory reset will ensure your privacy and security by preventing the next owner from being able to access your iCloud data. It will also allow them to set up their new device seamlessly, without being locked out by the anti-theft Activation Lock security feature.
How to disable Find My:
To go Settings and touch Your name at the top of the menu, then tap find me and adjust the slider to find my iphone to the off position.
How to sign out of iCloud:
To go Settings and touch Your namethen play Disconnect at the bottom of the menu and enter your password.
How to factory reset your iPhone using settings
Make sure to backup your iPhone first, then factory reset your iPhone using the device’s Settings app by following these steps.
- Open the Settings app, then touch General.
- scroll down to Transfer or reset iPhone.
- Play Erase all content and settings.
- Enter your password or access code if necessary.
- Confirm that you are ready to erase your iPhone.
- Your iPhone will take a few minutes to erase.
Factory reset your lost or stolen iPhone using Find My iPhone
If your iPhone is lost or stolen, you can remotely wipe all of its data. All you need is access to your computer and your Apple ID login details to perform a factory reset remotely.
- Grab your computer and go to icloud.com/find.
- Sign in with your Apple ID password.
- On the map, you will see a dot that represents the last known location of your iPhone. Click on the dot and a menu will appear.
- Click erase iphone at the bottom right of the menu.
- You may be prompted to answer security questions or enter a two-factor authentication code. This code would be sent to your other devices registered with the same Apple ID.
- Your iPhone will be erased immediately if it is connected to the Internet. Otherwise, it will be deleted the next time you connect to the Internet.
Forgot your password? Factory reset your iPhone using recovery mode
When you have forgotten your iPhone password and entered the wrong one on the lock screen too many times, you will be locked out. If your lock screen says “iPhone is disabled”, it is possible to restore your iPhone to factory settings using a computer. You will then have the opportunity to set up your device again and restore your iPhone data from an iCloud backup or from your computer.
- Get your computer. If it’s a Windows PC, make sure you have iTunes installed.
- Turn off your iPhone.
- Enter recovery mode by holding down the correct button for the type of iPhone you have. For iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone SE (2nd generation) or newer, press and hold the Side button. For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, press and hold the volume button. For older iPhones, press and hold the home button.
- A screen with the image of a laptop and a cable will appear to indicate that your iPhone is in recovery mode. Connect your phone to your computer.
- If your computer is a Mac, open Finder and select your device from the left side of the Finder window under Locations, then click restore iphone in the general settings.
- If your computer is a Windows PC, open iTunes and click the small iPhone icon near the top left corner, then click Summary Y Restore.
Ready for an updated phone?
Nothing beats the feeling of having a new phone, even after a factory reset of your current device. If you’re ready for an upgrade, check out our updated list of the best iPhone deals in Canada.