How to Factory Reset an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

Introduction

This guide will assist you in performing a factory reset on your iOS device. You may need to perform a factory reset if you've forgotten your passcode and have locked yourself out of your device, as part of a troubleshooting step, or if you plan to sell or give away your iOS device.

Performing a factory reset on your iOS device erases everything from it. Be sure you have all appropriate data that you do not wish to lose backed up before proceeding further.

Apple iPhone.

1 Factory Reset

Before we begin, select a method to factory reset your device.

Performing a factory reset on your iOS device erases everything from it. Be sure you have all appropriate data that you do not wish to lose backed up before proceeding further.

If you are performing this factory reset because you forgot your passcode, there is no way to back up your device's data before proceeding.

? Select a method to Factory Reset your device.

  1. Standard Factory Reset from my iOS device
  2. Using iTunes on a computer
  3. I am locked out of my device - I need to use Recovery Mode

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This guide will assist you in performing a factory reset on your iOS device. You may need to perform a factory reset if you've forgotten your passcode and have locked yourself out of your device, as part of a troubleshooting step, or if you plan to sell or give away your iOS device.

Performing a factory reset on your iOS device erases everything from it. Be sure you have all appropriate data that you do not wish to lose backed up before proceeding further.

Apple iPhone.

Before we begin, select a method to factory reset your device.

Performing a factory reset on your iOS device erases everything from it. Be sure you have all appropriate data that you do not wish to lose backed up before proceeding further.

If you are performing this factory reset because you forgot your passcode, there is no way to back up your device's data before proceeding.

  1. Select Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select General.
    Settings with General highlighted.
  3. Select Reset.
    General settings with Reset highlighted.
  4. Select Erase All Content and Settings, and enter your iPhone's passcode (if prompted).
    iOS Reset menu highlighting erase all content and settings.
  5. You will receive a confirmation prompt offering to Backup Then Erase or Erase Now. If you would like to back up your device's information before erasing, select Backup Then Erase. Otherwise, select Erase Now.
    iOS Erase all content and settings confirmation prompt.

Your iPhone will now wipe all data and reset back to factory defaults. When completed, you will be presented with the Welcome screen you saw when you took your iPhone out of the box for the first time.

  1. Turn on your device You'll see "Hello" in many languages.
  2. If you have any vision impairments, you can turn on Voice Over or Zoom from the Hello screen.
  3. When asked, choose your language.
  4. Then tap your country or region. This affects how information looks on your device, including date, time, contacts, and more.

iPhone with Select country option.

This guide will focus on the manual setup.

  1. If you have another device on iOS 11, use Quick Start
  2. If you have another device that's running iOS 11, you can use it to automatically set up your new device with Quick Start.
  3. Bring the two devices close together, and then follow the instructions.
  4. If you don’t have another iOS 11 device, tap Set Up Manually to continue.

Quick Start setup screen.

  1. You need to connect to a Wi-Fi network, a cellular network, or iTunes to activate and continue setting up your device.
  2. Tap the Wi-Fi network that you want to use or select a different option.
  3. If you're setting up a new iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular), you might need to insert a SIM card first (if your carrier requires it).

Choose a Wi-Fi Network screen with list of available Wi-Fi networks.

On some devices, you can set up Touch ID. With this feature, you can use your fingerprint to unlock your device and make purchases.
  1. Tap Continue and follow the instructions, or tap Set Up Touch ID Later.
  2. Next, set a six-digit passcode to help protect your data. You need a passcode to use features like Touch ID and Apple Pay.
  • If you'd like a four-digit passcode, custom passcode, or no passcode, tap Passcode Options.

Touch ID and Screen Lock passcode setup screens.

  1. If you have an iCloud or iTunes backup, or an Android device, you can restore or transfer your data from your old device to your new device.
  2. If you don't have a backup or another device, select Set Up as New [Device].
    Apps and Data screen with Set Up as New Device selected.
  1. Enter your Apple ID and password, or tap Don't have an Apple ID or forgot it.
  2. From there, you can recover your Apple ID or password, create an Apple ID, or set it up later.
  3. If you use more than one Apple ID, tap Use different Apple IDs for iCloud and iTunes.
  4. Next, accept the iOS Terms and Conditions and turn on Location Services, a feature you need for apps like Maps and Find My Friends.
  5. If you signed in with your Apple ID, follow the steps to set up Apple Pay and iCloud Keychain.
    Apple ID sign in prompt.
  1. Tap Continue if you would like to use Siri. On some devices, you'll be asked to speak some phrases so that Siri can get to know your voice. Choose Settings for app analytics, True Tone, and home button.
  2. Decide whether to share information with app developers. Next, turn on True Tone display if your iPhone or iPad supports it. True Tone adjusts the color and intensity of your display to make images appear more natural.
  3. If you have an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus, you can then adjust your home button's click.
  4. Tap an option, then press the Home button to give it a try. To set the one you like best, tap Next.
    Siri intro screen with Continue button and Sign Up Later in Settings option.
  • If you have an iPhone 6 Plus or later, you may be asked to choose between two display resolutions.
  • The Standard display mode shows more on your screen, while the Zoomed display mode uses larger text and icons.

Tap Next to continue.



Finish up and Tap Get Started to begin using your device.

  1. Connect your device to the computer you synced with.
  2. Open iTunes. If asked for a passcode, enter it to unlock your device.
    iTunes

  3. If asked, tap Trust to allow your device to trust the machine it's been connected to.
    Trust this computer? Your settings and data will be accessible from this computer when connected. Trust selected. Screenshot.

  4. Wait for iTunes to sync your device and make a backup.
  5. After the sync and backup have finished, click Restore [your device].
    iTunes software with example of iPhone 7 connected. Restore iPhone button is highlighted on the right. Screenshot.

    Example of Restore iPhone button selected. Screenshot.
  1. Turn on your device You'll see "Hello" in many languages.
  2. If you have any vision impairments, you can turn on Voice Over or Zoom from the Hello screen.
  3. When asked, choose your language.
  4. Then tap your country or region. This affects how information looks on your device, including date, time, contacts, and more.

iPhone with Select country option.

This guide will focus on the manual setup.

  1. If you have another device on iOS 11, use Quick Start
  2. If you have another device that's running iOS 11, you can use it to automatically set up your new device with Quick Start.
  3. Bring the two devices close together, and then follow the instructions.
  4. If you don’t have another iOS 11 device, tap Set Up Manually to continue.

Quick Start setup screen.

  1. You need to connect to a Wi-Fi network, a cellular network, or iTunes to activate and continue setting up your device.
  2. Tap the Wi-Fi network that you want to use or select a different option.
  3. If you're setting up a new iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular), you might need to insert a SIM card first (if your carrier requires it).

Choose a Wi-Fi Network screen with list of available Wi-Fi networks.

On some devices, you can set up Touch ID. With this feature, you can use your fingerprint to unlock your device and make purchases.
  1. Tap Continue and follow the instructions, or tap Set Up Touch ID Later.
  2. Next, set a six-digit passcode to help protect your data. You need a passcode to use features like Touch ID and Apple Pay.
  • If you'd like a four-digit passcode, custom passcode, or no passcode, tap Passcode Options.

Touch ID and Screen Lock passcode setup screens.

  1. If you have an iCloud or iTunes backup, or an Android device, you can restore or transfer your data from your old device to your new device.
  2. If you don't have a backup or another device, select Set Up as New [Device].
    Apps and Data screen with Set Up as New Device selected.
  1. Enter your Apple ID and password, or tap Don't have an Apple ID or forgot it.
  2. From there, you can recover your Apple ID or password, create an Apple ID, or set it up later.
  3. If you use more than one Apple ID, tap Use different Apple IDs for iCloud and iTunes.
  4. Next, accept the iOS Terms and Conditions and turn on Location Services, a feature you need for apps like Maps and Find My Friends.
  5. If you signed in with your Apple ID, follow the steps to set up Apple Pay and iCloud Keychain.
    Apple ID sign in prompt.
  1. Tap Continue if you would like to use Siri. On some devices, you'll be asked to speak some phrases so that Siri can get to know your voice. Choose Settings for app analytics, True Tone, and home button.
  2. Decide whether to share information with app developers. Next, turn on True Tone display if your iPhone or iPad supports it. True Tone adjusts the color and intensity of your display to make images appear more natural.
  3. If you have an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus, you can then adjust your home button's click.
  4. Tap an option, then press the Home button to give it a try. To set the one you like best, tap Next.
    Siri intro screen with Continue button and Sign Up Later in Settings option.
  • If you have an iPhone 6 Plus or later, you may be asked to choose between two display resolutions.
  • The Standard display mode shows more on your screen, while the Zoomed display mode uses larger text and icons.

Tap Next to continue.



Finish up and Tap Get Started to begin using your device.

This operation will completely wipe all data and info from your device. If your device was logged into iCloud, you will be prompted to enter your iCloud credentials before you can use your device after the factory reset has completed.

  1. Connect your iOS device to your computer and open iTunes. If you don't have a computer, borrow one from a friend, or go to an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.
  2. While your device is connected, force restart it:
    • On an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery mode screen.
    • On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery mode screen.
    • On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery mode screen.
      An iPhone booting in recovery mode.
  3. Once in recovery mode, iTunes will prompt you to Restore or Update, choose Restore.
    iPhone recovery mode screen with Restore selected. Screenshot.
  4. Click on Restore and Update.
    Restore screen with Restore and Update selected. Screenshot.
  5. You will be prompted to download the firmware image if it does not already exist on your computer. Click Next.
    Firmware summary screen with Next button in lower right. Screenshot.
  6. The download will start. Leave your device plugged in and once the download finishes it will start the restore. You can view your progress of the download by clicking the downloads button that appears while downloading is in progress.
    Firmware download progress screen with download progress button highlighted.

    The firmware files are large in size (typically over 2GB). It may take a long time depending on your internet connection to complete the download. If your device leaves recovery mode during this step, wait for the download to complete before attempting to place your device in recovery mode again. This way the download will not have to start over.

  1. Turn on your device You'll see "Hello" in many languages.
  2. If you have any vision impairments, you can turn on Voice Over or Zoom from the Hello screen.
  3. When asked, choose your language.
  4. Then tap your country or region. This affects how information looks on your device, including date, time, contacts, and more.

iPhone with Select country option.

This guide will focus on the manual setup.

  1. If you have another device on iOS 11, use Quick Start
  2. If you have another device that's running iOS 11, you can use it to automatically set up your new device with Quick Start.
  3. Bring the two devices close together, and then follow the instructions.
  4. If you don’t have another iOS 11 device, tap Set Up Manually to continue.

Quick Start setup screen.

  1. You need to connect to a Wi-Fi network, a cellular network, or iTunes to activate and continue setting up your device.
  2. Tap the Wi-Fi network that you want to use or select a different option.
  3. If you're setting up a new iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular), you might need to insert a SIM card first (if your carrier requires it).

Choose a Wi-Fi Network screen with list of available Wi-Fi networks.

On some devices, you can set up Touch ID. With this feature, you can use your fingerprint to unlock your device and make purchases.
  1. Tap Continue and follow the instructions, or tap Set Up Touch ID Later.
  2. Next, set a six-digit passcode to help protect your data. You need a passcode to use features like Touch ID and Apple Pay.
  • If you'd like a four-digit passcode, custom passcode, or no passcode, tap Passcode Options.

Touch ID and Screen Lock passcode setup screens.

  1. If you have an iCloud or iTunes backup, or an Android device, you can restore or transfer your data from your old device to your new device.
  2. If you don't have a backup or another device, select Set Up as New [Device].
    Apps and Data screen with Set Up as New Device selected.
  1. Enter your Apple ID and password, or tap Don't have an Apple ID or forgot it.
  2. From there, you can recover your Apple ID or password, create an Apple ID, or set it up later.
  3. If you use more than one Apple ID, tap Use different Apple IDs for iCloud and iTunes.
  4. Next, accept the iOS Terms and Conditions and turn on Location Services, a feature you need for apps like Maps and Find My Friends.
  5. If you signed in with your Apple ID, follow the steps to set up Apple Pay and iCloud Keychain.
    Apple ID sign in prompt.
  1. Tap Continue if you would like to use Siri. On some devices, you'll be asked to speak some phrases so that Siri can get to know your voice. Choose Settings for app analytics, True Tone, and home button.
  2. Decide whether to share information with app developers. Next, turn on True Tone display if your iPhone or iPad supports it. True Tone adjusts the color and intensity of your display to make images appear more natural.
  3. If you have an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus, you can then adjust your home button's click.
  4. Tap an option, then press the Home button to give it a try. To set the one you like best, tap Next.
    Siri intro screen with Continue button and Sign Up Later in Settings option.
  • If you have an iPhone 6 Plus or later, you may be asked to choose between two display resolutions.
  • The Standard display mode shows more on your screen, while the Zoomed display mode uses larger text and icons.

Tap Next to continue.



Finish up and Tap Get Started to begin using your device.

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