How to Erase Your iPhone Settings and Data

Remove some, or all, of your settings and files

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > General > Reset.
  • Select Erase All Content and Settings to erase everything on the iPhone and return it to factory defaults.
  • Select Reset All Settings to return the settings to defaults but not erase any of your data or apps.

This article explains how to erase your iPhone settings and data in iOS 12 and iOS 13. It includes information on resetting only the settings while maintaining your apps and data, along with other reset options.

How to Reset the Settings on Your iPhone

Erasing all your settings and data resets your phone to the factory default settings. If you prefer, you can delete only the settings on your iPhone to remove a specific set of settings and keep your apps and data.

Always back up your iPhone before restoring it to its factory default state or deleting settings. If something goes wrong, you can restore the data without permanently losing anything.

After you back up your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap General.

  3. Scroll down and select Reset.

  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings to remove all settings and data from the iPhone or select one of the other reset options.

    iPhone path to Reset options
  5. If any prompts appear, follow the on-screen steps to complete them and finalize the reset.

Because the Reset All Content and Settings option resets the entire phone, you'll have to set it up again from scratch if you plan on using it after the reset.

iPhone Reset Options

The six options available for an iPhone reset are:

  • Reset All Settings: This option resets all your preference settings, returning them to default. It does not erase any of your data or apps.
  • Erase All Content and Settings: To completely delete your iPhone data, this is the option to choose. This option erases all your preferences and removes every song, movie, picture, app, or file on the device. It's a factory-reset tool.
  • Reset Network Settings: This option returns your wireless network settings to the factory default states. It removes any Wi-Fi password you entered, so any hotspot or router your phone automatically connects to will no longer recognize your phone.
  • Reset Keyboard Dictionary: This option removes all the custom words and spellings you added to your phone's dictionary and spellchecker. Consider resetting your iPhone's keyboard history if you're getting inaccurate suggestions.
  • Reset Home Screen Layout: Use this option to undo all the folders and app arrangements you created and return your iPhone's layout to its default state.
  • Reset Location & Privacy: Tapping this option makes any app that has ever asked for access to your GPS location, address book, microphone, or other private data, request those permissions again the next time they require it.
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