How to Reset an iPhone to Factory Settings

Return your phone to the condition it was in when it first left the manufacturer

What to Know

  • Always back up your data before performing a factory reset on an iPhone. Otherwise, you will lose your data.
  • Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Enter passcode and choose Erase.
  • To disable iCloud/Find My iPhone: Settings > [Your name] > iCloud > Find My iPhone. Toggle off; sign out.

This article explains how to restore any iPhone model using iOS 12 and later to its original settings, as well as how to disable iCloud and Find My iPhone, which is important to do in some situations (explained below).

How to Completely Reset an iPhone

A factory reset returns your iPhone to the condition it was in when it first left the manufacturer—completely clear, with all your data gone. After you've backed up your data and turned off iCloud and Find My, you're ready to get started.

Follow these steps to get your iPhone back to its original state:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Scroll down and tap General.

  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap Reset.

  4. On the Reset screen, tap Erase All Content and Settings.

    Three iOS screens showing General button, Reset button, and Erase All Content and Settings link
  5. If prompted, enter the passcode set on your phone.

  6. The screen displays a warning that all music, other media, data, and settings will be erased. Tap Erase to continue.

    If you don't want to restore the phone to its default state, tap Cancel.

  7. It takes a few minutes to delete everything from the iPhone. When the process is done, the iPhone restart and the iPhone has been reset to original settings.

How to Back Up Your Data

When you factory reset an iPhone, you remove all data from it. That means you will lose all your music, apps, contacts, photos, and any other other data on the device. All that will be left is the iOS and the pre-installed apps.

That's why it's crucial to back up your data before you get started on the process. Keeping a copy of your data lets you restore the data from a back up later so you don't lose anything important.

There are three options to back up data: using iTunes, Finder, or iCloud.

Back up to iTunes

To back up to iTunes, sync the phone to your computer, then click the Back up button on the main iPhone page.

Back up Using Finder

To back up on a Mac running macOS Catalina (10.15) or newer, plug the iPhone into the computer, open a Finder window, select the iPhone in the left-hand Devices menu, and back Back Up.

Back up to iCloud

To back up to iCloud, go to Settings > [your name] (skip this step on earlier versions of the iOS) > iCloud > iCloud Backup, then start a backup.

For more detailed instructions on backing up your iPhone, check out How to Backup Your iPhone 7 or How to Back Up iPhone X (despite the titles, the tips apply to all models).

How to Disable iCloud & Find My iPhone

When permanently resetting your iPhone, it's also critical that you disable iCloud and Find My iPhone. A security feature called Activation Lock requires you to enter the Apple ID used to set up the phone if you want to reset it. The feature is disabled when you turn off iCloud/Find My iPhone.

Activation Lock has reduced iPhone thefts since it makes a stolen iPhone harder to use. If you do not disable Activation Lock, the next person who gets your iPhone—either a buyer or repair person—will not be able to use it.

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap your name (skip this step on earlier versions of the iOS).

  3. Tap iCloud > Find My iPhone > Find My iPhone. (On iOS 13 and up, skip iCloud and just tap Find My.)

    Three iOS screens showing Name link, iCloud button, and Find My iPhone button
  4. Move the Find My iPhone slider to off/white.

  5. Tap Find My in the top left corner to go back one screen. Then tap Apple ID to go back one more screen.

  6. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Sign Out.

  7. If prompted, enter your Apple ID/iCloud password.

    Find My iPhone toggled to OFF, confirmation dialog in center
  • How do I reset my iPhone to factory settings without the passcode?

    If you forgot your iPhone passcode, you can erase the data from your iPhone and reset the passcode using iTunes, iCloud, or Recovery Mode.

  • How do I restart my iPhone?

    To restart an iPhone X and later, press and hold the Side button+Volume Down simultaneously. On earlier models, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button. When the power off slider appears, release Sleep/Wake.

  • How do I reset the network settings on my iPhone?

    To reset the network settings on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings and enter your passcode if prompted. After a reset, you must manually reconfigure the Wi-Fi and VPN settings.

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