How to Reset Your iPad and Erase All Content

Reset your iPad to factory settings to remove your personal information

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Content and Settings.
  • Resetting an iPad to factory defaults wipes it clean for a new owner or overcomes a problem that rebooting the iPad won't solve.
  • The process erases all settings and data and returns it to its state when purchased.

This article explains how to reset an iPad to factory defaults for devices running iOS 9 or higher, and offers tips on wiping the device completely.

How to Reset the iPad to Factory Default

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After you've performed a backup, you are ready to erase all content on the iPad and reset it back to factory default by following these steps:

  1. In Settings, tap General on the left-side menu.

    General heading in Settings on iPad

    To avoid losing any important data, you'll want to make sure you back up the device to iCloud before resetting it.

  2. Scroll to the end of the General settings and tap Reset.

    Reset option in iPad General settings
  3. Tap Reset All Content and Settings to erase your iPad.

    Erase All Content and Settings option on an iPad
  4. You'll need to confirm your selection twice. Because this option will set your iPad back to the factory default, Apple wants to double-check your choice. If you have a passcode lock on the iPad, you will also have to enter it to continue.

  5. Your iPad will erase and restart, ready for someone to set it up again.

How to Erase All Content on the iPad

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Erasing all of the settings and data are erased from the iPad keeps your personal information safe. It's also a troubleshooting tool that can solve problems by deleting offending apps or settings. Before doing a full wipe of the iPad, try clearing the settings and resetting the network settings. You can do both of these processes on the same screen you use to reset the iPad.

The process of resetting should include turning off the Find My iPad feature.

Other Ways to Reset the iPad

The Reset menu contains several options if you don't want to clear the iPad entirely.

If you're giving your iPad to a family member who's going to use the same Apple ID, you might choose the first option: Reset All Settings. This option leaves the data (music, movies, contacts, etc.) on the tablet but resets the preferences. You can also try this if you are having problems with the iPad and aren't quite ready to go through with a full wipe. 

If you're resetting the device because you're having trouble connecting to your Wi-Fi or having other issues with internet connectivity, first try Reset Network Settings. This option will clear out any data stored on your specific network and could help clear up the issue without the need to do a full restore. 

Choosing to Erase All Content and Settings is typically the best option for most situations. This ensures that all data is removed, which includes information for your iTunes account. If you are selling the iPad on Craigslist, eBay, or to a friend or family member who will be using a different iTunes account, erase all content and settings.

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