There are plenty of reasons to reset an iPhone. Technically, resetting the iPhone can mean rebooting the device to get rid of a glitch, slowdown, or bug. We’ll also mention more serious reasons. Let’s list some, such as reverting the iPhone to factory settings to get rid of a faulty update or virus, selling, giving, or borrowing the device to someone else, or simply starting from scratch when too many apps clog the storage. Some users also run into a problem while jailbreaking e.g. attempting to override limitations set by Apple. Whatever your reason might be, learning how to reset iPhone is valuable. Here’s what to do.
Try the soft reset for iPhone first
Here’s how to turn your iPhone off, then on.
- On iPhone X and later. Press and hold Volume Up or Volume Down (either one works) in combination with the Side button. When a slider appears, drag it and wait 30 seconds. To turn the phone on, simply press and hold the Side button until it comes to life.
- For iPhone 6, 7, and 8, and SE 2nd Gen. Press and hold the Side button. Drag the slider, and wait for 30 seconds for the iPhone to turn off. Do the same to turn it on.
- On iPhone 5 and earlier and SE 1st Gen. Press and hold the Top button. Drag the slider when it pops up, and give it 30 seconds to turn off. Repeat the steps to turn it back on.
Steps to hard reset your iPhone
If you can’t get your iPhone to turn off, or if it’s stuck on the Apple logo or frozen, it’s time for what Apple calls “force restart”. If your iPhone is working normally, proceed to the next set of instructions.
- On iPhone 8 and later, and iPhone SE and later. Press, then quickly release the Volume Up button. Then, press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Quickly press and keep holding the Side button. Stop when you see the Apple logo.
- For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Press and hold the Side (also known as Sleep/Wake) button and the Volume Down button until the Apple logo appears.
- On iPhone 6S and earlier. Press and hold the Home and Side buttons at the same time. Release them when the Apple logo shows up.
Preparing to wipe your iPhone and start anew
There are 2 things you can do before you go ahead and take the plunge. Those are:
Backup your data to iCloud (Recommended)
Whether you’re selling the phone or not, it doesn’t hurt to do this. After all, your iCloud is part of being signed in with an Apple ID account. We’ve also spoken about importing photos from iPhone to Mac and looked into some cloud storage alternatives if you want a secondary backup. Here’s how it works.
- Connect to the Internet. We recommend Wi-Fi.
- Open Settings.
- Tap on your name (Apple ID) at the top.
- Go to iCloud.
- Tap on iCloud Backup.
- Tap on Back up now.
- Take a break while the data uploads.
Sign out of iCloud (Optional)
This step shouldn’t be necessary, since the next set of steps will usually wipe Apple ID anyway. You can still do it to ensure you won’t struggle with Activation Lock or Find My Device. Do this:
- Follow steps 2 and 3 above.
- Scroll down to the bottom and tap on Sign Out.
- Enter your Apple ID password.
- Tap on Turn Off in the upper right corner.
Instructions to restore your iPhone to factory settings
Now’s the time for the radical method. Follow these steps to return your iPhone to the state it was in when it left the factory:
- Open Settings on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap on General.
- Scroll down again and tap on Reset.
- Tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
- Enter the passcode (PIN) you set up for iPhone.
- Optional. You will be asked to enter your Apple ID password if you didn’t sign out.
This should automatically turn off Find My Device and Activation Lock.
- The screen will go dark and the Apple logo will appear. Wait for the progress bar to fill up.
- The reset is complete when you see the “Hello” screen.
- You are ready to sign in again or create a new Apple ID. Since your personal information is erased, you can also gift, sell, or borrow the iPhone to another person.