How to factory reset your iPhone

Need to reset or reinstall iOS on your iPhone? There are lots of reasons to do a factory reset - perhaps you are selling your phone or just fancy a fresh start. This guide will take you through the available options.
reset your iPhone

How to Do a Soft Reset on Your iPhone

If you are thinking about wiping your phone to solve performance problems you should definitely try this first. Basically we are talking about turning the phone off and on again.

This is a quick and easy process since you’ll just be turning the phone off and of. You should try this if  your phone is slow or not performing properly but still repsonds to your compands.

If you have an iPhone X or newer, just push and hold the power button and any volume control button to make the power-off slider appear. 

if your Phone is Simply click and hold the power button on older iPhones.

Once the power off slider is showing simply dragg it across the screen from left to right.  

If you can’t recall the shortcut or for some reason it doesn’t work, you can open the Settings app, select General, and scroll down to see ‘Shut Down’ outlined in blue. 

Phones sometimes “cheat” and appear to have shut down while they are doing essential maintenance jobs in the background. To give your phone time to complete this simply allow at least 30 seconds before you reset your phone.

If that didn't work - Hard reset

iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, or iPhone 12, iPhone 8, iPhone SE (2nd Gen)

  1. Quickly press and release volume up
  2. Quickly press and release volume down..
  3. Press and hold the side button.
  4. Release when you see the Apple logo.

iPhone 7

  1. Press and hold volume down and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time.
  2. Release when you see the Apple logo.

iPhone 6s or iPhone SE (1st Gen)

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and Home at the same time.
  2. Release when you see the Apple logo.

Back Up First

Before you don anything as drastic as a full factory reset you should back your iPhone up.

Log in to iCloud, and start a backup in the Settings menu. Tap your name at the top of the list, then iCloud, then iCloud Backup, and finally ‘Back Up Now.’

You can do an offline back up to your computer or a Mac using the iTunes software . Simply attach your iPhone to your machine and click the small device icon to open the device options. From here you can set up automated backups or initiate a one-off at the click of a button. You also use this menu to recover from backup to a new or wiped iPhone.

Following the completion of the backup, you could also do the following. It takes time, but if you are selling your phone it is worth the extra security and peace of mind:

  • Log out of all applications, utilities and online services you are signed into.
  • Remove all email, contact, or calendar accounts from your computer by going to Settings > Mail/Contact/Calendar > Accounts.
  • Remove your SIM card if you haven’t already. If your new phone arrived with a new SIM card, shred and discard your old one.
  • If you are using an eSIM, make sure to deactivate or delete it from your phone.

Perform the Factory reset

Now we have told you about the easy options, we’ll also cover the most permanent option  – restoring your iPhone to factory settings and starting again or recovering your iPhone settings from the cloud.

After backing up your phone and deleting all of your accounts, start the  factory reset by launching the Settings app.

  • Go to General > Restore > Delete All Material and Settings
  • Confirm your decision when you are asked
  • To disable Apple’s Find My service, insert your phone’s PIN code followed by your Apple ID password.

Your iPhone screen will go dark and then an Apple logo and progress bar will appear. After a few minutes, you’ll see the delault Apple “Hello” screen.

Your phone is now blank  and ready for a new user – either you or someone else. You can safely sell your phone knowing your personal data won’t fall into the wrong hands.