How to factory reset your iPhone and wipe its data, whether you're selling it or troubleshooting issues

·4 min read
hands holding phone and typing on laptop
It's easy to reset your iPhone to its factory defaults, but before you do, make sure to back up all your data. Moyo Studio/Getty Images
  • You can reset your iPhone to its factory settings and erase all the information stored on the device.

  • You may want to factory reset your iPhone if you're getting rid of it or troubleshooting issues.

  • Before you reset your iPhone, be sure to first back up your data so you can restore it later.

  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you're experiencing issues with your iPhone, like if it's freezing or glitching, resetting the device to its factory settings may solve the problem. Or, if you're selling or giving away your iPhone, you'll want to reset it so all your personal information is wiped from the device.

Resetting your iPhone to its factory settings will take it back to the basics it came with: no contacts, playlists, pictures, password memory, or anything else you've added since the day you bought it.

But before you begin the process of resetting your iPhone, it's important to back up all your data so you don't lose your important information. After your iPhone has been reset, you can then restore it with your backup.

Here's how to factory reset your iPhone and make sure your data is backed up.

How to reset your iPhone

When you factory reset an iPhone, it's important to back up your data and sign out of your Apple ID before wiping it.

Back up your iPhone to iCloud

First, back up your iPhone to iCloud so you don't lose any unsaved data.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap your name and Apple ID at the top of the page.

    icloud
    Go to your Apple ID page. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  2. On your Apple ID page, tap "iCloud."

    icloud3
    Go to "iCloud." Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  3. Scroll down and select "iCloud Backup." Tap "Back Up Now" to back up all your information to iCloud immediately.

    icloud4
    Choose "Back Up Now" to manually back up your data to iCloud. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

Sign out of your Apple ID

It's important to sign out of your Apple ID if you're getting rid of your phone, so no one else can access your account.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone, and tap your name and Apple ID at the top of the screen.

  2. At the very bottom of this page, tap "Sign Out."

    iphone
    Sign out of your Apple ID account. William Antonelli/Insider
  3. You may be asked to enter your password. If so, enter your password, and then tap "Turn Off" in the top-right corner.

Factory reset your iPhone

To reset your iPhone, select Settings > General > Reset and click Erase All Content and Settings. Make sure you back up your iPhone first so you can restore your data later.

  1. In "Settings," scroll down and tap "General."

  2. At the bottom of the "General" page, tap "Reset."

    iphone2
    Select "Reset" at the bottom of the General page. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  3. To factory reset your iPhone, select "Erase All Content and Settings."

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    Tap "Erase All Content and Settings" if you're sure you want to wipe everything. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  4. You'll be prompted to enter your passcode, then your device will ask you to confirm that you want to erase everything. Tap "Erase" to confirm.

  5. This could take a few minutes, depending on how much you have stored on your iPhone, but once the deletion is completed, your device will restart as new.

Quick tip: If you're keeping your device, you can then restore your iPhone from a backup to get all your data and information back.

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