A password locked iPhone can only be Factory Reset using iTunes. This comes in handy if you have forgotten the iPhone password and now are struggling to unlock it. By connecting your iPhone to PC/Mac, you can factory restore the iPhone to its default state that is the state when you bought the new iPhone. Here is a step by step guide explaining how to factory reset an iPhone.
There are essentially two methods to factory reset an iPhone. The first method involves using iTunes on your PC or Mac and the second method resetting iPhone from the device itself.
The second method is much easier to follow and also does not require you to have a PC or Mac or for that case iTunes installed. However, if your iPhone is password locked, the second method is not useful. In case your iPhone is password locked you can only factory reset it using iTunes. And for that, you need a PC or Mac with iTunes installed.
This article contains both the methods to factory reset an iPhone. Follow the one that you think suits your situation the best.
Note: You can also refer this guide to factory restore iPad and iPod apart from iPhones.
Note: If your iPhone is locked because of iCloud activation, then factory resetting an iPhone using iTunes is of no use as iTunes cannot erase iCloud data unless the iPhone is restored using the smartphone itslef or you provide the Apple ID associated with it.
Pre-Requisites – Get your Device Ready for Factory Reset
There are few things you should consider before trying to factory reset your iPhone using iTunes or without iTunes as listed below.
Turn Off Find my iPhone – If you have turned on Find My Phone then you should turn it off before trying to reset it. If you don’t turn off Find My Phone and Factory reset your iPhone, you will be asked to enter the Apple ID associated with this iPhone post factory resetting process.
So, go to Settings >> iCloud and turn off Find My iPhone. Find my phone feature is only available for iPhone 4s and above.
Install iTunes on Mac or PC – You also need iTunes installed on your PC or Mac to factory reset an iPhone. Make sure you have the latest version of the iTunes software version installed.
To do this open iTunes, click Help and select Check for updates. If there are any pending updates available, download and install it.
Backup your iPhone – If you haven’t created a backup of your iPhone data then you may want to do this as factory resetting an iPhone will erase all the data.
To do this, open iTunes on your PC and connect iPhone to PC/Mac using the USB cable. When you are in the summary tab, click the Back Up Now button to backup iPhone data. This way you can be sure that post factory reset of iPhone you can restore the data back to your iPhone.
Method 1: Reset An iPhone using iTunes
Open iTunes on your Mac or PC. Next, Connect your iPhone to your computer using the data cable that came with your device.
Wait till iTunes detects your device. If iTunes cannot detect your device, restart your PC and try again.
If detected, your iPhone name will appear on the iTunes screen. In the summary tab of your iPhone. Click the Restore iPhone button to start the factory resetting process.
Now a message will appear asking you to confirm whether you are sure about restoring your iPhone to its factory settings. Click Restore button again to proceed.
Now iTunes will download the latest version of iOS software ( if any available) and erase everything from your iPhone. If the restoring process is successful, then you should have an iPhone restored to its factory setting with the latest version of the iOS installed.
You can view the restoring process on your iPhone’s screen as the progress bar will display it. Once done, your iPhone will restart automatically, and you will have an iPhone as new as it was when you bought it.
Method 2: Factory Reset an iPhone From Settings
If you only want to factory reset your iPhone and it is not password locked then you can do this without iTunes. You can factory reset an iPhone easily from the Settings. This comes in handy if you want to pass on your iPhone to someone else or if you are planning to sell it by erasing the data. This way you can also make sure that you turn off Find my Phone and the buyer don’t get stuck with iCould activation screen.
The first thing you should do before factory resetting an iPhone is that take a complete backup of your phone’s data. Once you have taken a complete backup of your iPhone, follow these steps to factory reset it.
Tap on Settings from the main screen. Next, tap on General and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
From here tap on Reset button. Next, tap on Erase all Contents and Settings. Alternatively, if you only want to erase only settings, then tap on Reset All Settings button instead.
A pop-up box will appear asking you to confirm the decision to factory reset your iPhone. Tap Erase iPhone button to begin the restoration process.
Restoring may take some time so have patience till the phone restores to its factory settings.