How to Go Back to Factory Settings on Your iPhone

by Alan Sembera

Restoring an iPhone to its factory settings may be your last resort when the device stops working properly or you forget your access code. It's also a good way to erase your personal information before selling the phone. Everything on the iPhone gets deleted during the factory reset process, and you end up with a fresh copy of the operating system. You can choose to factory reset your iPhone either from the device itself or through iTunes. If your phone is frozen or you're locked out, however, you may have to restore the phone using recovery mode.

Restore From iPhone Screen

1

Tap "Settings" on your iPhone Home screen.

2

Scroll down the Settings screen and tap "General."

3

Scroll down again and tap "Reset."

4

Tap "Erase All Content and Settings."

5

Tap "Erase iPhone" to confirm the selection and restore the iPhone to its factory settings.

Reset From iTunes

1

Download and install the latest version of iTunes on your computer if its not already installed (link in Resources).

2

Connect your iPhone to the computer with a USB cable.

3

Launch iTunes if it doesn't open automatically.

4

Click the "iPhone" button on the toolbar.

5

Select the "Summary" tab.

6

Click "Restore iPhone."

7

Click "Restore" to confirm the selection and restore the iPhone to its factory settings.

Using Recovery Mode

1

Download and install the latest version of iTunes on your computer if it is not already installed (link in Resources).

2

Turn off your iPhone. If the phone won't turn off normally, hold down the Sleep/Wake and the Home buttons at the same time until the device powers down.

3

Connect a USB cable to your computer, but don't connect it to the iPhone yet.

4

Press and hold the Home button, and then connect the USB cable to the iPhone. Release the button when you see see the iTunes logo on your device screen.

5

Launch iTunes if it doesn't open automatically after a minute or two.

6

Click "OK" when iTunes displays a message that it detected an iPhone in recovery mode.

7

Click the "IPhone" button on the toolbar and select the "Summary" tab.

8

Click "Restore iPhone," then click "Restore" to confirm the selection. ITunes restores the iPhone to its factory settings.

Tip

  • check If you see a battery icon while attempting to perform a restore, allow the device to charge for at least 10 minutes before continuing.

Warnings

  • close Restoring your iPhone to its factory settings erases all of the apps, songs contacts and other information stored on the device. Back up or sync your iPhone before restoring if you want to save this information.
  • close Information in this article applies to iTunes 11 and all iPhones running on iOS 6.1 or iOS 7. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

About the Author

Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images