Different Ways to Reset an iPhone
By Aaron Parson
Resetting an iPhone can mean several different things. In most cases, you will only need to reboot the operating system by turning the device off and on. You can also reset the settings on your phone, with or without erasing all your data as well. If you want to completely reset your phone to like-new condition and reinstall the operating system, you can connect the phone to iTunes to restore the system.
Rebooting the System
Wake your phone and then hold the "Sleep/Wake" button for several seconds until the red "Slide to power off" bar appears. If your phone has frozen and the bar does not appear, hold both the "Sleep/Wake" and "Home" buttons for 10 seconds to force the system to turn off.
Swipe along the red bar to begin shutdown. After several seconds the screen will turn off.
Press and hold the "Sleep/Wake" button for a couple seconds until the screen lights up and the Apple logo appears. Let go of the button and wait until the phone turns on.
Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap "General."
Scroll to the end of the page and press "Reset."
Tap either "Reset All Settings" or "Erase All Content and Settings." The first option will revert every change you've made in the Settings app, while the second will also erase your apps, saved data, music and other files.
Enter your passcode if you use one, and then tap the red "Reset All Settings" or "Erase All Content and Settings" button to confirm. If you chose to erase all your content, this process may take up to several hours. After erasing all content, the phone will reboot and offer setup either as a new device or by restoring a backup.
Restoring in iTunes
Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes.
Click your iPhone's name in iTunes. If you want to back up your device before erasing it, press "Sync" and wait until the sync finishes.
Click "Restore iPhone" in the Summary tab and press "Restore" to confirm. ITunes will erase everything on your phone, download the newest version of iOS and install the system on your phone. After the process finishes, you can either set up your phone from scratch or restore a backup through iTunes or from iCloud.
- In the Reset menu on the iPhone, you can also choose to reset specific types of settings without erasing other data. For example, you can pick "Reset Network Settings" or "Reset Home Screen Layout."
Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.