How to Format an iPhone From a PC

by Daniel Hatter
Photo courtesy Apple

There may be several reasons why your iPhone is performing slowly, such as too many resource-hungry apps or not enough storage space. If you want to return your iPhone to its factory default settings, you can use your PC and iTunes to format it. Formatting is also prudent if you bought a used iPhone; this procedure removes the previous user's data and customized settings, restoring the device to factory-new condition.

Step 1

Open iTunes and connect your iPhone to your computer with the phone's USB cable. Wait for iTunes to recognize the device.

Step 2

Click your iPhone's name in the left pane, and then open the "Summary" tab.

Step 3

Click the "Restore iPhone" button, next to "Check for Update," and click "Restore" when prompted to confirm. The restore process will begin. Once complete, the iPhone will restart.

Swipe the "Slide to Set Up" slider on the iPhone's screen when it appears to perform the initial setup. Follow the prompts to configure the options, such as language preference. Once complete, you can use your iPhone normally.


  • For information on how to restore your newly formatted iPhone from a previously created backup, browse the help page on the Apple Support website (link in Resources).


Photo Credits

  • Photo courtesy Apple

About the Author

Daniel Hatter began writing professionally in 2008. His writing focuses on topics in computers, Web design, software development and technology. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in media and game development and information technology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

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