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How to reset an iPhone

When it comes time to trade in, sell, or pass on your old iPhone, it’s imperative that you reset it to a factory fresh condition.

This way your old iPhone can be set up like new by its next owner, without any of your old account stuff getting in the way. Naturally, it’s a very good idea from a data security standpoint too.

Here’s how to perform a factory reset of your iPhone.

What we used

  • We used the iPhone 13 Pro, but these methods will work on any iPhone.

The Short Version

  • Make sure your iPhone is backed up
  • Transfer or Reset iPhone
  • Continue and authenticate
  1. Step
    1

    Make sure your iPhone is backed up

    Before you reset your iPhone, double check that iCloud Backup is active. Head into the Settings app, tap your Apple ID at the very top, and check that iCloud Backup is set to the On position.
    iPhone reset iCloud backup

  2. Step
    2

    Transfer or Reset iPhone

    Enter the Settings app and head to General. Now scroll down to the bottom and hit Transfer or Reset iPhone, followed by Erase All Content and Settings.

  3. Step
    3

    Continue and authenticate

    You’ll now be presented with a screen listing all of the items that will be removed from your iPhone. Hit Continue, then enter your device password and Apple ID password for authentication.

    The reset process will take a number of minutes, so make sure your iPhone has plenty of power, and be patient. Once done, your iPhone will boot up to the welcome screen that first greeted you when you first set it up.iPhone reset Continue

FAQs

What’s included when I erase my iPhone?

Everything personal to you is wiped, including your apps and data, your Apple ID, your Find My iPhone protection, and all of your Apple Wallet accounts. It’s a completely clean wipe.

What if I’ve forgotten my password?

If you’ve forgotten your passcode or Apple ID password, tap the Forgot Password option below the entry field in the relevant password entry screen and follow the instructions.

How do I reset my iPhone?

If you’d like detailed advice, or guidance on alternatives to iCloud Backup, Follow our How to backup an iPhone guide.

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