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How to restore an iPhone with iTunes

Whether you’re having issues with your iPhone or getting ready to pass it on to a new owner, there are a couple of methods you can use to reset it to its factory settings. Here’s how to restore your phone using iTunes.

iTunes is one of the easiest ways to restore an iPhone when it’s acting up. Because the reset goes through your computer, you can back all of your data up on iTunes first to make sure you don’t lose anything important and later restore it to how it was before.

See our guide to learn how to backup your iPhone following three different methods, or read on to learn how to reset it.

Related: Best iPhone

How to restore an iPhone with iTunes

If you’re using a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or a PC:

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer
  • Open the iTunes app
  • Click the device icon in the top left of the screen (it should look like a tiny iPhone)
  • Click ‘Summary’
  • Click ‘Restore’
  • Follow the instructions on screen to reset your device

Related: Best phone

How to restore an iPhone with Finder

If you’re using a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, you won’t be able to restore your iPhone with iTunes. Instead, follow these instructions to perform a factory reset via the Finder app:

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer
  • Open the Finder app
  • You may be asked to input your device’s password or to confirm whether you trust the computer – follow the instructions on screen
  • Select your device
  • Click ‘Restore’
  • Click ‘Restore’ again to confirm you want to reset your device to factory settings

If you intend to sell your phone, it’s important to switch off Find My iPhone’s Activation Lock before resetting it. Not doing so will prevent the next user from activating phone under their own account. You can find more information on the Activation Lock on Apple’s support site.