How to factory reset iPhone
How to factory reset iPhone

Whether you’re troubleshooting, preparing for an upgrade, or ensuring your personal data is secure before a resale, understanding how to reset your iPhone is crucial. This comprehensive guide will provide insights into the various reset methods and when to use each.

Before going down the path of a Factory Reset it’s important to see if restarts can fix your issue. There are two types of restarts and they are outlined below:

iPhone Resets & Restarts: Soft, Hard, and Factory

  • Soft Restart: Essentially, it’s a reboot. It’s like giving your iPhone a brief nap or a short break.
  • Hard Restart: A more assertive approach than a soft reset. Useful when the iPhone becomes unresponsive.
  • Factory Reset: The most thorough reset. There’s two types you can choose from – one that wipes all your settings and the other that wipes settings and personal data, returning the iPhone to its original state. Always back up your data first before choosing the ‘Erase All Content and Settings’ option because after that reset your data is gone.

Soft Restart

A soft reset is often the first step in troubleshooting minor hiccups:

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button.
  2. Slide to power off.
  3. Press the Sleep/Wake button again to restart.

Hard Restart

When your iPhone isn’t responding, a force restart can be your best friend:

  1. For iPhones with Face ID: Press Volume Up, then Volume Down, and hold the Side button until the Apple logo shows.
  2. iPhone 7 & 7 Plus: Hold the Volume Down and Sleep/Wake buttons together.
  3. Older iPhones: Press and hold the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously.

Factory Reset

Before embarking on a factory reset, always backup your data:

  • Go to Settings > General > Reset
  • Choose the type of reset you want to do

Here’s some guidance on what the Factory Reset options mean:

What Does ‘Reset’ Mean on Your iPhone?

Resetting your iPhone is like giving it a quick refresh without erasing your personal information. It’s a less drastic action compared to a full erase and is used to resolve minor glitches or restore certain settings to their defaults.

Types of Resets on iPhone

There are several reset options available on an iPhone:

  • Reset All Settings: This will return all system settings to their defaults, but your data, apps, and media will not be affected.
  • Reset Network Settings: This is useful when you’re facing connectivity issues. It clears all Wi-Fi networks and passwords, cellular settings, and VPN and APN settings you’ve used before.
  • Reset Keyboard Dictionary: If autocorrect is not working as you expect, resetting the keyboard dictionary might help.
  • Reset Home Screen Layout: This will rearrange your apps and folders to their original layout.
  • Reset Location & Privacy: If you’ve changed a lot of app permissions and want to start over, this reset will do the trick.

When to Use Reset on an iPhone You’d typically reset your iPhone when it’s not behaving as expected, and you suspect that a setting or configurations might be the cause. It’s a targeted approach that allows you to address specific issues without losing your personal content.

What is ‘Erase All Content and Settings’ on an iPhone?

On the other end of the spectrum, “Erase All Content and Settings” is the nuclear option. It completely wipes your iPhone, removing all personal data, settings, apps, and media. It’s the option you’d choose when you want your iPhone to be as good as new, devoid of any trace of your usage.

When you select this option, your iPhone will begin a deep cleanse. It deletes everything from the user partition, and the data is encrypted, which makes it unrecoverable by standard means. After the process, the iPhone will restart as if it’s just been taken out of the box, requiring reactivation and setup.


Being adept at resetting your iPhone allows you to address many issues independently. From minor glitches to prepping your device for resale, resets are an invaluable skill for every iPhone user.

Always ensure your data is backed up before any reset. Whether using iCloud or iTunes, safeguard your precious memories and essential files.


  1. Will a soft reset erase my data? No, it’s merely a restart.
  2. How often should I perform a reset? Only when necessary, such as troubleshooting or before selling.
  3. Can I reverse a factory reset? You can’t undo it, but you can restore from a backup.
  4. Is the reset process the same for all iPhones? The basics remain consistent, but button combinations may vary.
  5. What should I do if my iPhone remains unresponsive post-reset? Consider entering recovery mode or seeking help from Apple Support.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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