There are several reasons why you would want to delete all the data and information contained on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Maybe you want to sell your device to someone else, or give it to a family member. Or maybe you just want to start from scratch on a clean slate.
No matter what your reason may be, there are two ways to go at it. In this post, we will show you how to erase all content and settings on your iPhone or iPad, directly from your device, or from iTunes. Both methods can be used to wipe music, videos, photos, apps, messages, emails, contacts – everything! Additionally, all your settings will be completely reset.
How to delete everything from your iPhone or iPad
This is arguably the quickest and easiest way to delete everything on your device. Note that the steps are the same regardless of the device, be it an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Step 1: Go to Settings > General > Reset.
Step 2: Select Erase All Content and Settings. If you have a passcode enabled, you will be asked to type it.
Step 3: A message will warn you that this will delete all media and data and reset all settings. Tap Erase iPhone to confirm.
Step 4: Another similar message will give you a final chance to cancel. If you’re sure you want to completely wipe your device, then tap Erase iPhone.
Step 5: If you have Find My iPhone enabled, you will be asked to type in your Apple ID and password. Enter your password and tap Erase. This will erase your device and remove it from your account.
The device will start the deletion process, which could take a few minutes. When done, your iPhone will be in the same state you found it when you first took it out of the box.
How to erase everything using iTunes
Another method to remove everything on your iPhone is to do so using iTunes.
Step 1: Plug your iPhone via USB to your computer, then launch iTunes.
Step 2: On the Summary page in iTunes, click Restore iPhone.
Step 3: If you have Find My iPhone on, iTunes will display a message asking you to turn it off. To do so, go to your iPhone and navigate to Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone > Off.
Step 4: Go back to iTunes and click Restore iPhone… one more time.
Step 5: A message will ask if you first want to back up your device. If you do, select Back Up. If not, select Don’t Back Up. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will not backup the device.
Step 6: You will then see a final warning similar to this: Are you sure you want to restore the iPhone “iPhone 5” to its factory settings? All of your media and other data will be erased. If you’re sure about yourself, click Restore.
Step 7: Depending on your situation, iTunes might tell you that it has detected purchased content that has not been synced with iTunes. Click Continue. You will always be able to download your content for free later on if necessary.
iTunes will start downloading the latest software available for your device, and once done, it will start restoring your iPhone, which should take a few minutes. Once done, you will have the opportunity to set up your iPhone from a previous backup (if available) or as a new phone. At this point, you can unplug the device and do whatever you want to do with it, such as selling it, or giving it to a friend or family member, etc.