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How to Erase iPhone Data and Settings in Two Situations

  1. When you prepare to give away the old iPhone or send or sell it to others
  2. When your iPhone is stolen or lost, you want to keep data in iPhone safe
  3. When you just get a second-hand iPhone

Erase iPhone and turn it back to factory default settings is necessary and important for us.

In summary, we can see that we have to learn to erase iPhone in two situations.

Part 1: Erase iPhone in your Hand

When iPhone is with you, you can take these two methods to erase iPhone data and settings.

Method 1: Erase iPhone All Contents with iPhone Settings Menu

Step 1: Backup iPhone to iCloud or iTunes first.

Step 2: Navigate to Settings – General – Reset – Erase All Contents and Settings.

erase iPhone contents and settings in iPhone Settings menu

Step 3: Type passcode in pop-up dialog.

Step 4: Continue and follow prompt message to delete all data and settings on iPhone.

Method 2: Erase iPhone Data and Settings in Windows Computer

This is a common method. With iTunes in computer, you can backup iPhone and then restore it to factory default settings. All data and settings you have saved on iPhone will be erased.

Step 1: Install iTunes latest version in computer.

Step 2: Connect iPhone to computer with USB cable and run iTunes.

Step 3: Click iPhone in iTunes top-right side and then choose Summary menu.

Step 4: Under “Automatically Back Up“, check “Encrypt iPhone backup” or “Encrypt local backup”.

erase iPhone contents and settings in iTunes

It will ask you to set a password to lock iTunes backup for iPhone. Help you to keep iPhone backup safe. After that, when you want to restore iPhone to this backup point, just unlock this backup and restore iPhone from backup in iTunes.

If there is passcode to iPhone, you will need to type passcode first and then could back up iPhone in iTunes. But if the passcode is forgotten, only can click “Restore iPhone”.

Step 5: After iPhone backup, click “Restore iPhone” to erase iPhone contents and settings in the iPhone information part at the top of iPhone screen.

Part 2: Wipe iPhone remotely

If your iPhone is stolen or lost, now it is not with you, wipe all of iPhone data and settings remotely is so important to protect your iPhone data from accessing or using by other people.

But if you really want to do this, you have to make sure Find My iPhone service enabled in your stolen or lost iPhone. Otherwise, you can only change Apple ID password and stop others deleting data in iCloud.

Now followings are steps to remotely erase iPhone contents with Find My iPhone service.

Step 1: Go to Settings – iCloud, and confirm that you have enabled Find My iPhone service on lost iPhone.

Step 2: Login into iCloud with your Apple ID.

login into iCloud with Apple ID

You can do this on any web browser ( Open Find My iPhone page, and you will be prompted to sign in with Apple ID. After Find My iPhone program runs, all the possible devices appear.

find your iPhone with Find My iPhone service

Step 3: Click All Devices at the top and select your iPhone from the list.

There will appear a window with your iPhone name and three options.

Step 4: Select “Erase iPhone” option.

You will be asked to type Apple ID password to confirm. Enter it and click OK. If the device is connected to internet, remote iPhone will be erased immediately. And a confirmation email is sent to your Apple ID email address. If not, the remote erase will begin the next time when there is an internet connection.

From the introduction above about ways for erasing iPhone data or settings, we would realize the importance of backup, Apple ID and Find My iPhone service. It is them which help to wipe iPhone safe.

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