Think of a factory reset as a clean start — a fresh slate that permanently erases both information and settings on your iPhone. Whether you're selling your iPhone, trading up for the shiniest new model or donating it, doing a factory reset keeps your information out of harm's way. Here's how to do it:
1. Back It Up!
Before you reset your phone you should back up the data on it. No matter how much you've convinced yourself that you won't need the information you're about to delete, backing up your iPhone should be a no-brainer. To start, go to the Settings app on your iPhone and click your name.
2. Find iCloud
Click the iCloud tab and then iCloud Backup. Hit Back Up Now. This step should take a few minutes. Note: You can (and should) set your iCloud to back up your information automatically. You can also back up to your computer by following these instructions.
3. Clean House
A few more steps before you're ready for a factory reset. Start by going through all your apps (like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and signing out of your accounts. This step adds another layer of security while tying up all those proverbial loose ends.
4. Do the Factory Reset
First, go to the Settings app. Within Settings, click General, then click Reset. Tap Erase All Content and Settings. Click Continue. You may need to enter your passcode. Then hit Erase iPhone.
Once you confirm you want to erase your device, sit back and let the magic happen.