Do you have an iPhone that needs to be reset or restored? Do you need to do a factory reset and erase all data, or do you just need to reset certain settings due to the phone not working?
Or maybe you need to restore your iPhone from iTunes or iCloud backup? Alternatively, you can simply do a hard reset of your iPhone, which is a quick way to fix problems like freezes, etc.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the different types of reset, restore, and backup that you can do for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
In this article, I will be using iOS 9 for all examples, since this is the latest OS version at the moment. If anything changes in a later version, I will definitely update this post.
IPhone, iPad and iPod backup
Before you reset or restore anything, you should always make a backup in case something you need later or something goes wrong. I suggest making a backup to both iCloud and iTunes. If you don’t have enough iCloud space, you can only make a local iTunes backup. Let’s start with iTunes backups.
An iTunes backup is no longer required if you back up your phone to iCloud, but I’ve found it still useful to create a local backup every couple of months.
iCloud is great, but it has a lot of glitches that can cause it to crash exactly when you need it most. Plus, Apple is very stingy with its whopping 5GB of free storage space. You can’t even keep one full 16GB iPhone backup with that much space, so be sure to use iTunes if you’re not sure if your phone is backed up to iCloud correctly.
Open iTunes, connect your Apple device and click the “Back Up Now” button.
When you do, you will receive a message asking if you want to encrypt the backup or not. If you choose not to encrypt the backup, sensitive data such as your health data, Homekit data, and saved passwords will not be stored in the backup. You can also just check the “Encrypt iPhone backup” checkbox before backing up to make sure the backup is encrypted.
When you restore an unencrypted backup to your phone, you will have to re-enter all your passwords, etc. This is why if you’ve ever restored an iCloud backup and not a regular iTunes backup, you might have noticed that you haven’t made. after recovery, you will have to enter all passwords again.
The only thing you need to remember about encrypted backups is that you will need to use a password to encrypt the backup. The same password will be required to complete the recovery. If you forget it, you will not be able to restore this backup, so be careful and keep the password somewhere in writing.
You may also receive a message asking if you want to transfer purchases to your iTunes library. You should click “Transfer purchases”, otherwise you may miss music, apps, ringtones, etc. when you are going to restore later.
Also note that you can leave the Auto Backup option set to iCloud and just manually back up locally from time to time. iCloud should automatically back up your phone, but you can always manually back up iCloud by going to Settings, iCloud, Backup and then clicking Back Up Now. It should also show you the date and time of the last iCloud backup.
Now that you have the correct backup of your device, we can go ahead and reset it. There are several different ways to reset an Apple device, let’s talk about it.
Reset iPhone, iPad, and iPod
Let’s talk about a hard reset first, which doesn’t actually erase any data or reset any settings. A hard reset is pressing and holding the Home button (round button) and the power button at the top or right at the same time until the phone restarts.
This is useful if your device is not working as expected, such as when you need to restart your Windows computer because it works. After a hard reset on your phone, you can reset various settings.
Tap Settings, go to General, scroll all the way down and tap Reset.
The main options that most people end up using are Reset All Settings, Erase All Content and Settings, and Reset Network Settings.
Reset All Settings — Reset all settings in the Settings app. This means you will lose your Wi-Fi data, Bluetooth connections, Do Not Disturb settings, keyboard settings, notifications, wallpaper, privacy settings, and more.
This will NOT delete your data or apps. This means that all your music, videos, photos, apps, iMessages, email accounts, calendars, and more will stay on your phone. You will receive a few warnings when you go to reset all settings, but don’t worry, your data will be safe.
Reset Network Settings – This option simply resets everything related to your Wi-Fi and LTE connections. If you’re having connectivity issues, this is a good option.
Erase All Content and Settings is a factory reset option that will erase everything on your iPhone, iPad or iPod. Use this option only if you are sure that you have all the backups and if you want to wipe your device so that you can transfer it to someone else or sell it.
You can also use this option if you want to do a clean install of iOS. For example, if you’ve upgraded your phone from iOS 7 to iOS 8 to iOS 9 and it just has a lot of problems, you can back up your phone, erase everything, and then restore from the backup. Please note that if you perform a clean install of a later version of iOS than the one originally installed, you will not be able to restore the backup.
For example, when iOS 10 comes out and you wipe your iPhone before upgrading to iOS 10, you won’t be able to restore an iOS 9 backup as your phone is now running iOS 10. To do a clean install of iOS 10 when it comes out, you need to first update, then back up, then erase and then restore.
Please note: To erase your phone, you must first turn off Find My iPhone. You may also need to enter your iCloud password. Your phone will restart and after wiping, you will see a welcome or welcome screen.
First you need to choose your language, then your country, then choose your Wi-Fi network, then turn location services on or off, then add a password if you like, and finally choose how you want to set up your phone. Now let’s talk about restoring your phone.
Restore iPhone, iPad and iPod
After you reset your phone to factory default settings, you will be asked how you want to restore it. Note that you can also restore your device without erasing it using iTunes, which I will explain below.
However, if you ever want to restore data from an iCloud backup, you always need to completely erase the data from your device as shown above. It’s a little scary, but it’s the only way to restore an iCloud backup.
Here you will have the option to select “Restore from iCloud Backup”, “Restore from iTunes Backup”, “Set Up Like New iPhone” and “Move Data from Android”.
If you choose the first option, you’ll need to enter your Apple ID and password, after which you’ll get a list of available iCloud backups.
If you choose the second option, you will need to connect your computer to iTunes, after which you will see a drop-down list of available backups on your computer as soon as you sign in with your Apple ID.
Setting up a new iPhone will do just that, and you’ll have a fresh install of iOS. You can always set it up like a new iPhone and then restore it from iTunes backup later if you like. However, you won’t be able to recover from iCloud if you set up a new iPhone.
Finally, you can do it all from within iTunes itself. Once connected, you will see the option “Restore Backup” and “Restore Phone”.
Restore backup will allow you to select from a local backup stored on your computer and restore it. It will just restore data and apps, not iPhone firmware.
Restoring iPhone is more interesting because it can work in two different ways depending on which one you choose. First, you will be asked if you want to create a backup. This, of course, depends on you.
After that, which dialog you see will depend on whether the older version of iOS is running on your device or not. If you do not have the latest version of iOS, you will see a “Restore” or “Update” option. If you are using the latest version, you will simply see a “Restore” button.
The restore will perform the same function as the “Erase All Content and Settings” option on your device. If you click Update, it will simply install the latest update to your phone, just like you would go to Settings, General, Software Update. Your data will remain intact, iOS will simply update.
That’s all! All different ways to back up, reset, or restore your Apple device. Hopefully this clears up any confusion you may have about the whole process. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!