How to Erase your iPhone COMPLETELY

Need to erase your iPhone? We can help. If you are selling your iPhone or you were given a used iPhone and you want to clear it of the previous owner’s information, this article is for you. There are several methods to erase your iPhone and we will walk you through each one.

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Bradley | Sep 24,2021
Reporter for five years, interacted with individuals working in the technology industry.

How to Erase your iPhone COMPLETELY

Preface

Need to erase your iPhone? We can help. If you are selling your iPhone or you were given a used iPhone and you want to clear it of the previous owner’s information, this article is for you. There are several methods to erase your iPhone and we will walk you through each one.

Backup Before Erase Your iPhone

Before you start erasing or resetting anything, make sure you have backed up all your info. If you don’t know how to perform a backup, follow the steps below: (or go to our in-depth article, here).

  1. Go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud
  2. Tap iCloud Backup > Backup Now
  3. Wait for the backup to complete. If it is the first backup you have initiated, it can take a very long time to complete.
  4. You can view the backup on your PC by logging in to your iCloud drive.

(This requires internet access)

Erase All Content and Settings from your iPhone

A basic and authorized way to erase your iPhone is through Settings.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > General
  2. Scroll down to “Reset” and select.
  3. You will be asked to enter your Apple ID and passcode, and confirm that you want to reset your phone.
  4. Select “Erase All Content and Settings”.
  5. Your iPhone will restart and you will be given the option to set up your iPhone as ‘new’ or to restore it from a backup.

If you do not know your passcode, you will have to Reset the passcode through Apple’s Website, iforgot.apple.com.

Use Finder/iTunes to erase all content and settings from iPhone

Another option is to use your computer (either Mac or Windows computer) to erase your iPhone and restore factory settings. This is completed with iTunes, so you should have already synced your phone with iTunes before trying this method. Otherwise, you will need to have your passcode and Apple ID ready.

Steps:

First, Connect your computer and iPhone with a USB cable

On a Mac:

  1. Go the “Finder” (sidebar) and choose your iPhone.
  2. Select “General” (located at the top)
  3. Select “Restore iPhone”
  4.  Mac Finder

On a Windows computer:

  1. Go to iTunes App for Windows
  2. Select iPhone icon (top left corner)
  3. Select “Summary”
  4. Select “Restore iPhone”, then follow the prompts.
  5. erase iphone

NOTE: To use Finder to restore iPhone to factory settings, a system using macOS 10.15 or later is required. With earlier versions of macOS, you must use iTunes to restore your iPhone. It should be the latest version of iTunes, so be sure your computer and programs are up-to-date.

Next, you will be asked to take your phone off of “Find My iPhone” in order to complete this process. To do this, go to Settings, select your name. Then go to iCloud, and select “Find My iPhone” then switch the button to “OFF”.

You must turn off Find My iPhone feature in order to erase your iPhone with this method.

If your phone is having issues and the device will not turn or function properly, place the device in “Recovery Mode” before beginning these steps.

Erase iPhone Via iCloud

Another option is to use iCloud to wipe your phone. This requires your iCloud password and Apple ID. We recommend this if your phone has been lost or stolen and you want to protect your information before anyone else accesses it.

Steps:

  1. Go to icloud.com/find
  2. Enter your Apple ID and password
  3. On the next screen, choose “All Devices”
  4. Select the device that you want to erase and choose “Erase Device”
  5. After it has been erased, you may restore to another iPhone or new iOS device from a backup.
  6. erase iphone via icloud

Erase iPhone Completely Without iTunes/iCloud

All of the above options require you to input your Apple ID and passcode, so what to do if you have forgotten this information, or never had it to begin with (if you were given your grandmother’s phone as a gift, for example)? Can you wipe your phone and start fresh? - Yes!

The answer is LockAway. This software allows you to reset your iPhone to factory settings, no matter if Find My Phone is turned on or off. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Official website
  2. Download LockAway software to your Mac or PC computer
  3. Connect your iPhone to your computer with a USB cable
  4. Select “Unlock Apple ID” and click “Start Now”. The software will do the rest to erase your iPhone

LockAway is a professional tool users can use to help reset their iPhone and remove all data on the phone. Whether you want to remove a previous Apple ID from the device, or erase your personal information before selling your phone, this is a great option and it doesn’t require your Apple ID or passcode to work.

Some features of LockAway include:

  • Compatible with all iOS systems and iPhones/iPads
  • No need to work with iTunes or iCloud
  • You do not need to update any apps or update your computer in advance
  • Works without entering Apple ID, passcode or password
  • Works even if Find My iPhone is turned on

Summary

Need to erase your iPhone? It's important to wipe all personal data from your phone in order to protect your information if your phone is ever lost or stolen, or simply if you want to sell it.

This article spells out the ways to wipe your phone. All the methods mentioned require your Apple ID and passcode - except LockAway. LockAway is the easy solution to erasing your iPhone without any complicated steps.