Everything You Need to Know About Resetting Your iPhone

Image via Flickr by matsuyuki

From time to time, you may need to reset your iPhone. Resetting your iPhone isn’t something to do on a whim, but it can be necessary in the right circumstances. Reset your iPhone with confidence after reading this guide, which details everything you need to know about the process.

What Does Resetting Your iPhone Do?

Resetting your iPhone removes your preferred settings and information stored on your phone, like your photos, your contacts, your apps, and your browsing history.

Why Reset Your iPhone?

There are several reasons you may want to reset your iPhone. Most commonly, people reset their iPhones because they are experiencing major software errors, like issues connecting to networks or apps crashing. Resetting the phone to its factory settings should resolve these errors and restore normal functioning.

It’s also smart to reset your iPhone before selling it. Resetting your iPhone will remove your apps, your contacts, your photos, your preferred settings, and other information stored on your phone so the new owner can start fresh. If you get a secondhand iPhone that still has old information on it, you may also want to reset the phone so you can set it up the way you’d like.

Resetting vs. Restoring

Both resetting and restoring revert your phone to factory settings. However, the process and results are a little different. Resetting is the lightest option. It’s something you can do directly on your phone, without the use of any other technology. It also maintains your operating system and firmware.

When you restore your iPhone, however, you lose everything — including the operating system and firmware. You’ll need to connect your phone to iTunes on a PC or Mac to complete the restore process.

What Should I Do First?

If you’re experiencing problems with your iPhone, resetting it should be a last resort. Try turning your phone off and on again to see if that resolves the problem. You could also uninstall your most recent apps to see whether they’re the issue.

Once you decide a reset is necessary, you should back up your iPhone. This process will make sure you still have a copy of your contacts, photos, and other information that will be lost during the reset process. You can back up your phone to your desktop, via iTunes, or to iCloud.

How to Reset Your Phone

T-Mobile offers great instructions on how to reset your iPhone. As the fastest network in the United States, T-Mobile is one of the most popular iPhone providers in the country.

T-Mobile explains that you should enter your settings menu, then select “general,” followed by “reset,” located near the bottom of the general settings screen. To perform a complete reset to factory settings, you’ll finally select “erase all content and settings.”

Depending on the model of your iPhone, you may get a notice that your data and documents are uploading to iCloud. You may also need to enter a passcode, depending on your iPhone’s settings. Some iPhones will ask you to confirm you really do want to erase your iPhone and finally ask for your Apple ID password.

Note that you also have the option to reset only certain parts of your iPhone. Rather than erasing all content and settings, you could reset only selected content — such as your privacy settings or home screen layout.

What to Expect After Resetting

Your iPhone will restart and begin the resetting process. You’ll see a blank screen with a progress bar and the Apple logo. This can be a lengthy process, sometimes taking several minutes.

If you’ve done a total reset following T-Mobile’s instructions, it will perform the way it did when you first took it out of the box — before you adjusted the settings, added your favorite apps, and store your contacts. If you’re keeping your iPhone, you’ll have to take time to set it up with your preferred settings once again.

Resetting your iPhone is a significant step, but it’s not one you should be scared of. Follow these instructions step-by-step and you can easily reset your iPhone and get it functioning normally once again.