Resetting & Restoring an iPhone?


Resetting and restoring an iPhone are two troubleshooting steps recommended by Apple. The difference between the two processes is that a reset restarts a nonresponding or malfunctioning device, while a restore erases the device and returns it to its original factory state. Both methods can be useful when troubleshooting a problem with the iPhone. The restore option is also useful for clearing out all your personal information before selling or passing on the device.


  • Resetting an iPhone is like performing a super-restart; the reset function performs a full power-down device restart and is useful for clearing up minor malfunctions such as a frozen app. A normal restart may not resolve every minor performance issue, as the device can carry over a problem on restart. A reset is appropriate when the iPhone won’t respond, won’t turn on, isn’t being recognized by a computer or is having network connection issues. Reset an iPhone by holding the “Sleep/Wake” button and the “Home” button simultaneously for about 10 seconds.

Restore With Computer

  • Restore an iPhone by connecting it to iTunes on your computer and selecting the Restore option. This option returns the iPhone to its factory settings or a previously backed up state. To restore an iPhone to its factory settings, connect the device to the computer and choose the iPhone from the device list in iTunes. Open the Summary tab, select “Restore iPhone” and click “Restore” in the confirmation window. The process gives you an opportunity to back up your data, files and apps before the iPhone is erased. The restore process can take up to an hour to complete.

Restore Without Computer

  • Restoring an iPhone can be done without using a computer. When restoring an iPhone, the device clears all saved data and uninstalls every app. Open the “Settings” menu and select “General.” Tap the “Reset” option located on the bottom of the list and choose “Erase All Content and Settings.” Enter the phone password to perform an on-device restore. The process may take several minutes to an hour to finish, so connect the phone to a charger to prevent any errors during the restore process. An Internet connection is required.

Software Issue Resolution

  • Apple recommends resetting the phone before restoring it when you troubleshoot a problem. Resetting the phone clears the device’s system memory, while restoring the phone erases everything and reinstalls the operating system. The restore option is particularly useful if the iPhone is having some sort of software issue. Back up any important data before restoring the phone, as all your saved information is cleared from the device during the process.

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