Is it time to let go of your iPhone or iPad? Are you upgrading to a newer, better model, or passing it on to a family member? Maybe it just has to go in for repair. Before you do any of that, you’ll first want to completely wipe your iPhone or iPad to securely remove your personal data, Apple ID, and Activation Lock details.
And starting with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple has simplified that process. Now, instead of doing three different things, you only need to do one (and honestly, this feature was long overdue).
How to back up your data and factory reset your iPhone or iPad
Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone, and go to “General.” Scroll down and choose the “Transfer or Reset iPhone” option.
If you’re planning to buy a new iPhone, Apple will offer to back up your entire iPhone data to iCloud even if you aren’t paying for iCloud Storage. This data will be available for a week, and once restored, it will be removed from your iCloud account. To use that option, choose the “Get Started” option in the Prepare for new iPhone section.
To completely wipe the iPhone data, choose the “Erase All Content and Settings” button.
You’ll now get a new page with an overview of all the things that Apple will remove from the device. For the first time, you’ll see things like your Apple ID, Find My, and Apple Wallet in this list. Tap the “Continue” button.
Enter the passcode for your iPhone to confirm. If your iCloud backup isn’t complete, you’ll see an option to continue the process once the backup is completed. We would recommend you finish this backup, and take a local backup on your iPhone or iPad. Tap the “Skip Backup” option if you want to skip the backup process.
Next, enter your Apple ID password to log out of your device and to disable Find My and Activation Lock. Tap the “Turn Off” button after entering your password, then tap the “Erase iPhone” button.
Your iPhone or iPad will now start the factory reset process. Give it a couple of minutes, and your device will be back to the “Hello” screen. You’re now free to sell or trade your iPhone or iPad without worrying about sharing your personal data with a stranger.