Thursday, December 8, 2011

How to completely wipe your iPhone


iPhone 2g, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4
Image by reticulating via Flickr
Since Apple comes out with a new iPhone every year or so and since their phones are generally sold with pretty restrictive contracts, there is a market for used iPhones as us geeks who want to stay on the bleeding edge upgrade to the newest shiny device and those who don't want to be locked into exorbitant data plans seek to find an iPhone free of contract.  But, before you sell your iPhone, you want to make sure you wipe it clean so the next guy doesn't get all of your information.  This tip will show you how to reset your iPhone quickly and easily.

I was told the best way to do this was through iTunes and restoring the phone to factory settings. I realized that is not the fastest or the easiest way as I tried to walk my senior uncle through wiping his phone. He somehow ended up spending hours because instead of just doing a restore to factory settings, he somehow managed to have the phone backup update to the latest release of iOS and restore all his data- completely defeating the purose and costing him a lot of time.

It turns out there is a fast and simple way to do this.  Simply turn on your phone, go to Settings-->General-->(scroll all the way down to) Reset-->Erase All Content and Settings  

You'll get a series of warnings that you are about to wipe all of the data from your iPhone and you will need your iPhone PIN to proceed.  It does take a while (it took my phone no where near an hour- nor did it take my uncle's that long).  But, after doing this your phone will be as fresh as the day you took it out of the box.

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