There are times when you simply want to reset your iPhone to it’s factory defaults and start over clean. If you can connect to iTunes and manage your iPhone you can use the iTunes “Restore” button; however this is not always an effective clean wipe and start over. To achieve such a wipe, you need to do something slightly different. A factory restore.

To perform a factory restore:

– Ensure you have iTunes open on your computer.

– Ensure you do not have the USB cable connected to your iPhone

– Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons until the iPhone resets. Once the Apple logo appears, release the Sleep/Wake button but keep the Home key pressed until you see a prompt to connect the iPhone to iTunes.

– Connect the iPhone to the computer and wait for iTunes to instruct you

You will now need to restore the iPhone’s firmware, all your settings, all your media, and all your Apps. During this process (provided you have one) you will be offered an attempt to recover your iPhone from a backup. Unfortunately, backups can be bug ridden and unreliable, so if you’re restoring due to problems, we’d recommend you start over. It doesn’t take too long to reconfigure your phone and copy your contacts, calendar, apps etc back to the iPhone again.

Good luck!

Image: Danilo Rizzuti /

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