How to securely wipe your iPhone/iPad

We’re about to give you some tips and advice about how to wipe your device.

Before selling a device, it is important to make sure that you’ve wiped everything you’ve got stored on it, to prevent the person who buys it getting access to your sensitive data and details. This isn’t just about privacy and the embarrassment of a stranger seeing your personal conversations and pictures: it could lead to fraud or identity theft.
It’s very easy to  wipe an iPad or iPhone. Simply follow the steps in this tutorial and your data security will be assured.

How to back up your device’s contents and settings:

Before you do this, we recommend backing up your device in iTunes or iCloud. You may or may not wish to do this, it will help so you can set up your next device with the same settings and content or even in case you change your mind. Recovery will be almost impossible after this so back up your iOS device, connect it to your Mac – or PC – and click the device’s icon in iTunes. Then select Back Up Now, under the Backups section of the Summary tab. Alternativly on your device go to settings, iCloud, Backup & Backup Now.

Remove Device from iCloud

First you’ll need to remove the existing iCloud account that is in use on the iOS device:

Open the Settings app and go to “iCloud”
Scroll down under all the settings to find “Delete Account” (or “Sign Out”) and tap on that
Confirm the removal of the iCloud account from the device by tapping on “Delete” or “Sign Out”
Note that the newest version of iOS uses “Sign Out” in the iCloud settings panel, whereas the immediately prior versions use “Delete Account” – the effect is identical, it’s just a change of wording. Both will log out of the iCloud ID account on the iPhone or iPad.


How to reset & erase

Open the Settings app and select General from the lefthand column. Scroll down and tap on Reset at the foot at the bottom of the page.

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On the Reset page, to pick the second option down, ‘Erase All Content and Settings’. When the dialogue box appears, click Erase (and type in your passcode if you have got one). There will be a short delay and then the iPad or iPhone will be wiped.


 Is there any way to retrieve the data that has just been deleted?

Almost certainly not, which is why you need to be sure before using the above method. The data on an iOS device is automatically encrypted, and wiping the device destroys the encryption key, which makes it more or less impossible to get anything back when it’s been fully erased and reset. This also reinforces our frequent advice to back up your device regularly.

How to clear some of your iDevice without deleting everything?

To look at the biggest culprits filling up your storage allocation, go to the Settings app, then General, and Usage. iOS will tell you firstly how much space you’re using and how much is available, and will then list the 10 apps taking up the most space.

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Remember that these listings include associated documents and files as well as the app itself, so Photos & Camera and Music are likely to be up near the top, along with other apps that contain lots of media files. Instead of deleting the app (which you’re not able to do anyway, with Apple’s preinstalled apps) you could go into the app in question and clear out some old photos, content or whatever.


To delete an app you’re finished with, click it in the list then Delete App and confirm. Alternatively, from the Home screen you can tap and hold any icon, then tap the X at the top left of an app to delete the app. (If it hasn’t got an X in the top right corner then you can’t delete it.)

There you go, that’s how to clear your iPhone or iPad for any questions, hints or tips don’t hesitate to contact us or alternatively tweet us @iStationOnline.

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