If you just got a new iPhone, you may be selling your old smart phone. This article covers how to erase all of the content and settings on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, ensuring that sensitive data won’t fall into the wrong hands.
Why Erase Your iPhone?
Your iPhone has a lot of sensitive information on it. You might not think this is the case. Typically, an iPhone won’t store credit card numbers or passwords in plain text. It won’t store your social security number, unless you have typed that into a text file. Some people do store sensitive data in Notes, Reminders, or other apps.
You might be surprised as to what criminals can do with seemingly innocuous information. For example, if a malicious user finds an appointment in your calendar, you could be scammed into giving out your credit card. You could, for example, get a call from a con artist posing as a doctor, dentist, or therapist, claiming that they need your credit card information for billing purposes. The call may sound legitimate, because they got your doctor’s information and appointment date from your old iPhone.
Even harmless information can be used against you. You may shred some of your junk mail, such as credit card offers, in order to prevent identity theft or other cons. Erasing your iPhone will also provide you with peace of mind. Some companies promise to erase all of your data when you sell them your old iPhone. Don’t take any chances. It is very easy to erase your iPhone. It only takes a moment and ensures that no one can get anything from your old iPhone.
How to Erase iPhone
Erasing all data and content from your iPhone is simple. I suggest backing up your iPhone, using iCloud, iTunes, or a third-party backup system, before doing this. You won’t need to backup any content from the iTunes Store or App Store. Content purchased from Apple is automatically stored in the cloud. The only exception would be an app or content item that is no longer available. If you were able to download Flappy Birds, for example, you need to back that up before erasing your device, as it is no longer available in the App Store.
After backing up your device, tap on Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Next, confirm this selection by tapping Erase. This is the only option that will completely erase your iPhone. Security experts have confirmed that this process will completely remove all of your content from an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Now that your iPhone has been erased, you can part with the device without worry. Erasing your iPhone is also a good way to free up space on your device and have a fresh start. If your iPhone has accumulated a lot of junk, it is sometimes easier to erase it all, than to remove content item by item. You can re-download the apps and content that you use and need. This is especially useful if your iPhone is running out of storage space. Erasing your iPhone does not remove the operating system, so it is a great way to free up space without the hassle of downloading and installing iOS.