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How to factory reset an iPhone (every generation)

A clean slate can do wonders in life, especially when it comes to the numerous gadgets and gizmos we use on a daily basis, like the iPhone. Although performing a factory reset of your smartphone may not sound ideal — it essentially wipes your device of any and all personal settings and data you’ve acquired through the years — it’s occasionally necessary when troubleshooting your device for software errors or when retaining your private information is of the utmost importance, such as during a sales transaction or repair.

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However, restoring any iPhone to its original factory settings is a simple a process that requires little more than your smartphone and five minutes of your time. Once completed, you’ll quickly notice that all of your phone’s data and content — songs, videos, contacts, photos, calendar info, etc.– have automatically been deleted, thus safeguarding your personal information and preventing it from falling into the wrong hands should you sell your device.

Scroll down for our quick guide on how to factory reset an iPhone, so you can ditch the data before passing on your device. The exact process for doing so may vary slightly depending on which version of iOS your iPhone is running, but it’s essentially the same regardless if you’re performing a factory reset using iTunes or your untethered phone. Furthermore, feel free to follow the same directions when performing a factory reset on any of your iOS devices.

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