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Erasing and Restoring Your iPhone

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: DaniellaNicole•updated: 5/6/2009

Here is a quick and easy guide for both clearing out your iPhone of content and settings, and getting all those back.

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    Cleaning House

    If you are experiencing problems with the contents of your iPhone or the settings that you have customized you may need to start at square one. Removing everything from your iPhone can be an important part of returning the correct balance. Here are a few things you can do to return from the changes you made and give your iPhone that fresh out of the box feel.

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    How to Reset iPhone Settings

    Go to the Settings icon on the home page and select the General option. At the very bottom of this screen there is the Reset button, and if you press it there will be a menu to give you a variety of different reset options. These options go through three different sections.

    The top one has two options, which are Reset All Settings or Erase All Content and Settings. The first will just bring all of your iPhone settings back to default, and the second will do that plus remove everything from the iPod section of your iPhone as well as all of your iPhone applications and games.

    The second section is more specific than the first and has an option to reset the network settings.

    The final segment is even more specific with options to just reset the keyboard settings, the way the home screen is set up, and some warning messages. After you select the appropriate option, you will be asked to verify your choice so you do not accidentally make a mistake.


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    Options to Restore from a Backup

    Once you have done this, you may discover that you made a mistake and would like to retract your decision. Every time you sync your iPhone to iTunes on your computer it backs up your iPhone settings, applications, and iPod contents. When you sign in to your account you can look to see the back up options you have, which is usually just one.

    Once you select the back up it restores as quickly as a normal sync. If you do not want to go through this process period, all of the applications and iPod media will return to your iPhone upon the next sync to iTunes on your computer.