There comes a time where your iPhone or iPad needs a swift kick to the pants.
Since your iPhone or iPad does not come with said pants, you need to find an alternative to get your point across with a misbehaving app, service or just your device being slow. Contrary to believe, Apple products do need a reset every once in a while – just like a Windows powered device. Just like an Android powered device. Fortunately it is pretty easy to do on an iPhone or iPad and it doesn’t take Gangnam Style finger gyrations to make it happen like on other devices.
To be clear, there are several different types of resets you can do on an iOS device – Reset All Settings, Reset Network Settings, Reset Keyboard Dictionary, Reset Home Screen Layout and Reset Location & Privacy. The one I’m highlighting is the Erase All Content and Settings. Call it the Nuclear Option. Call it a Lobotomy. The bottom line is that your iPhone or iPad is reset to how it came out of the box. With that in mind, a word of caution:
This will completely and utterly reset every single aspect of your iPhone or iPad to its factory settings. It will be “like new”. That means all your data is gone. All your photos are gone. All your games are gone.
This of course leads to my reminder that you should always have a backup of your iPhone or iPad either on your Mac or PC via iTunes or in iCloud. So before you do a reset of any type, make sure you have backed up.
To perform any of the resets I mentioned above including the Erase All Content and Settings option, on your iPhone or
iPad go to Settings>General>Reset. The reset option is at the very bottom of the General page so scroll down if you don’t see it. When you tap the Reset option you will see listed all of the reset options available to you. The second option is the Erase All Content and Settings option. Tap it and you will be prompted for your passcode if you have one set. You will then get a warning stating that this option erases all data and media on your iPhone or iPad. Tape the Erase iPhone (or Erase on your iPad) and the deed is done. In a few moments your device will boot back up with the Welcome screen from when you initially got your iPhone or iPad.
Once the reset is complete you can put in the information, resynchronize your device with iTunes or iCloud and restore all your apps and content. For most people, a complete reset from start to finish takes about 30-45 minutes but your mileage may vary.
As I said earlier, this is a complete reset of your iPhone or iPad. Before making this drastic – but likely effective – move on your device, here are some suggestions to try first.
If you have a misbehaving app (crashing, not starting, etc), delete it and reinstall it. 90% of the time this fixes the issue.
If your iPhone or iPad is running very slow, clear the cache on it. See this How To from 2010 on how to do this – the process is exactly the same as it was back in the iOS 3/iPhone 3GS days.
If you are having network connectivity challenges, try turning the WiFi on/off in Settings or do a Reset Network Settings on the Reset menu we have been discussing.
My point is the Erase All option should be the last option. But if you need it, Apple has it there easily available for you to start anew.