Your iPad is designed to be customized. However, sometimes you may want to undo all your customization to get it back to the same setting when you first bought it. In addition, you may also want to erase all your contact info, browsing history, emails, favorites, etc. This is especially true if you plan on selling or giving your iPad to someone. And that is exactly what your iPad’s “Reset” app is designed to do. It can reset your iPad back to factory settings!
- Reset Mac Back to Factory Settings
- Factory Reset a Jailbroken iDevice Using iTunes
- Prepare for Selling or Buying Used iPhone or iDevice
Reset Your iPad Back to Factory Settings without iTunes
Did you know that your iPad’s Settings app includes a one-stop-shop where you can reset each (or every) feature on your iPad?
Say for example, that for whatever reason your iDevice’s AirDrop decides to act up, and you need to reset your internet connection. Well, that is easily done through the Setting called Reset Network Settings.
In this post, we break down each option, and then you choose which one best suits your situation.
But first, let’s find the location of your Reset feature
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap General.
- Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset iPad.
- At the bottom of the page, tap the Reset button.
This brings up the Reset screen with the following options:
- Reset All Settings – All settings—including network settings, the keyboard dictionary, location settings, privacy settings, and Apple Pay cards—are removed or reset to their defaults. No data or media are deleted.
- Reset Network Settings – All network settings are removed. In addition, the device name assigned in Settings > General > About is reset to “iPad,” and manually trusted certificates (such as for websites) are changed to untrusted. Cellular data roaming may also be turned off.
- Reset Keyboard Dictionary – You add words to the keyboard dictionary by rejecting words iPad suggests as you type. Resetting the keyboard dictionary erases only the words you’ve added.
- Reset Home Screen Layout – Returns the built-in apps to their original layout on the Home Screen.
- Reset Location & Privacy – Resets the location services and privacy settings to their defaults. For example, GPS-aware apps often pop up a location warning asking if you want the app to be aware of your current location. Your answers to these questions are stored on your iPad for each app. This reset erases these answers so that the app may pop up the prompt asking for your location permission again the next time you use it.
Reset iPad Back to Factory Settings: Selecting a Reset Option
If you want to reset iPad back to factory settings, then you’ll need to tap the Erase All Content and Settings button that appears. From here, you’ll be prompted to enter your passcode or password, while also confirming to have your iCloud account removed which includes Find My. As a note, you (or the next owner) will likely run into issues if you do not turn off iCloud on the iPad.
If yes, confirm by tapping “Reset.” You may need to enter your Apple ID to confirm.
That’s pretty much it. Be sure to backup your iPad frequently so that in an event where you accidentally choose one of these Reset options or something else happens with your data that results in a loss, have peace of mind that there is always a backup.
Factory Restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Using iTunes
A factory restore erases all your personal information and device & app settings and then installs the latest iOS available for your particular iDevice. Before you start, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC.
And make a backup of your iDevice, just in case, there is some information you want to be saved. Finally, turn off Find My iPhone via Settings > Apple ID Profile > iCloud. Enter your Apple ID when requested.
Using iTunes to Reset Your iPad Back to Factory Settings on Mac or Windows
If you own a Mac, things are a bit different than in they used to be. iTunes is no more, as it has been replaced by Apple Music for your music listening and streaming needs. But in order to have it operate as a separate app, Apple implemented a rather ingenious method for controlling any of your connected devices. Here’s how to reset iPad back to factory settings on a Mac:
- Connect your iPad to your computer using a USB cable.
- You will need a USB Type-C cable or Lightning.
- Open the Finder app on your Mac.
- Select the name of your iPad in the sidebar.
- At the top of the Finder window, select General.
- Click the Restore iPad button.
The steps above are only available for those who are using a Mac running version 10.15 or above. In the event that you are using an older version of macOS, or are using Windows, these are the steps you need to take in order to reset iPad:
- Open iTunes and connect your iPad.
- Select your device icon when it shows up in iTunes
- Tap or click on Summary in the Settings panel,
- In the Right Panel, click or tap on Restore iPad
- Click Restore to confirm
From there, iTunes erases your iPad and then will install the latest publicly stable version of iPadOS that is available at the time. This process could take awhile, but once it’s finished, your iPad will restart. Then, you just need to go through the process of setting it up as if it were brand new, remembering to sign in with your appropriate iCloud account or Apple ID.
Forgot Your Apple ID?
If you haven’t used your Apple ID for a while, you may not remember your Apple ID and/or password. These credentials are critical to your iDevice experience.
When you don’t know your Apple ID and password, you cannot download any Apps, Music, iBooks, Games, etc from the App and iTunes Stores.
If you forget your Apple ID and password, you cannot back up your iPad or iPh0ne data on iCloud.
If you are caught in a situation where you cannot do anything with your iPad due to a misplaced Apple ID or password, take a look at our articles dealing with Apple ID issues. The first step is always trying to fix your Apple ID problems.
Apple ID Troubleshooting
- My Apple ID Has Been Disabled. How Do I Restore My Apple ID?
- Your Apple ID Has Been Locked for Security Reasons
- How to Delete Apple ID
- How To Unlock Your Disabled Apple ID Today!
If you weren’t able to fix the problems with your Apple ID, some users report success with restoring their iPads or other iDevices using iTunes Recovery Mode or with a DFU Mode Restore. These usually work if Find My iPad is already turned off.
How-To Reset an iPad without an Apple ID using recovery mode via iTunes
- Connect your iPad to a computer that has the latest version of iTunes installed (Windows or Mac.) It doesn’t have to be your computer–any computer with iTunes installed is fine
- Open iTunes and then turn off your iPad.
- For those who own an iPad without a home button, you’ll need to quickly press and release the volume button closest to the top (or Side) button. Then, press and quickly release the other volume button. Press and hold the top button. These steps will need to be done in succession quickly, otherwise you won’t be able to put your iPad into Recovery Mode.
- If you own an iPad that still uses a Home button: Hold the Home button and the side/sleep/power button at the same time. Maintain holding these buttons until you see the iTunes logo and a USB cable icon on your iPad’s screen
- iTunes should then show a message that it detects a device in Recovery Mode. Press OK and then select Restore (not Update).
Once the process is complete, the process to reset iPad is successful, and either iTunes or Finder will provide you the pertinent information to get everything set up again.
Did You Buy A Pre-owned iPad?
If you received an older iPad, or one that was owned by someone else originally, the previous owner should have erased its content and unlinked from iCloud and their Apple ID before handing it off to you or any third-party reseller. Although that’s what’s supposed to happen, it often does not. So what to do?
If you can get ahold of the previous owner
- Ask that person (or company designee) to sign in to iCloud.com or Use the Find My iPhone App with THEIR (or company’s) Apple ID
- Go to Find My iPhone> Select All Devices
- Choose your specific iDevice
- Click Erase iPhone or Tap Actions > Erase iPad (or other iDevice) > Erase iPad (or other iDevice)
- Enter their Apple ID password > Erase
- Tap Remove from Account
Once the previous owner erases and removes your iDevice from their account, make sure you fully shut down the iPad and restart it to initiate set-up.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.
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