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
- Factory Restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Using iTunes
- Using iTunes to Reset Your iPad Back to Factory Settings
- Forgot Your Apple ID?
- New-To-You 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
- On the Home screen, tap “Settings” to bring up the Settings screen
- Tap “General”
- And then tap “Reset”
This brings up the Reset screen with the following options
1) Reset All Settings – this resets all your settings back to factory default but does not erase your content data.
2) Erase All Content and Settings – this resets all your settings and erase all your content data. You might want to do a sync with iTunes before performing this erase if you want to keep any music or apps that you have downloaded.
3) Reset Network Settings – this deletes your Wi-Fi network settings.
4) Reset Keyboard Dictionary – this clears any history in the dictionary such as the history of the keyboard suggestions that you’ve rejected or accepted previously.
5) Reset Home Screen Layout – this simply resets your Home screen icons back to the original default layout.
6) Reset Location Warnings – this erases any location preferences that was set for your apps. 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 by 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
After selecting one of the above options, your iPad or other iDevice asks for confirmation that you really want to perform the reset.
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 iDevice 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
- Open iTunes and connect your iPad or another iDevice
- 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 (or your particular iDevice)
- Click Restore to confirm
iTunes erases your iDevice and then installs the latest iOS for your device. After your iDevice restores to factory settings, it restarts.
Set it up as new and then reconnect your iCloud account if desired. Remember to turn Find My iPhone back on for this device, using your current or a new 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 iDevice data on iCloud.
If you are caught in the situation where you cannot do anything with your iDevice 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
- Your Apple ID has been disabled. How to restore an Apple ID?
- How to delete An Apple ID
- Fix A Disabled Apple ID
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
- 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)
- Wait for iTunes to reset the iPad–all data should erase permanently
If you received an older model or used iPad or another iDevice, 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 device and restart to initiate set-up.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the 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.