How to securely erase an iPhone

How to securely erase an iPhone

Summary: Before you hand over your old iPhone to someone else to enjoy, you want to make sure that all your data has been securely erased.

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TOPICS: Mobility, iOS, iPhone, iPad
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With a release of the new iPhone 5s and 5c only days away, we can expect a lot of older handsets to be flooding the secondhand market or making their way into the hands of family members who are lower down the tech totem pole.

But before you hand over your old iPhone to someone else, you want to make sure that all your data has been securely erased. You want to hand over the hardware, not your entire digital life!

Fortunately, Apple has made securely wiping the iPhone easy. All it takes is a few taps.

  • Plug your handset into a power source (you don't want the battery dying mid backup or during the wipe process)
  • Back up your data (either using iTunes or to iCloud)
  • Tap Settings > General > Reset
  • Tap on Erase all Content and Settings
  • Confirm that you actually do want to wipe the handset
  • That's it!
How to securely wipe an iPhone

If you have an iPhone 3GS or later, any iPad, an iPad mini, or a third-generation iPod touch or later then the wiping process will be very fast. This is because on these devices the flash memory is encrypted using 256-bit AES, and all the wipe process needs to do is to securely delete the encryption key and all the data is gone.

On older devices that don't support hardware encryption the wipe process overwrites the storage area. This takes considerably longer but the end results are just as good.

Topics: Mobility, iOS, iPhone, iPad

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12 comments
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  • This may not erase all personal information

    After performing the steps, check everything very carefully. I believe you'll find that your Apple ID is still on the device and accessible. I don't remember if it's in iTunes or Settings or where, but in the past I believe there was a serious issue with the ID being retained, even after a "complete wipe". Maybe that's been fixed now? Just an admonition to err on the side of caution. I spent hours on the phone with Apple support and they couldn't completely erase the unit, so they finally sent me a new (refurb) device.
    Checkmate357_z
    • That is only true ...

      ... if you restore from a backup using iTunes.
      wackoae
      • Erase iPhone

        I know a place which seems to be specialized at this problem, to erase an iPhone safely, you can read this: erase-iphone.com
        sandraalan
  • You don't need to erase your phone

    You don't need to erase your phone, unless you are hiding something, maybe a terrorist plot. So, if you are someone like Adrian, someone who has the urgent need to cover your tracks, then I suggest FBI take a closer look at you.
    dcdavy
    • And why bother?

      The NSA has a complete backup of all your data no matter which device you use. Heck it's gotten to the point I simply access their servers to retrieve my data - it's basically a cloud backup system owned by the government.
      athynz
  • An even easier method

    Hammer
    jamz2277
  • You missed the best one

    With a sledgehammer.
    Funkmonkey
  • Permanent remove what you don't need on iPhone and unrecoverable

    This tutorial is wonderful and helpful,while conventional deletion, will leave the possibility of recovery, threat to your data security.Want to permanently remove all the data like contacts, messages, call history, apps, system setting, photo, video, keyboard cache, safari bookmark,e-mail, etc on your iPhone,iPod or iPad before donate, resell, or trade it in? Whether it is for security reasons, or want to save time, I strongly recommend to use iPhone iPad iPod Data Eraser.

    If you want to read more, you can go our website and read more:www.recovery-transfer。com

    eg:
    ”How to Permanently Delete Photos from iPhone?”
    ”How to Permanently Delete iPhone Text Messages?”
    ”How to Delete Recent Contacts Showing Up in Your Text History?”
    ”How can delete e-mails, contacts, videos, and other personal stuffon your iPhone permanently?”
    juddya
  • http://recovery-transfer.com/about/erase-iphone-contacts-sms-photo.html

    Want to permanently remove all the data like contacts, messages, call history, apps, system setting, photo, video, keyboard cache, safari bookmark,e-mail, etc on your iPhone before donate, resell, or trade it in? Whether it is for security reasons, or want to save time, I strongly recommend to use iPhone Data Eraser

    Four Steps Permanently and Safely Erase Your iPhone Data

    Step 1. Run the iPhone data eraser and connect your iPhone to the computer.
    Step 2. Choose Erase all data on device and click on it
    Step 3. Click on the Start button to delete whole data on your iPhone
    Step 4. Click “Done” and the wiping completed
    juddyare
  • http://recovery-transfer.com/about/erase-iphone-contacts-sms-photo.html

    Want to permanently remove all the data like contacts, messages, call history, apps, system setting, photo, video, keyboard cache, safari bookmark,e-mail, etc on your iPhone before donate, resell, or trade it in? Whether it is for security reasons, or want to save time, I strongly recommend to use iPhone Data Eraser

    Four Steps Permanently and Safely Erase Your iPhone Data

    Step 1. Run the iPhone data eraser and connect your iPhone to the computer.
    Step 2. Choose Erase all data on device and click on it
    Step 3. Click on the Start button to delete whole data on your iPhone
    Step 4. Click “Done” and the wiping completed
    juddyare
  • Permanently delete photo,video and other files on iPhone

    To permanently delete photo,video and other files on iPhone,you can use a iPhone data eraser,there are some iPhone data eraser software in the market, but few can be completely and permanently delete the data on iPhone, even if data has been cleared, some professional iPhone data recovery software can recover them later.
    Please read this use guide about how to Permanently Erase iPhone Data Before Selling your iPhone.

    http://www.z0download.com/useguides/How-to-Permanently-Delete-Photos-from-iPhone

    So no one can get you personal information and data from iPhone,after you sell, donate or give it away.

    From: http://www.z0download.com/detail/iPhone-iPad-iPod-Data-Eraser
    jissonwoo
  • Delete iPhone data

    iPhone Data Eraser is the ideal iDevice "erase" application designed to permanently wipe all personal information from the device using US Military spec over-writing technology to render the data unrecoverable; returning the device to a “clean slate” state before you resell, donate or trade it in.

    Get more information from here:

    http://www.iphone-data-recovery.com/iphone-data-eraser.html
    canddyr1