Before selling an iPhone, you have to completely format your iPhone’s data with “Delete content & settings”. But you must have to be aware of not losing your data. Here’s is a proper and safe method of how you can format an iPhone completely.
There are several reasons why you want to completely format your iPhone: Before selling, you should remove your personal data and restore it to its delivery state. The new owner can then easily enter their Apple ID and transfer their data.
Even with annoying system problems, it can make sense to completely format the iPhone, Apple TV, or iPad and restore it from a backup. You can choose to only delete the system or completely remove all data including the system.
format iPhone Completely
If you want to format an iPhone completely, you can do this via a connected Mac or directly via iOS. We recommend formatting the device itself, this is faster and easier.
Attention: Before deleting a backup or updating a backup is necessary to save your data. You can do this either via iCloud or a Mac. From Big Sur onwards, iTunes is no longer responsible for these iPhone backups, but for the Finder. Before deleting, you should also deactivate the “Where is?” Function. You can find this under Settings> (“Your Name”)> “Where is?”.
Format an iPhone Completely
The iPhone offers its erase function under the system setting “General”> “Reset”> “Erase all content and settings”. Start this function. Before deleting, you will be automatically informed of an out-of-date backup and activated the “Where is” function. You also have to enter your code in advance.
The formatting itself is very quick and only takes a few minutes. The display shows that it was successful: You should now see the same welcome screen as you saw when you first switched on a newly purchased iPhone.
Format iPhone remotely
Have you given your iOS device away and forgot to format it – or has it been stolen? Then you can format iPhone remotely via iCloud. Open your iCloud page at iCloud.com and click on “iPhone Search”. You can now select your iPhone under “All Devices”. After tapping the device, you will see the option “Delete iPhone”. The next time it is connected to the Internet, the iPhone will then receive a delete command and reset itself.
You can also format iPhone remotely via the new “Where is” app, which is available for iOS and macOS.
Use Recovery Mode
Targeted deletion and re-installation of iOS is also possible, which is often helpful to solve system errors or problems with Safari. To do this, you put the iPhone into the so-called recovery mode. First, you have to connect the device to a Mac using a USB cable. On newer iPhones without a home button, you now quickly press the “Volume up” button, then “Volume down”, and then keep the standby button pressed. The device will restart and display icons on a Mac and a cable (Older devices require you to press different buttons).
On the Mac, the Finder now shows a window with two options: “Update” or “Restore”.
If you select “Update”, the iPhone will be given a new system, if you select “Restore” the content will be deleted and transferred from a backup again. Attention: If there is no such backup, the device will be reset to the delivery state and all data will be deleted.
The entire procedure can take some time when “updating” since a system file is first loaded from the network.
Delete And Reset Via Apple Configurator 2
The Apple Configurator 2 also offers this re-installation of the system, but calls the function “Repair”. A new system is also installed during this “repair”; the user data is not changed. To do this, you have to select the desired device in the utility and choose now or via “Actions”> “Advanced”> “Repair device”.
Is All Data Really Been formatted?
Formatting an iPhone is very quick, and some people wonder whether the data has really been formatted – you can also restore data from a hard drive. But there is no danger: from the iPhone 4, data is protected by internal data encryption. After the formatting process, this data can no longer be restored.