What you need to know to properly format an iPhone or iPad — 2022

If you have had any problems with the iPhone or the iPad , surely you have heard the word restore or format on more than one occasion. This is a really basic process when it comes to servicing these two pieces of equipment in order to resolve most issues. And it is that before going to Apple or an authorized technical service, it is always best to restore your equipment. Besides that the process is the same on both devices.

How to know when to format

There are many situations in which you will have to face the restoration or formatting of the operating system. Obviously, it is not a process that is going to be carried out every day, due to the time it takes to be able to erase all the information and do the reinstallation. The most common situations in which you will need to format are the following:

    When the iPhone has a failure: It is a reality that iOS or iPadOS are stable and advanced operating systems that aim to squeeze the power of the hardware. But as is logical, it is not a perfect operating system, since there is none that meets that characteristic. In the face of different important problems such as the slowdown of the interface, the presence of a bug, among others, you can choose to restore it in order to solve it. when you want to sell it: There may be a situation where you buy a new device, and you need to sell the old model. The recommended thing, of course, is to delete all the personal information you have stored in order to safeguard your privacy. The restore process removes any linked accounts, including banking or Apple Pay information. You want to start from scratch: In many occasions you may notice that you have a large amount of data on the iPhone or iPad, in the form of applications or custom settings. That is why it can be interesting to format the computer for personal taste, to be able to start completely from scratch by installing the necessary applications. It is certainly a fast way of cleaning that can be used in a comfortable way. Apple releases major versions of iOSNote: When Apple releases a major update to its operating system, which can be a generational change, it's always a good idea to do a fresh install. In this way, the new generation of the operating system is started completely from scratch, to guarantee the fluidity of the system.

ios 15 iphone

Pre-formatting steps

Although it may seem like a really simple process, keep in mind that restoring an iPhone or iPad has different critical points. By this we mean that a series of tips must always be followed before starting the process as such, with the aim of avoiding the loss of information or the process failing.

implications it has

When talking about restoring an iPhone or an iPad, you have to take into account the consequences that it can have. In these cases, what is going to be practiced on the device is a permanent deletion of all information containing. In other words, the ultimate goal is to have a device as if it had arrived as new and you have it in the box. This is really important, because if you have important contact information or photos stored locally, you will end up losing it.

But it should be noted that there are some relevant exceptions. Some of this data that the mobile or tablet contains is synchronized with iCloud. This is why logging in again after formatting the device can retrieve some information, as long as the same Apple ID is used. In this case you can find basic information such as photographs or even contacts. Where to put the focus above all, is on those local files, since they will disappear completely.


Although restoration is generally a process that rarely fails, nothing is perfect. There can be different situations in which the entire process is aborted and you are forced to start from scratch, or you simply have to go back. Faced with these problems, it can end up causing an information leak, and that is why if you do not have all the files synchronized in iCloud, you must make a backup copy.

In these cases, we always recommend copying the data to Apple's own servers. This is obviously going to require that you have plenty of contracted storage, in order to store all your documents or photographs. This is a process that can be carried out on a Mac or a PC comfortably through the synchronization program that can be iTunes or the Finder itself. But the most comfortable thing may be to make the copy through the settings of the iPhone or iPad. To do this, you simply have to follow the following steps:

  1. Connect the iPhone to the Wi-Fi network.
  2. Go to Settings > Tap on your name > iCloud.
  3. Click on iCloud Backup.
  4. Tap Back up now.

iCloud Backup

Turn off Find My iPhone/iPad

One of the essential requirements to be able to restore both an iPhone and an iPad is deactivate the tracking system through the Find application. This is something that Apple establishes as an additional security measure. Forcing this system to disable prevents anyone outside the computer from being able to restore it to remove all traces. In this case, the Apple ID password will always be requested and the owner will be notified by email. To do this, simply follow the following steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on your name at the top.
  3. Tap Find my iPhone/iPad, and then tap to disable the option .
  4. Type your Apple ID password.
  5. Tap Deactivate.

turn off find my iphone

good internet connection

When you want to restore iPhone or iPad, you have to reinstall the operating system. A copy of this information is not found natively in the storage of the equipment, and that is why it must be Download from Apple's own servers. Given this situation, it is logical that you should always have a stable and quality internet connection.

The fact of having a fast internet connection s It is always important so that the process does not take longer than necessary. Keep in mind that the servers always have a fairly low bandwidth, and that is why it can take a long time to download the operating system, which can weigh several gigabytes. Likewise, it must be stable and private to allow all the information to be downloaded safely, and without losing any type of package that could affect the subsequent process.

iPhone charging or more than 50%

It is a fact that restoring an iPhone or iPad requires a lot of power. We refer to a process in which the information is erased and reinstalled from scratch. This also occurs when information is simply being overwritten. To avoid failures, the equipment cannot be turned off at any time. The fact that the battery runs out in the middle of the restoration process can end up causing a fatal failure causing the computer to not work properly.

wirelessly charge iPhone X

That is why it becomes an obligation have the iPhone connected to power at all times , or with the battery at 50%. This is somewhat recommended, but it reaches such a point that it is a condition that cannot be postponed. That is, the system does not let you start the restore if one of these two battery conditions is not met.

restoration process

Once the considerations that we have discussed throughout the article have been taken into account, you can proceed to perform the restoration. There is more than one method to be able to leave both the iPhone or the iPad as new. Below we tell you the different ways in which you will be able to face this process.

with a mac

One of the most common methods that can be given is with a Mac. It can become quite common that if you have an iPhone you also have a Mac. In the event that this equipment has the software version macOS Catalina or later, the process It will be done through the Finder. Although at first you may think that it is dedicated to file management, it will also be possible to carry out the restoration process. To do this, simply follow the following steps:

  1. Connect iPhone to Mac.
  2. Open the Finder window.
  3. Select the device in the left sidebar of the Finder window.
  4. Make sure you turn off Find My iPhone/iPad
  5. Click General and then click Restore iPhone/iPad.
  6. click on Download and restore.
  7. Enter the access code.

On older Windows or Mac computers

In case you have a Windows computer or a Mac that has macOS 10.14 or earlier, you will have to use the iTunes program. This software is restricted to these conditions and provides very specific tools. It allows users to transfer photos, make backups and also completely restore the operating system. In this case you must follow the following steps:

  1. Open iTunes on your Mac or PC.
  2. Connect the iPhone or iPad via cable to the computer.
  3. Click the device button on the top bar of iTunes.
  4. Click Restore iPhone.
  5. Be sure to disable Find My iPhone.
  6. Click on Download and restore.
  7. Enter the access code.

restore iPhone iPad iPod

From the device itself

It may be the case that you do not have any computer at hand, neither Mac nor PC. That is why you can always choose to format the computer from the configuration itself, although it has significant differences as we will see below. What is achieved in this case is to have a really simple system to be able to start from scratch with your device. In order to perform this operation, simply follow these steps:

  1. Connect the iPhone or iPad to the electrical current and to the Wi-Fi network.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Click on General.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and tap on Transfer or reset.
  5. Enter the unlock code, or Apple ID password.
  6. Confirm that you want the device to be wiped.

From this moment on, the device will restart several times and a progress bar will be displayed that will inform you of what is being done at all times. At first, the data will be deleted, and the information will be overwritten. It is a process that is fast in general, but At no time should you disconnect it from the power. It is important to always dedicate enough time to this operation, and not be in a hurry to finish it.

Differences Between Restoration Methods

In general, there are two restoration systems that we have discussed throughout this article. One of them in which a computer must be used, and another in which no external equipment is necessary, being done only through the configuration of the iPhone or iPad. Surely you are going to wonder the differences between these two systems or if it is better to use one before the other.

And it is true that although both are presented as restoration systems, they are practically nothing alike. It must be clear that whenever you want to carry out a deep restoration reinstalling the operating system, It must be done with the help of a computer, either PC or Mac. In the case of doing this process in the configuration, the operating system is not reinstalled, since the instructions are simply given. necessary permissions to be able to rewrite data.

Apparently, it will look the same at the end of the process, but if you look at each of these methods in detail, there are more than notable differences. If we find ourselves in a practical case where there is a bug in the software, it is important to completely reinstall it. But if you're just going to want to delete the apps for fun, so you can do a fast-track cleanup, you might be able to just overwrite the data through settings. The latter process has the advantages of speed by not having to format the equipment as such.