How to Reset Your iOS Device

By , October 21, 2012 8:07 am
This is my iPod Touch home screen before I reloaded it.

This is my iPod Touch home screen before I reloaded it.

If you have been using your Apple iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad for a few years it can start to randomly freeze, or be slow to respond. If the usual solution of restarting the iOS device doesn't solve the problem you can go a step further and reset the device back to its original settings.

Note: This will erase ALL of the email, notes, content, software, and settings from your iOS device. Before you do this you will want to have synced the apps and music from the iOS device to your desktop computer.

Resetting Your iOS device

Step 1. Transfer Your Purchases

Use iTunes to synchronize your iOS device before you reload it. If your iOS device was previously synced with another computer you can use the iTunes "Transfer Purchases" menu item to copy your apps, shows, and music to your current desktop system.

Use iTunes to synchronize your iOS device before you reload it. If your iOS device was previously synced with another computer you can use the iTunes "Transfer Purchases" menu item to copy your apps, shows, and music to your current desktop system.

Step 2. Erase the iPod

Once you are sure you have a backup copy of your iOS content copied to your desktop computer you can start the process of erasing your iPod. When you reset your iPod and erase all of the content from your iPod / iPhone / iPad the files are PERMANENTLY deleted and cannot be recovered.

Let's start the iOS erasing process.

Tap the Settings icon to open the iOS Settings window.

Tap the Settings icon to open the iOS Settings window.

Tap on the General Settings icon.

Tap on the General Settings icon.

Scroll down to the bottom of the General Settings window and tap the Reset button.

Scroll down to the bottom of the General Settings window and tap the Reset button.

Click the Erase All Content and Settings button to start the erasing process.

Click the Erase All Content and Settings button to start the erasing process.

If you are certain you have backed up your iOS documents, media, and apps you can click the Erase iPod button.

If you are certain you have backed up your iOS documents, media, and apps you can click the Erase iPod button.

You will be asked a 2nd time to confirm you are ready to erase your iPod. Click Erase iPod to continue.

You will be asked a 2nd time to confirm you are ready to erase your iPod. Click Erase iPod to continue.

A progress bar will show the erasing progress. It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to erase the contents of your iPod Touch / iPhone / iPad. On my 8GB iPod Touch it took about 10 minutes.

This is the iOS progress bar that shows the iPod's erasing status.

This is the iOS progress bar that shows the iPod's erasing status.

Once your iOS device has been erased it is ready for syncing with iTunes.

Once your iOS device has been erased it is ready for syncing with iTunes.

Step 3. Connect to iTunes

Once the erasing has finished the iOS device will restart and show an icon that indicates you are ready to connect your iOS device to iTunes.

In iTunes select the option to setup your new iOS device. This will allow you to rename the device and synchronize your existing content. Don't use the restore from backup option.

In iTunes select the option to setup your new iOS device. This will allow you to rename the device and synchronize your existing content. Don't use the restore from backup option.

At this point your iOS system has been fully reset to its original state.

At this point your iOS system has been fully reset to its original state.

Step 4. Set up your iTunes Sync settings.

Since your iOS device has been fully reset you can now setup your iTunes settings. This allows iTunes to automatically synchronize your contacts, calendars, and email.

With your iOS device selected on the left side of iTunes click on the Apps tab at the top of the iTunes window. This screen allows you to set up your App Syncing preferences. if you enable the Sync Apps checkbox iTunes will manage the apps installed on your iOS device. You can use the checkboxes next to each app name to install / remove an iOS app. You can also change the position / layout of your home screens on your iOS device using the App tab in iTunes.

Click on the Apps tab in iTunes to choose what apps you want to sync with your iOS device. You can also use the Apps tab to rearrange the position of the apps that are installed on your iOS home screens.

Click on the Apps tab in iTunes to choose what apps you want to sync with your iOS device. You can also use the Apps tab to rearrange the position of the apps that are installed on your iOS home screens.

With your iOS device selected on the left side of iTunes click on the info button at the top of the iTunes window. The info tab allows you to choose what settings you want to use when you sync your calendars, contacts, and email accounts with your iOS device.

You can choose to synchronize your contacts in iTunes using the info tab.

You can choose to synchronize your contacts in iTunes using the info tab.

If you scroll down in the info section you can also set up mail, bookmark and note sync.

If you scroll down in the info section you can also set up mail, bookmark and note sync.

After making changes to the iTunes sync settings click the Sync button in the lower left corner to apply the settings.

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