How do I factory restore an iPhone 4S?

How do I erase an iPhone 4S back to factory settings? I want to erase all personal data.

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JanSt / MOD  Dec. 2, 2011 at 13:30

->settings -> general -> reset (note: you say "erase"! This reset, like "delete" on windows PCs, does not really "erase" or overwrite your naughty files. It merely flags space as available. To be totally safe you'd need to overwrite everything with some nonesense. Can't be done on an iPhone. But hey, what are the odds that MI5 buys your phone? ;). )

MDrX  Dec. 2, 2011 at 14:56

Under the Reset option Jan mentioned there is 'Erase All Content and Settings' - this is the secure wipe, completely delete, never to be recovered by anyone option. Might take a while to complete.

Ye olde iOS used to wipe data but it could be recovered without much hassle. They've gone a few steps further since.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 2, 2011 at 15:09

Thanks :)
Are you sure about that, though? I recently 'restored/wiped' a 64GB iPad2. The 'secure' wipe took about 15 mins - which is awfully fast for 'secure' deletion/wipe of 64GB, if you ask me... But hey, better than those instant wipes on other phones.

MDrX  Dec. 2, 2011 at 15:53

I think (based on some vague, probably wrong memory) with the devices since the 3GS, hardware encryption was introduced so removing the key and wiping the data is enough. With the 3G and before you sat there for hours.

Last time I used it my iPhone 4 16GB took about 15 mins to complete, too.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 2, 2011 at 16:56

oh, alright.
Thanks - I learned something today :D ;)

Treab  Dec. 2, 2011 at 22:05

theres only one way to be sure its wiped....

heres how...

otherwise someone could find the data if they really wanted to.


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