How to Wipe an iPhone

Lora Savenko
An affiliate manager with a passion to write about Mac applications
September 27, 2023
7 minutes to read

Our smartphones store tons of information. There are plenty of apps, photos, videos, music, notes, and other files contained on it. Therefore, if you want to sell or gift your iPhone to someone, first you should erase all content and settings on your device. In this article, we will share how to wipe your iPhone and provide some tips on what to do beforehand.


Before we start

We’d like to introduce a free application for iPhone designed to help you easily detect duplicate photos and free up storage on your iPhone. It’s called Phone Cleaner for Media Files and you can download it from the App Store clicking the Download button.

Phone Cleaner for Media Files

Free Download

Tips on How to Prepare an iPhone Before Selling It

Considering the information your phone carries, you will likely want to retain important data stored on it. For this, you can enable the option to backup the iPhone to iCloud. However, we advise checking the last backup and make a new one in the case you need to refresh data. If you have completed this step, go to the next point of this article.

If you have never made a backup of your iPhone, follow the next steps to do this:

  • Prepare the iPhone before its backup. We recommend skimming data on your device and deleting useless files before the backup. It takes time, but it saves storage space on your Mac or in iCloud, whichever you choose. It is very likely that you have lots of unneeded files that can be easily removed. In case you want to make it faster, you may try the free application, Phone Cleaner. Phone Cleaner finds similar photos, the largest media files, and duplicate files between your iPhone and your computer. However, you may skip this step and manage your data later.
  • Back up an iPhone to iCloud. First, connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi so you can start making a backup to iCloud. Then, go to Settings → tap Your Name → tap iCloud → select iCloud Backup → tap the switch to enable this option → tap Back Up Now. You will see the date and time of your last backup below the Back Up Now field.
  • iCloud Backup setting on iPhone

  • Backup an iPhone to a Mac. Launch the last version of iTunes on your Mac and connect your iPhone to it. You can also connect it via an iTunes on a PC. If asked, enter your passcode and allow to Trust This Computer. Choose your iPhone when it appears in the menu bar of iTunes. Select This Computer in the Backup section.

If you wish to save your Health and Activity data, select Encrypt iPhone Backup. In this case, you need to create a password to get access to this data later. Also, it may take more time than an unencrypted backup. In either case, your data is secured by Apple and you can just click Back Up Now without encryption. Under the Latest Backups, you will see the date and time of your actual backup.

iTunes Mac application with iPhone information

How to Wipe an iPhone

After you have successfully created the backup of your iOS device, you can start to erase all data on the iPhone. Remember that as long as you are signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID, any note, contact, photo or other iCloud information deleted manually from iPhone will be automatically removed from the iCloud as well. Therefore, we advise using a correct and quick way to wipe the iPhone. Follow the next steps to delete data from an iPhone while keeping your data in iCloud, so you will be able to restore your data on a new iPhone:

  • Unpair your Apple Watch, if it was connected to your iPhone. For this, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone → My Watch → select your watch → tap on the info icon → tap Unpair Apple Watch.
  • Sign out of iCloud, iTunes & the App Store. For iOS 10.3 or later, go to SettingsYour Name → scroll down and tap Sign Out. Confirm the action by entering your Apple ID and tap Turn Off.

Apple ID settings opened on iPhone

For iOS 10.2 and earlier, go to SettingsiCloudSign Out. Confirm the action by tapping Sign Out once more → tap Delete from My iPhone → enter your Apple ID password. Then, go to Settings → iTunes & App Store → Apple ID → Sign Out.

  • Return to SettingsGeneralReset → select Erase All Content and Settings → enter your passcode → tap Erase to confirm the action.

Please note that it’s important to first signout an iPhone from iCloud, and secondly remove all data from the device.

Choosing Erase All Content and Settings option in iPhone Reset panel


When you intend to gift or sell your iPhone, it is important to wipe it according to Apple factory settings. This helps to protect your personal data from third-parties. Besides that, the new owner will be pleased to get an iPhone that’s like new. If you have any questions, use the comments form below and we will be happy to help you.

Find more useful information about iOS in our previous articles:

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