Resetting and restoring a device

There may be times when your device isn’t working the way it should. It could be running slow and/or just acting “funny.”

“This could happen to you” scenarios

My device “froze.”

“All of a sudden, my device just froze. Even hitting the Home button doesn’t work!”

My iPhone is acting really weird!

“My iPhone is working, but it seems to be acting really weird.”

Device acting weird

“My sounds aren’t working. I’ve checked settings and have tried a soft-reset, but they still aren’t working correctly.”

Even if you can’t relate to one of these scenarios, you’ll be glad to know how to reset your device. It’s likely that at some point you will face an issue with your device that will require a reset. If this happens, you may want to try one or both of the following reset options:

  • Soft reset
  • Hard reset

You should always start with a soft reset and then test the device to see if the issue gets resolved. If after testing the device you still have problems, you’ll want to try a hard reset. The hard reset is more complicated and takes more time, but may be your only choice.

Soft reset (first option to try)

The soft reset option is like turning the device off and then on again, but tends to be quicker.

Soft reset steps

  • Press and hold the on/off button and the Home button on your device simultaneously until you see the screen go black and then the Apple logo appear on the screen.
  • Enter your passcode.

Hard reset & restore

A hard reset is setting the device back to the way it was when you first got it (i.e., to “factory condition”). This means that all of your data and settings will be cleared and you are starting from scratch. I recommend backing up your device before you follow the steps below to do a hard reset. Check out the Back up your device post for more information on backing up.

Hard reset & restore steps

  • Tap the Settings app on the Home screen (it may be located in a folder).
  • Tap General.
  • Scroll to bottom of screen and tap Reset.
    • Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
    • Tap Erase iPhone. *This will delete all media and data, and reset all settings.
    • Tap Erase iPhone again if prompted.
    • Enter your Apple ID password and tap Erase. The hard reset process will take several minutes.
    • Once the Hello screen appears, slide to set up your device.
    • Tap your desired language.
    • Tap your your country or region.
    • Choose a Wi-Fi network or connect your device to iTunes.
    • Enable Location Services.
    • Set up Touch ID if prompted and desired.
    • Enter a passcode.
    • Confirm the passcode.
    • Tap Restore from iCloud Backup if you backed up your device before you started the hard reset. You can also choose:
      • Set up as new iPhone
      • Restore from iTunes backup
    • Sign into iCloud.
    • Tap the desired backup reference (usually the latest backup).
    • Enter your Apple ID and password to complete reset and restore your backup.

** The last four steps will restore a backup to a new device.

Making Cognitive Connections

Resetting and restoring a device requires quite a few steps. The following cognitive issues play a role in your use of the feature:

  • Attention to Detail — You have to pay attention to the backup that is being restored.
  • Following Directions — You have to follow the directions on the screen when resetting a device.
  • Sequencing — You must make sure that all the steps are completed successfully in order for the reset to work properly.
  • Decision Making — You must decide whether to conduct a soft or a hard reset.
  • Planning — You must plan to backup before doing a hard reset.
  • Memory and/or Organization — You will need to remember your Apple ID password or know where it is written down.

In conclusion…

It is quite possible that at some time you will need to reset a device. The time leading up to a reset can be unsettling and frustrating. It is important to know that there are two different ways to reset your device and the steps required for each. A soft reset is fairly simple and will often remedy the issue; however, there are times when a hard reset may be necessary. Always backup your device before doing a hard reset and restore.