The hard reset is one of the most widely misunderstood and misused features on an iPhone. As a former Apple employee, I can attest to the fact that what most people believe about a hard reset — that it helps to keep their iPhone running smoothly — just isn’t true. In this article, I’ll explain how to hard reset your iPhone and why you shouldn’t unless it’s necessary.
Update for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: When Apple updated the Home button on the iPhone 7, they had to change the buttons associated with a hard reset because on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the Home button doesn’t work unless the iPhone is turned on. I’ll show you how to do a hard reset on both newer and older iPhone models below.
Why Is Hard Resetting My iPhone A Bad Idea? The Nitty Gritty.
A lot of little programs called processes run constantly in the background of your iPhone to perform all of the little tasks we don’t usually think about. One processes keeps the time, another processes touch, and another plays the music – there are a lot of processes.
When you hard reset your iPhone, it cuts power to the logic board for a split second and you interrupt these processes abruptly. This used to cause more problems than it does today. Here’s why:
Apple builds in lots of safeguards to make file corruption almost impossible in the iPhone filesystem. If you want to read the real heady stuff, Adam Leventhal’s blog post about the iPhone’s new APFS filesystem explains how it works.
When you have a choice, however, turn your iPhone off and back on the way Apple wants you to: Press and hold the power button until slide to power off appears on the screen and swipe across the screen with your finger.
Malfunctioning processes can cause issues that cause iPhones to get hot or their batteries to drain quickly. In other words, hard resetting your iPhone can lead to major problems down the line.
Other Reset Options
As you can see in Step#4 above, there were a total of six Reset Options. All the Reset Options have been briefly described below, so that you can make use of them (in case required).
Reset All Settings: Choosing this option will keep all your data intact, but wipe out all your settings on the phone, including all your manual settings and also your Wi-Fi password.
Erase All Content and Settings: As it should be clear from the wordings. This option will erase all your content, settings and just about everything from the device.
Reset Network Settings: Choose this option in case your WiFi appears to be inconsistent and not working as it should be. This option will Reset WiFi Network Settings, flushing all caches and delete temporary files left over from your activities on the phone.
Reset Keyboard Dictionary: iOS Keyboard dictionary is designed to learn as you type and it stores some words in the dictionary, so that it can readily suggest these words to you as you begin to type them.
At times, you may feel that this feature is bothering you and decide to clear the list of words stored in the keyboard dictionary by using this option.
Reset Home Screen Layout: Use this option to reset the home screen to its default layout. This option is useful in case you have messed up the home screen with tons of apps and the situation is so bad that you can’t even reach to the app that you want to use.
Reset Location & Privacy: This option is useful in case you had to change the privacy settings on your phone for some reason and you want the settings back to as they were when the phone was new.
- How To Put Your iPhone or iPad in DFU Mode
How to restart or soft reset your iPhone X?
There are many good things a soft reset or restart can do to your iPhone. Aside from giving your device a fresh start, it can also help eliminate minor glitches affecting an app or iOS functions. For starters, follow these steps to restart or soft reset your iPhone X:
- Press and hold the Side button and either the Volume buttons until the slide to power off screen appears.
- Drag the slider to turn your iPhone X completely off.
- After your iPhone turns off, press and hold the Side button again until the Apple logo appears.
Your iPhone then reboots.
In iOS 11 or later versions, you can now turn off your iOS device through the settings menu. Here’s how:
- Tap Settings from the Home screen.
- Tap General.
- Scroll to and tap the option to Shut Down. Doing so powers off your iPhone X.
- After a few seconds, press the Side button again to turn it back on.
A soft reset will not affect any data stored on your device so there is no need to fear about losing your important contents after the process.
How to force restart your iPhone X (hard reset)?
A hard reset or force restart is another type of restart that is recommended to deal with software malfunctions causing the iPhone to get stuck, frozen, or become unresponsive. In this state, the usual restart procedures could not be done so you’ll have to force your device to restart instead.
Aside from the new name assigned to some controls, Apple also modified that process in carrying out force restart on the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. In fact, double pressing and holding of button combinations will now activate Emergency SOS on the device. This therefore denotes that the reboot had to move to a more complicated button combination.
Here’s how exactly a force restart is done on your iPhone X:
- Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.
- Then quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
- Finally, press and hold the Side button.
Yes, it’s just a three-step pattern but for first timers, getting it done somehow requires a little struggle. Similar to a soft reset, a force restart won’t affect any data stored on your iPhone so it’s definitely safe.
How to factory reset your iPhone X (master reset)?
A factory reset erases all information stored on your iPhone and essentially reverts your device back to the way it was when it first came out of the box. All your contents, customized settings and personal information you saved on your iPhone will be deleted. This is why creating a backup is among the key requisites before performing a factory reset. You can backup and reset your iPhone X to iCloud (via iPhone X settings menu) or to iTunes on a Windows PC or Mac computers. Once the backup has been created, you’re all set to start the wiping process.
Follow these steps to factory reset or master reset your iPhone X through the Settings menu:
- Tap Settings from Home.
- Tap General.
- Tap Reset.
- Select the option to Erase All Content and Settings.
- If prompted, enter your passcode to continue.
- Tap Erase iPhone to confirm action.
It could take several minutes for your iPhone X to complete the factory reset depending on the number of contents to wipe. After the reset, you can setup your iPhone X again using the iOS Setup Assistant/Wizard during startup from which you may opt to restore from a previous iOS or set up your device as new.
How to reset your iPhone X to factory defaults using iTunes?
Another way to reset your iPhone to factory defaults if the prior method (via Settings menu) is not applicable is using iTunes. In this case, you will need to use a computer (Windows or Mac) with the latest version of operating system and iTunes software installed. Once you have everything ready, follow these steps:
- Connect your iPhone X to the computer using the supplied USB or Lightning cable.
- Open iTunes on the computer and wait for it to recognize your iPhone.
- Select your iPhone X from the list of devices in iTunes.
- Click the option to backup your iPhone X to iCloud or to iTunes on this computer, if necessary.
- Then click the Restore button to reset your device.
- If prompted, click Restore again to confirm action.
- Wait until iTunes is finished downloading and installing the new software for your iPhone X then set up your device as new.
A factory reset or master reset is a potential solution to major software issues that could not be rectified by a usual restart or force restart on the device. While you lose your iPhone contents, the chance of getting the problem fixed is higher given that everything including bugs and software glitches will be eradicated in the process.
And that covers everything in this tutorial. If find some troubles in doing any of these methods and need more help in resetting your new iPhone X handset, visit our troubleshooting page for more detailed guides.
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