How to Factory Reset An iPad: Step-by-Step

Olivia Garcia

a close up of a tablet on a table

Performing a factory reset can be a simple solution for various issues that an iPad may encounter, such as slow performance or software bugs, or when passing it to someone else. This process erases all the data, settings, and content on the device, restoring it to its original state. However, it is crucial to back up all the valuable information before initiating a factory reset to avoid permanent data loss.

Users should ensure that their data is safely stored on iCloud or a computer. It is also important to note that all personalized settings will be reset. Moreover, it is essential to approach a factory reset with caution because once started, it cannot be undone, and all information that was not backed up will be irreversibly lost. If the device has Find My iPad activated, users will require their Apple ID and password to complete the process. This security feature prevents unauthorized access to a lost or stolen iPad.

When and Why to Factory Reset Your iPad

A factory reset on an iPad can be a good option in a few scenarios. Maybe you’re selling or giving away your iPad. Or, perhaps your device is running slow. A factory reset might work if there’s a major software problem.

Remember, a factory reset wipes all your data from the device. Here’s what you need to keep in mind before doing one:

  • Back up all your important data beforehand. You can do this using iCloud, your computer, or a compatible external drive.
  • You will need your Apple ID password to proceed. This is needed to fully erase the iPad and remove it from your Apple account.

How to Factory Reset Your iPad Using the Settings App

Here’s how to complete a factory reset using the Settings app:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your iPad.
  2. Go to “General” and then find “Transfer or Reset iPad”.
  3. Tap “Erase All Content and Settings.”
  4. If you have Find My iPad enabled, you’ll be prompted to disable it first.
  5. You’ll be asked to enter your device passcode and Apple ID password to confirm the process.
  6. The iPad will start the reset process which may take some time, especially if you have a lot of data. Don’t turn off your iPad during this process.

How to Factory Reset Your iPad Using a Computer

You can also connect your iPad to your computer to do a factory reset. Here’s how:

Operating SystemSoftware
macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or laterFinder
macOS 10.14 (Mojave) or earlier and Windows PCsiTunes

Follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPad to your computer via a compatible cable.
  2. Open either Finder (on macOS Catalina or later) or iTunes.
  3. Select your iPad on the left side of the window.
  4. On the summary tab, click the “Restore iPad” button.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish the reset.

After a successful factory reset, the iPad will guide you through a setup process as if it’s a brand-new device.

Key Takeaways

  • Resetting an iPad erases all data and restores it to its original settings.
  • Before a reset, backing up data is critical to prevent loss.
  • An Apple ID is required to reset an iPad with Find My iPad activated.

Preparing to Factory Reset Your iPad

Before you factory reset your iPad, take steps to protect your data and ensure a smooth transition.

Backing Up Your Data

Back up all important information to iCloud or your computer. On your iPad, go Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup and tap Back Up Now. For computer backups, connect your iPad to a Mac with Finder or to a PC with iTunes. Choose your device and select Back Up Now.

Signing Out of iCloud and iTunes

You must sign out to protect your account. On your iPad, go to Settings and tap your Apple ID. Scroll down and press Sign Out. Enter your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off.

What to Do If Your iPad Is Disabled

If your iPad is disabled, connect it to a computer and use Finder or iTunes. Put the iPad in recovery mode to restore it. This removes the passcode and factory resets the iPad.

Transferring Your Data

Transfer your data if you plan to move to a new device. Use Quick Start to transfer information directly to a new iPhone or iPad. Check that both devices have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on and follow the prompts.

Understanding Factory Reset

A factory reset restores your iPad to the default settings. It will erase all your data and settings. Use it if you plan to sell or give away your device. Navigate to Settings > General > Reset and select Erase All Content and Settings.

Charging and Connectivity Considerations

Your iPad should be charged and connected to a Wi-Fi network before starting. A full reset can take time so ensure your device has enough power. Have a USB cable ready to connect your iPad to a computer if needed.