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iPhone reset startup hello screen.

How to hard reset an iPhone

If your Apple handset has become stuck or you have noticed some strange behaviour, the best and quickest fix that you have available is to perform an iPhone reset. However, both soft and hard iPhone reset are possible, along with restoring an iCloud backup. So, what’s the difference between them and when should we use each one?

Even the most modern mobile phones can simply freeze up or crash. This is especially common, with a lot of newly released apps that have not been tested extensively. The app could drain the power of your device quickly or cause several unintended side effects.

There are three kinds of iPhone reset available to cure these problems. Each has a specific trigger and purpose.

iPhone Soft Reset

The most basic reset is the soft reset. This is a very simple process that involves turning your device off and then on again.

While this may sound like some IT tech support response, it gives your device the opportunity to reboot and perform a background system check. Therefore the phone can circumnavigate issues it would not be aware of while in a running state.

This can rectify issues such as signal or Wi-Fi issues alongside other minor system glitches or crashes.

For example, a very common issue with the iPhone 5 or iPhone SE is with the camera application being unusable and cannot be opened.

By soft resetting, it allows the device to perform a background check of it’s system and implement a software repair on the camera.

iPhone Hard Reset

Alternatively, there is the hard reset, or forced reset.

Even if your iPhone has frozen and cannot be switched off, this should force your device to power off.

The process for this differs slightly between different makes and models of iPhone.

How to hard reset an iPhone with Face ID and the iPhone 8

With the removal of the home button the iPhone X, XR, XS, XS Max and iPhone 11 have a different set of instructions for hard resetting. The iPhone 8 featured a capacitive button instead of a physical home button and resets differently.

  1. Click and release the volume up button.
  2. Click and release the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the side button until, you see the Apple Logo.
  4. Wait 30 seconds for your iPhone to reset.

How to hard reset an iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 again had a capacitive home button instead of a physical push button and it has it’s own unique reset pattern.

  1. Hold the Volume down button.
  2. Hold the Power Button.
  3. Wait until you see the Apple Logo.
  4. Wait 30 seconds for your iPhone 7 to restart.

How to hard reset an iPhone with a home button (iPhone 6 and lower)

  1. Hold the Sleep/Wake Button
  2. Hold the Home Button.
  3. Wait until you see the Apple Logo.
  4. Wait 30 Seconds for your iPhone to restart.

These are the two core methods of restarting your device. They are a very quick way of trying to fix an issue on your Apple iPhone. There is no risk of loss of data or anything like that.

Occasionally with straight-forward software issues another step can be taken, in backing up and restoring your iPhone from iTunes or an iCloud Back-up.

iPhone reset boot up Apple logo screen.

iPhone reset boot up Apple logo screen.

Restoring an iPhone from an iCloud Back-Up

Your iPhone automatically stores a fairly recent version of its data on iCloud. Before you begin it is worth checking how up to date this back-up is.

Check your iCloud backups

By going into settings > iCloud you will see how recent the back up of your data is.

Potentially you may not want to back it up again before you reset due to the fact that some software issues can be carried over between back-ups.

If your back up is only a few days old and pre-dates the issue you were experiencing with your iPhone it may be best to leave the back-up on the system. This data may not currently have the software issue contained on it. If you were to backup your current state it may also save the software issue to the iCloud as well.

If you don’t have a recent version of your device and think it is worth the risk you can back up it’s current state now by pressing: Manage Storage > Backup

Wipe the phone

After you have confirmed that you have a usable, fairly recent back-up, it is time to wipe the phone.

Go to: Settings > General.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and press “Reset > Erase all content and settings”.

You will now be asked to enter your passcode in order to confirm that you are OK with deleting all content on the phone.

iPhone erase settings screen.

iPhone erase content and settings screen.

After a few minutes your iPhone will go through the process of deleting all content and reset it back to the factory settings.

It will be like you have just purchased a new iPhone, aside from the iCloud lock you will have set-up on your device.

Set up the erased iPhone from iCloud

Go thought the set-up process, enter your iCloud username and password and select “Restore iPhone from iCloud Back-up”.

Select the back-up you wish to load onto your phone.

We would advise using one that pre-dates the time that the issue occurred on your device. While you may lose a couple of days or weeks’ worth of data, it has a higher chance of resolving the issue.

The restoration of your device may take several hours with a good connection or several days with a bad one. We would suggest, plugging your device into the charger to ensure it completes the process without running out of power.

Having trouble trying to reset your iPhone?

If you have tried this process and have been unable to fix your issue, we offer iPhone help. We provide a free diagnosis in order to find out what the cause is and what kind of repair you may require.

Get in touch with us today and book your diagnostic test or contact us on live chat.

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