If you own an iPad, then hopefully, you’re enjoying its various features for both work and play. Apple has achieved some outstanding market penetration with its tablet, launching several versions of it in recent years. Sometimes, though, like all electronic devices, people run into software problems with their iPads. If those issues turn out to be severe, then you may decide to do a factory reset of the device. It’s also possible that you might have a different motivation for doing a factory reset, like if you are selling the iPad or giving it away. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about a factory reset and tell you how to do one.
What is an iPad Factory Reset?
Basically, a factory reset of the iPad is exactly how it sounds. You’re wiping the tablet clean, deleting your personal data, the settings that you have configured, and any non-native apps that you have installed. You’re sending the iPad back to the state that it was in when you first got it, assuming that it came to you brand-new.
As we mentioned, you might have elected to take this action because you’re having persistent software issues. Generally speaking, if you choose to do a factory reset, then you will have tried less severe options first, like the so-called soft and hard resets of the device. The factory reset is taking things a step further. The main difference between the soft reset, the hard one, and the factory reset is that with the first two versions, you don’t have to back up the device. That is because your settings will not be affected.
The other reason you’d want to wipe the tablet clean is if you are selling it. You might have set up a sale to someone you know, or a stranger you met through Craigslist or a message board. Alternatively, you might be selling the iPad or trading it to an Apple Store, GameStop, Walmart, etc. In that case, you’d back up the device and then wipe the iPad clean so that no one can have access to your photos, videos, contact lists, etc.
Before we explain how to do the factory reset of the iPad, let’s go over how to back up your device. That way, you’ll have no fear that you might lose any of your precious data.
The Two Ways of Backing Up Your iPad Before a Factory Restore
There are multiple ways of backing up an iPad before you do a factory reset of the device, but the easiest ones are through iCloud and iTunes. First, let’s discuss the cloud. iCloud is a free service for those who use iPads or other Apple devices, although you only receive a certain amount of storage space without being charged. If you crave unlimited storage, like if you want a lot of apps, pictures, videos, etc. on your devices, then you have to pay for that.
To back up the iPad with iCloud, go to Settings, then Your Name. Tap iCloud, and you should see an option to do a backup. Tap it, and the device should back up. It might take a few seconds or as long as a couple of minutes, depending on how much data you have on there and the stability of your Wi-Fi connection. Your iCloud will also back up your iPad automatically every day when it is locked, plugged into power, and connected to Wi-Fi.
To back up your iPad with iTunes, you’ll need to have the latest version of it on your laptop or PC. Connect the iPad with a USB cable that is intended for Apple devices. Pull up iTunes, then look under Devices on the upper left-hand side. You should see a little icon on the iPad. Tap it, and the information for the tablet will come up on the screen. On the right-hand side, there will be the option to do a manual backup. Hit it, and within a few moments, you’ll have a backup of your iPad with all of the settings and data.
Now, you can safely restore the iPad to the factory settings.
How to Restore the iPad to Its Factory Settings
This procedure is extremely easy. Go to Settings, then General. Go to Reset. From there, you should see Erase All Content and Settings. Tap it. The device will ask you for your Apple ID and password. Put them in, and the process will begin. It shouldn’t take longer than a couple of minutes. When it is finished, the iPad will reboot, and then the Welcome screen will come up. The tablet is now back to the original factory settings, and all of your configurations, apps, etc. are gone from it.
Now, You Can Restore the Backed-Up Version of the iPad
If you don’t plan on getting another iPad, then you’re now free to give the device away or sell it, and no further action on your part is needed. If you’re going to get a new iPad, though, and you want to install the backed-up version that is on iTunes or iPad, then you’ll find it easy to do.
For iTunes, connect the new iPad to the computer with the USB cable. Launch iTunes and select the tablet under Devices as you did when you were creating the backup. You will see that backup that you created on the right-hand side of the screen, or possibly you will see multiple backups. Select the one that you want and wait for the restoration process to take place. Within a couple of minutes, the backed-up version should be on your new iPad. You can now safely disconnect and use it.
If you used iCloud, then you’ll need to go to the Apps and Data screen. You will see the option that says Restore from iCloud Backup. Sign in with your Apple ID. Choose Backup should be an option. Hit it, and you will see a list of available backups that you’ve made in iCloud. Every person’s iCloud is unique if you use your Apple ID and password. Therefore, the only backups that will be there are the ones that you made of your own devices, either automatically or manually.
That’s everything that you need to know about the restoration of an iPad to its factory settings. Remember to always do it if you are selling the device or giving it away. If you’re experiencing troublesome software issues, then, as a rule, you should give the soft and hard resets a shot before you resort to this more drastic measure.