Apple recommends using a computer to reset the iPhone. You can use a Mac or a PC for this process. However, the software you use depends on what computer you have.
If you have a Mac running macOS Catalina or Big Sur, open the Finder application. If you're using macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, open iTunes. Windows users can use iTunes as well.
Using an iPhone to USB cable, connect the iPhone to the computer. If the iPhone is locked with a passcode, you may be prompted to confirm it in a popup. If you see this prompt, go ahead and enter the passcode.
iTunes will show a list of connected Apple devices—this includes both iPhones and iPads. Look for the iPhone you connected on the list and select it by clicking the phone icon in the top left corner.
- On the right-hand side of the screen, look for a blue button that says Restore iPhone... and click it.
- Click Restore on the popup to initiate the factory reset. This not only resets your iPhone but also applies the latest version of iOS.
- The phone will restart when the reset is complete. If the reset worked, all of the original data will be gone when you unlock the phone.
Congratulations! You've factory reset the iPhone.
During many years of working in the tech industry, one of the biggest problems I dealt with was the dreaded and confusing: storage.