Clearing Everything Off an iPad

Reset your iPad before selling it to remove personal information.
... Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When you want to get rid of everything on your iPad, the easiest method is to perform a factory reset that reinstalls the latest version of iOS and returns the tablet to its factory condition. All of your songs, videos, phone numbers, passwords and other personal information are deleted during a factory reset. You can perform the reset from the iPad screen itself, or you can do it through iTunes.

1 From the iPad Screen

2 Connect your iPad to a Wi-Fi network

Connect your iPad to a Wi-Fi network. You can also complete this procedure using a mobile connection, but the process takes longer and you may incur data charges as Apple reinstalls a fresh copy of the operating system.

3 Tap Settings

Tap "Settings" from your iPad's home screen.

4 Tap General

Tap "General," then select "Reset."

5 Select Erase All Content and Settings

Select "Erase All Content and Settings," and then tap "Erase iPad" to delete everything from the tablet. After several minutes or longer, the setup screen appears, allowing you to reconfigure the iPad as if it were new.

6 From iTunes

7 Attach your iPad

Attach your iPad to your computer with a USB cable.

8 Select the tab

Select the tab for your iPad from the iTunes toolbar, then select the "Summary" tab.

9 Click the Restore iPad'' button

Click the "Restore iPad" button, and then click "Restore" to confirm. After several minutes or longer, the setup screen appears on the iPad, allowing you to reconfigure the tablet as if it were new.

  • Information in this article applies to iOS 7 and iTunes 11, and can be used for the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions.
  • If you previously enabled the Activation Lock security feature on the iPad, you must enter the password for the Apple ID associated with the tablet after you reset it; otherwise, Apple will lock you out of the device.
  • Select the "Set Up as New iPad" option when you reconfigure the iPad to avoid restoring the old content back onto the tablet.

Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.