How to Do a Hard Restart and Restore for an iPhone

Reset your iPhone to restore original software and settings.
... Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If your iPhone begins to exhibit persistent issues, such as apps that crash or blank screens, you can perform a hard reset to return the device to factory default software and settings. Back up your apps, contacts, media and photos to iCloud before performing the master reset; after you reset the iPhone, you can restore the backups to replace your apps and files. If your iPhone is frozen or unresponsive, perform a soft reset using the hardware keys.

1 Hard Reset

2 Tap the Settings icon

Tap the “Settings” icon in the iPhone home screen, then tap the “iCloud” tab. Slide the “iCloud” toggle to “Off.”

3 Tap the General tab

Tap the “General” tab in the Settings menu.

4 Tap the Reset option

Tap the “Reset” option to open the Reset menu.

5 Tap one or more or of the following options

Tap one or more of the following options to reset your device: “Reset All Settings,” “Erase All Content and Settings,” “Reset Network Settings,” “Reset Keyboard Dictionary,” “Reset Home Screen Layout” and “Reset Location Warnings.” The confirmation dialog box opens.

6 Tap the Reset option-2

Tap the “Reset” option to confirm. The selected options are restored to factory default settings.

7 Restore Backup

8 Tap the Settings icon-2

Tap the “Settings” icon in the iPhone home screen, then tap the “iCloud” tab. The Apple ID prompt opens.

9 Type your Apple ID

Type your Apple ID, then tap “Storage & Backup” and thenthe “iCloud” tab. Slide the “iCloud Backup” toggle switch to “On.” Your backed up apps are automatically restored to the iPhone.

10 Tap the Settings

Tap the “Settings“ arrow to return to the Settings menu, then tap the “iCloud” tab. Slide the “Contacts” toggle switch to “On.” Your backed up contacts are automatically restored to the iPhone.

11 Tap the Photo Stream ” option

Tap the “Photo Stream” option, then tap “My Photo Stream.” Slide the switch to “On” to automatically restore your photos and media.

  • Information provided in this article applies to the iPhone 5 running iOS 7. Instructions may vary slightly or significantly for other models of the iPhone or versions of iOS.
  • You can perform a soft reset to kill all apps and close all open files by pressing the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time. The device powers down and boots back up. Continue to hold the buttons until the Apple logo displays, then release the keys. The soft reset does not delete any data or settings.

Randall Blackburn has worked for several Fortune 1000 companies as a technical writer over the past seven years. He has produced a wide variety of technical documentation, including detailed programming specifications and research papers. Randall has also acquired several years' experience writing web content. Randall lives and works in Austin, TX.