How to Reset a Password on an iPad to Erase Data

Restore iOS on your iPad to reset the tablet to factory defaults.
... Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you have lost or forgotten your iPad pass code, you can erase all data and restore the tablet to original factory settings using iTunes while the iPad is connected to your computer with the USB cable. The iTunes Restore feature reinstalls iOS and wipes all existing data from the device. You can also erase all settings and data directly on the iPad, but you must know your pass code to perform this reset action. Once the data is wiped, you can set a new pass code on the tablet.

1 Restore iOS with iTunes

2 Connect the iPad to your computer and launch iTunes

Connect the iPad to your computer and launch iTunes.

3 Click the name

Click the name of the iPad in the Devices section of the left sidebar, then click the “Summary” tab.

4 Click the Restore iPad option Restore iPad in the Summary screen

Click the “Restore iPad” option in the Summary screen. A verification dialog box opens. Read the warning, then click “Restore” to initiate the installation. The licensing agreement opens. Read the agreement, then click “Agree.” iOS is downloaded and installed to the tablet. The iPad restarts with factory default settings and software restored. You can now set up your iPad as if it were a new device.

5 Slide the Slide

Slide the “Slide to Set Up" switch to the right to launch the Setup Assistant on the iPad. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your device.

6 Erase Data on Device

7 Tap the Settings icon

Tap the “Settings” icon in the iPad home screen to launch the app, then tap the “General” tab to open the General Settings menu.

8 Tap the Reset option

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

9 Tap the Erase All Content and Data option

Tap the “Erase All Content and Data” option. The pass code prompt appears if a code is set on the device. Type the pass code, then confirm the action to remove all apps, files, settings and accounts from the tablet. The device is reset to factory default apps and settings.

10 Slide the Slide-2

Slide the “Slide to Set Up" switch to the right to launch the Setup Assistant. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your iPad.

  • A complete reset deletes all accounts, passwords, personal information and saved data from the device. Additionally, your apps and media files are removed.
  • Information provided in this article applies to iOS 7 and iTunes, version 11. Instructions may vary slightly or significantly for other versions of iOS or iTunes.
  • Perform a complete reset prior to selling or giving away your iPad to remove all personal data and files.
  • If you have your pass code, you can erase all data directly on the device per the steps in Section Two. After erasing all data, you can reset the pass code on the tablet.

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.