How Do I Wipe My iPhone?

Written by seth silberman
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How Do I Wipe My iPhone?
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Wiping, or erasing, your iPhone of all its memory might save, not ruin, your day. If you lose it, or if someone steals it, they will have access to photographs, video and applications that you may not want them to see. More important than any embarrassment you might have is the need to protect the personal information on your iPhone from being used to steal your identity.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • iPhone
  • MobileMe (optional)
  • Microsoft Exchange (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Sign up for Apple's MobileMe account for one way to remotely wipe your iPhone in the event that it is stolen or lost. Sign up for a free 60-day trial at the Apple store online. Click the blue "Free Trial" button at the bottom right of the "What's New in MobileMe" page. Enter your desired member name, password, personal information, security information and credit card information for when the trial expires.

  2. 2

    Tap the "Settings" icon on your iPhone, then the "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" option near the bottom. Tap the "Fetch New Data" option. Make sure "Push" is on, with the blue "On" switch visible. Go back to the "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" page.

  3. 3

    Tap the MobileMe e-mail account you have set up. If you already have another e-mail account synced to your iPhone, tap the email account that ends in "me.com." Near the bottom of the next page, turn on the "Find My iPhone" option by brushing your finger from left to right, making the blue "On" switch visible. Tap "Allow" in the pop-up box.

  4. 4

    Log into your MobileMe account at me.com. Click on the "Account" icon near the top. It will look similar to your "Setting" icon on your iPhone. Here, however, there is one gear and not three gears as there are on your iPhone. Choose "Find My iPhone" from the left-hand column on the MobileMe screen. If your iPhone is connected to a 3G or an Edge network, a map with a blue circle will appear.

  5. 5

    Click the grey "Remote Wipe" box near the bottom of the screen on the right-hand side. Click the grey box to the left of the "I understand that this action cannot be undone or cancelled" in the pop-up box to confirm. Check the blue "Erase all Data" that will appear in the bottom right corner of the pop-up box. You will receive an e-mail to your Mobile Me account to let you know that your iPhone has started erasing itself. If your iPhone is out of power or not connected to the Internet, once it has power and is connected, the wipe will automatically begin.

  1. 1

    Log into your Outlook Web Access (OWA), the Internet mail access that Microsoft Exchange offers, if you work in a corporate environment. If you can already check your work e-mail on your phone, its Push option is already on. If not, tap the "Settings" icon on your iPhone, then the "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" option near the bottom. Tap the "Fetch New Data" option. Make sure "Push" is on, with the blue "On" switch visible.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Mobile Devices" option on the left-hand column of your OWA screen once it loads. Click the circle to the left of your iPhone listed in the "Device" column. Then click "Wipe All Data from Device."

  3. 3

    Click "OK' in the pop-up box that asks, "Are you sure that you want to wipe all data from your device?" Your iPhone will now start to wipe itself. If your iPhone is out of power or not connected to the Internet, once it has power and is connected, the wipe will automatically begin.

  1. 1

    Tap the "Settings" icon to manually wipe your iPhone if you are selling or returning your iPhone. Even if you have not had your iPhone that long, there may be important personal information that you need to protect.

  2. 2

    Tap the "General" option within "Settings." Brush your finger from the bottom of the screen to the top to scroll the "Settings" screen to the bottom.

  3. 3

    Tap the "Reset" option. Tap the "Erase All Content and Settings" option. Tap the red "Erase iPhone" button in the pop-up box. Make sure that your iPhone is plugged in. The process can take up to two hours.

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