How do you reformat the iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by harpy, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010
    I'm on the verge of getting one, but one thing I want to figure out is how easy it will be to reformat the device if I want to sell it later on eBay?

    If I load the iPad up with pdfs, movies, apps, photos, documents, etc. How easy will it be to scrub the system clean of all of that so I can sell it to someone?

    I get that with iTunes you can get rid of a lot of content, but I suspect I'd be using lots of specialty apps that will transfer content over without using iTunes. So deleting files might not be as effortless as just using iTunes.

    So is there just some format setting that can be done to clean the whole iPad of personal content and get it back to a factory state?
  2. macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2010
    I do not own an iPad, but I guess there's a 'restore' option for the iPad (just like the iPod Touch and iPhone), which brings it back to factory state ;)
  3. macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2010
    Tap system settings, general, reset, erase all content and settings.

  4. macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2010
    Just hit the restore button. Done. However I would still be able to get through that and get mos of your files if I wanted too. So take a song, duplicate it to the size of the iPad's flash memory and copy it over, then restore. That way even if someone get's through it, like after any format, all they will see is the song duplicated hundreds of times.
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010
    Thanks, I think that is the key information I was after. It's too bad there isn't a true reformatting, but an overwriting work around will do in a pinch. Getting rid of personal information is going to be essential to selling it off to a stranger.
  6. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

    Jun 16, 2009
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois

    You mean there is not an "App for that?" :(
  7. macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2008
    Either of these methods will work. See:

  8. macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2007
    Given how long a "Reset all Settings and Content" from the settings app takes, I'm pretty sure it's doing a complete flash erase.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2008
    Newer iPhoneOS devices (and presumably the iPad) use hardware encryption. When you restore/erase, the encryption key is cleared and the data is effectively gone. Should happen instantaneously.

  10. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    If you have Mobile Me, you can even wipe it remotely
  11. macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2007
    Yeah, I stand corrected. The original iPhone does a full erase, the 3GS and iPad just regenerate encryption keys. Either way, it's secure. No need to try and trick iTunes into syncing GBs of garbage first.
  12. macrumors regular

    Nash Bridges

    Apr 2, 2010
    San Francisco
    Does this really wipe it or is it like formatting a hard drive where it just marks the space available for writing and the original data is still there?

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