Does "Erase All Contents and Settings" really erase?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by iPhoneUserInNYC, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. iPhoneUserInNYC macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2011
    Or mark the flash memory pages as clean making them available for future use, and leaving the data as is? I'm preparing my iPhone 4S for sale having upgraded to iPhone 5 and want to make sure the data is actually erased. If it is not, are there any apps that bit-erase the data?

    I used to SSH into my jali-broken iPhone 3 running iOS 3 and could see all the files. I have a nagging feeling that the new owner of the iPhone 4S could do the same by jail-breaking it, if the data still exist.
  2. AppleFan91 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2012
    Indy, US
    As far as I know, yes, it deletes everything except the system files and OS. Meaning that all user data and settings are gone
  3. Mbman81 macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2010
    As far as I know the latest couple of iPhones just have the encryption key dropped to prevent accessing the user data upon wipe. That's why it is so quick.
  4. NewYorkRanger macrumors regular


    Oct 27, 2010
    Yes. Without the encryption key, data is lost forever.

    Devices that support hardware encryption: Erases user settings and information by removing the encryption key that protects the data. This process takes just a few minutes.

    Correct, All but original and 3G use hardware encryption.
  5. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    If you're really paranoid, erase in itunes, fill it up with music (or some other file you don't care about) then erase again. Overwriting the previously erased space is one of the most secure ways to erase.
  6. scootaru macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    HEADLINE: New York man fined $10 billion by RIAA. Man claims he just wanted to erase data from his iPhone.

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