Does "Erase All Contents and Settings" really erase?

iPhoneUserInNYC

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 15, 2011
7
0
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.
 

AppleFan91

macrumors 68000
Sep 11, 2012
1,622
2,846
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
 
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Mbman81

macrumors member
Jun 5, 2010
91
2
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.
 
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NewYorkRanger

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2010
243
61
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.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2110


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

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,323
7
PDX
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.
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?
 
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scootaru

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2008
306
0
Columbus, OH
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.
HEADLINE: New York man fined $10 billion by RIAA. Man claims he just wanted to erase data from his iPhone.
 
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