Help! Securely Deleting all Contents on iPhone 4s. Difference between Restore & Reset

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by VideoNewbie, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. VideoNewbie macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2009
    ok ive been told i have two ways of securely deleting my iphone 4s before i sell it

    1.) go to itunes and do a restore to factory settings which ive been told takes 5 minutes

    2.) go to settings> general> reset>erase all contents and settings which takes hours

    what is the difference between the two? is #2 more secure than #1?
  2. BlueKhufu macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2010
    Number 2 is usually faster on newer devices. See

    Apple suggests option 2 first, then 1 if you have issues. See

    Hope this helps.
  3. luqtotheman macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2012
    number 2 is a lot faster and more simple. I usually do #2. If you are getting it factory unlocked they request that you do method one to finish the unlocking process.
  4. Mr Hill macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Option #1 for the sure fire way to completely factory restore it. I bought a 4S from a girl a few weeks ago and she did the 'erase all contents and settings' and when I got home and activated it some of her pictures and email accounts were still on the phone.
  5. yeah macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2011
    Don't worry, the encryption of the iPhone will keep you safe!
  6. norwegian wood macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    Any risqué photos? Lol
  7. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area

    Neither method should take hours.
    That's just flat out wrong.
    If it is taking hours you've got something very very wrong.

    As to the difference:
    #2 leaves whatever iOS is currently on the device, on the device, and simply erases all files and settings returning the phone to out-of-the-box condition.

    #1 does the same thing except that it goes the extra step of downloading the latest iOS from Apple's servers, deleting the existing iOS from the device, and replacing it with the downloaded version. If the latest iOS has been downloaded recently then it will skip the download and just use the recently downloaded version, provided that it is still the most current version.

    #2 is therefore usually quicker and the end result is the same provided that the existing iOS isn't corrupted in some way.

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