How to securely erase an iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by modit, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. modit macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2008
    I'm sending my iPad back to Apple and I was trying to erase it using "Erase All Contents and Settings" but it keeps getting stuck on the Apple logo with 0% on the progress bar (iPad on the iOS).

    Is there anything someone could suggest?

    Thank you!
  2. vega07 macrumors 65816

    Aug 7, 2006
  3. heliface macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2012
    I am rezzing this thread to point out that this answer is baloney. The only way to securely erase a disk is to overwrite the data with more data, which iTunes' restore feature decidedly does not do. Simply erasing or "restoring" a disk may replace the system software, but the data contained on the disk can still be retrieved by those who know how to retrieve it.

    I sincerely hope the above poster's misinformation has not costed anyone.
  4. flavr macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2011
    Go to:

    Settings/General/Reset/Erase all content and settings

  5. MacPleezy macrumors newbie


    Apr 8, 2011
    I agree with your sentiment here, and have wondered about this before. Is there any simple sure fire way to accomplish a 0 out (or better yet multi-pass 0 out) of the flash memory on iOS devices?

    On an somewhat unrelated note, is anyone aware of recovery methods to remove/connect ios solid state media for recovery purposes? To be specific, I'm interested in techniques where the media would need to be removed from its enclosure.
  6. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    There's no need to write over the flash memory, because all iPads have hardware encryption. ( "Erase All Content and Settings" deletes the encryption key, thus making your data inaccessible. On older iOS devices, "Erase All Content and Settings" used to overwrite the data, and thus the process sometimes took hours.

    As for recovery methods like the ones you mention, I have no idea. I think there are some books out on forsenic investigation of iOS devices, if you are interested in the topic.
  7. heliface macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2012
    Patently false. This operation only tells the OS to ignore the "deleted" files, thus making the space available for other uses. Until that space is overwritten by other data it can be recovered.


    Any key can be cracked. And the data can be recovered 100% without an overwrite pass. The only secure way to erase your ipad is zeroing out your drive by overwriting the available space.

    Of course this only applies to people who don't want their deleted files accessed. If you don't really care then a normal Restore should be fine.
  8. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    Restore in iTunes unless you keep top secret files on your laptop, then all you can do is smash it with a sledge hammer and incinerate the pieces. Remember, boys and girls, until that space is over written, your data is not safe! Apple is so interested in the data on all the returned iPads that they will spends hours on each one looking for YOUR personal information. Smash and burn is the only SAFE solution.
  9. wrkactjob macrumors 65816


    Feb 29, 2008
  10. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    And any lock can be opened, even the ones at the biggest banks, if you throw enough time and resources at them. Doesn't mean we don't trust the banks with our money, because people who have the resources to break into banks are few and far between. For most people, depending on the hardware encryption to "erase" you data is just fine. It's not like any Tom, Dick and Harry will be able to break the encryption and read your data.

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