How to Reset the iPad to Factory Default
The two most common reasons for resetting an iPad to the factory default settings are to prepare the iPad up for a new owner or to overcome a problem with the iPad that simply rebooting the iPad won’t solve.
If you are planning on selling your iPad, or even giving it to a family member, you will want to reset the iPad to the factory default settings. This will wipe your iPad, erasing the settings and data, and returning it to the exact state as when you first opened the box. By wiping the iPad, you allow it to be set up properly by the new owner. You also protect yourself and your personal information by making sure all of the settings and data are erased from the iPad.
Resetting the iPad is also used as a troubleshooting tool. Many common problems can be solved by deleting the offending app and downloading it again from the App Store or powering the iPad down and restarting it, but problems that persist beyond these steps will usually clear up after resetting the iPad.
The first step to reset your iPad is to go into the iPad’s settings. This is the icon that looks like gears. On the left-hand side of the settings, choose the General settings and scroll down the page until you see “Reset”. This is the last option in the general settings.
How to Erase the Content and Settings on Your iPad
Now that you are in the Reset settings, you can choose from several different options.
If you are giving your iPad to a family member who is going to use the same iTunes account, you might want to choose the first option: Reset All Settings. This will leave the data (music, movies, contacts, etc.) but reset the preferences.
But most people will want to choose Erase All Content and Settings. This protects you by making sure all data is off the iPad, which includes information for your iTunes account. If you are selling the iPad on craigslist, eBay, or to a friend or family member who will be using a different iTunes account, choose to erase all content and settings.
Erase the Data on Your iPad
Once you have chosen to erase the content and settings from your iPad, you will need to confirm your selection twice. Because this will set your iPad back to the factory default, Apple wants to double check your choice.
After confirming your choice, the process of erasing the data on your iPad begins. The entire process takes a couple of minutes, and during the process, the Apple logo will appear in the middle of the screen. Once it is done, a graphic asking to be plugged into iTunes will appear.
At this point, the data on the iPad is erased and the iPad is at the factory default. At this point, you are ready to transfer it to a new owner.