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How To Factory Reset the iPhone 8

Posted by Jamie on January 24, 2019

Apple changed the way some things are done with the release of the iPhone 8. Where previously we would hold the sleep button on the side with the volume button to reset the phone, this now activates the Emergency SOS feature of the iPhone 8. It’s a valuable feature, to be sure, but we don’t want to accidentally trigger it when we don’t need it purely because of muscle memory, so we have to change the way we reset the phone. Here is how to factory reset the iPhone 8. As an added bonus, I’ll show you how to soft reset it, too.

As well as changing what the sleep button does, Apple also changed the nomenclature of it. It is no longer the sleep button but merely the side button, which is somehow both more and less descriptive than it was before. So when I say hold down the side button, for the iPhone 8 at least, it means the button on the side formerly known as the sleep button.

Resetting the iPhone 8

It is rare that you should need to perform any kind of reset on an iPhone 8, as iOS is much more stable and able to cope with misconfigurations than before. However, apps, user error, and general use can still confuse it, requiring a soft or hard (factory) reset depending on the situation. As with previous editions, there are a couple of ways to reset your iPhone 8.

Soft reset the iPhone 8

If your phone is slowing down or taking a while to respond, a soft reset should be enough to refresh it. It will close any errant apps and restart all processes without causing you to lose data. It can just as accurately be called ‘rebooting,’ and it is where we would usually start when troubleshooting a phone.

  1. Press and hold the side button on your iPhone 8.
  2. Swipe right on the slider that says power off.
  3. Give the phone a few seconds and then press and hold the side button once more to turn it back on.

While merely turning the phone off and then on again, this is a soft reset. It does not delete any files or mess with your settings, so it’s a harmless first step for most troubleshooting.

Force restart the iPhone 8

A force restart is the middle ground between a soft reset and a factory reset. If the phone isn’t responding or won’t shut down properly, this is what you do.

  1. Press and release the volume up button on the side of the phone.
  2. Press and release the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo appear on screen.
  4. Release the side button and let the phone reboot.

A force restart does not delete any data or settings either, but it is more of a brute force reboot for when the phone really isn’t co-operating.

Factory reset the iPhone 8

If that didn’t work and you have tried other steps to address any issues, you can factory reset the iPhone 8. This will delete all your files, settings, preferences, and apps. Essentially it returns the phone back to stock, as if you were using it for the very first time. As a blank slate, odds are any programs that were causing the issue are no longer present.

The factory, or hard, reset will fix most software issues on an iPhone, but will also wipe it of any personal data. I think it is easiest to use iTunes to perform this task. You need to access it to save any of your files and settings while you back up the phone anyway, so you may as well go for the one stop shop approach and let it perform the factory reset while you’re there.

  1. Connect your phone to your computer and open iTunes.
  2. Save your files and settings in iTunes as required.
  3. Select your iPhone 8 in iTunes and select Summary from the left menu.
  4. Select Restore iPhone in the right pane.
  5. Select Restore in the popup window to confirm your choice.

Once wiped, your iPhone will reboot and load into that initial setup screen you saw when you first got the phone. Set up the basics from there and reconnect it to iTunes once more. You can reload your files and settings direct from iTunes as required.

However, using iTunes to perform a factory reset isn’t actually required, even if it is convenient. If you don’t want to use iTunes, you can factory reset your iPhone 8 from within the phone itself.

  1. Select Settings and General.
  2. Select Reset and Erase All Content and Settings.
  3. Enter your passcode or Apple ID to confirm.
  4. Wait for the phone to complete the reset and reboot into the initial setup screen.

I would always suggest using iTunes, as it is just easier. However, it’s your phone to do with as you see fit. Once you have saved what you want to save, you can disconnect the phone and use the menus as above to perform the factory reset. You will then need to remove the phone from the USB cable to perform the reset and then reconnect it to reload your configuration from iTunes. The end result is the same however you do it.

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