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How to factory reset iPhone 15 and erase all data

Explore the easy-to-follow instructions for factory resetting an iPhone 15. Whether for troubleshooting or re-sale, ensure a seamless reset, even without the passcode.

Jasmin Woods Updated on Nov 24, 2023 6:44 PM

If you're looking for how to factory reset an iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro or Pro Max:

  • Factory resetting an iPhone 15 erases all data and returns it to its original state, making it handy for selling or troubleshooting persistent issues.
  • Before performing a full reset, try backing up your iPhone to iCloud or a computer. This ensures you can restore all content once the iPhone 15 has been reset.
  • It's easy to factory reset your iPhone 15 if you go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone and choose Erase All Content and Settings to wipe out everything.
  • You can also reset your iPhone 15 to factory setting with your computer. But if you forgot the passcode, the iPhone Unlocker software is useful to erase your iPhone and restore it.

A factory reset on iPhone 15 erases all content and settings, returning the device to its default manufacturer state.

Performing a factory reset on your iPhone 15 involves wiping all personal data and reverting the device to its original settings — a helpful step whether you're preparing to sell, trade it in, give it away, or troubleshoot any persistent issues with your iPhone.

However, before proceeding with the reset, it's crucial to back up all your current data to prevent any loss of important files during the factory reset of your iPhone 15 or any relevant model. This ensures a quick iPhone data recovery by restoring from the most recent backup.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to effectively reset an iPhone 15 to factory settings, ensuring the seamless removal of all private content. Now, follow along to discover how to factory reset iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, Pro, or Pro Max easily and quickly.

How to back up iPhone 15 before a factory reset

Executing a full factory reset will erase your iPhone 15 and permanently remove all content and settings. Therefore, to prevent unnecessary data loss, be sure to back up your iPhone to iCloud or a computer so that you can restore from that backup after resetting iPhone 15 to factory settings.

Here's how you can back up iPhone before a factory reset using iCloud, which will keep all your current photos, videos, messages, and everything else on your iPhone 15.

  • Connect your iPhone 15 to a Wi-Fi network and go to Settings app.
  • Tap on Your name > iCloud and select iCloud Backup.
  • By enabling the Sync this iPhone option, your iPhone will back up data automatically; or select Back Up Now to manually create a backup of your phone.

Make sure there's enough iCloud storage. Once done, you'll find all existing backups listed by date and file size under the Back Up Now option, allowing you to restore iPhone 15 after factory rest.

Another way to keep the entire device data is to back up iPhone to computer via iTunes:

  • Open the latest version of iTunes on a Windows PC or a Mac with macOS 10.14 or older.
  • Connect the iPhone 15 through a USB cable and tap Trust on its screen.
  • Click the device icon in the top-left corner of iTunes windows.
  • Head to Summary > check Back Up Now box in Backups section.

TIP: If you're using Finder on upgraded macOS 10.15 or later, click your phone from the left-hand sidebar under Locations, and follow General > Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac > Back Up Now to back up your iPhone 15 before a factory reset.

How to factory reset iPhone 15 in Settings

In general, there are multiple approaches to factory reset an iPhone 15 and return it to original state, including using the default Settings app on your iPhone, connecting it to a computer with Finder or iTunes, or performing a remote iPhone factory reset through iCloud.

If you have your iPhone passcode, the Settings option provides the most convenient and direct way for factory resetting any iPhone 15 or other models in the iPhone 15 series. This method also required your Apple ID password to erase everything and reset iPhone 15 to its factory settings.

1. Unlock your iPhone 15 and open the Settings app.

2. Navigate to General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.

3. Choose Erase All Content and Settings. If prompted, enter your iPhone passcode or Apple ID password.

Note: The Reset option only allows you to remove specific general settings on your device, such as network settings, keyboard dictionary, layout, location and privacy. For a complete reset of your iPhone 15, opt to erase all content and settings.

4. Confirm to erase all data and content by tapping Continue option.

5. After the erasing process is finished, set up your iPhone 15 and restore backed-up data. You may access restoration resources when it reaches Transfer Your Apps & Data screen.

If the device is frozen or certain iOS issues occur, try a hard reset on your iPhone 15 to forcefully restart it. The hard reset won't erase any data and media, but it's always good to have a backup of your iPhone before any reset.

  • Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, and then the Volume Down button.
  • Long-press the Side button until the Apple logo shows up.
  • Your iPhone 15 will be hard reset and restart.

How to factory reset iPhone without password or Apple ID

To factory reset an iPhone 15, you generally need either the device's passcode or access to your Apple ID. If you forgot your iPhone password or have a second-hand iPhone connected to an unknown Apple ID, initiating a complete factory reset of your iPhone 15/15 Plus/15 Pro/15 Pro Max can be a challenging task, but not impossible.

With a simple interface, the 3rd-party solution iPhone Unlocker provides a straightforward approach to bypass the lock screen, remove forgotten passcode or iCloud activation code, and enables you to completely erase and reset an iPhone / iPad without requiring any passcode or Apple ID password.

Download Now!

for Windows | for macOS

If you can't get into your device no matter how, explore the steps below to factory reset iPhone 15 without password:

Step 1: Install iPhone Unlocker software and run it on your computer.

Step 2. Choose Wipe Passcode mode and hit Start to begin.

Step 3: Attach the iPhone 15 through a data cable, and confirm the device info with Start button.

Step 4: The latest iOS firmware package will be downloaded to your iPhone 15 for factory reset.

Step 5: Enter 0000 in the pop-up box; the resetting process will begin when you hit Unlock.

It may take a few minutes. After the software erases your iPhone 15 and removes all data, settings and personal files, simply go through the setup prompts and restore your iPhone from a backup.

How to reset iPhone 15 without passcode using computer

If your device won't unlock and you forgot your iPhone passcode, it's still possible to restore 15 iPhone to factory settings using a computer, but you'll need to download and install the latest version of iTunes first, which works with Windows, macOS Mojave 10.14 or the earlier.

Follow the steps for iPhone factory reset without password on iPhone 15 using iTunes below; if you have a Mac or MacBook with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, use the default Finder app instead.

Step 1. Link iPhone 15 to your computer with a Lightning cable and open iTunes.

Step 2. Select the iPhone button at the top-left of the iTunes window.

Step 3. From the left panel, click Summary.

Step 4. Hit the Restore iPhone option to fully reset the iPhone 15.

This process will get your iPhone 15 reset to factory settings and clear everything on the device. If you have an older iTunes backup, then use it to restore your iPhone 15 later. In case you're unable to connect it to iTunes / Finder, try forcing your iPhone to enter Recovery Mode:

1. Open iTunes or Finder on computer and connect the iPhone.

2. Put your iPhone 15 into Recovery Mode for a reset:

  • Press the Volume Up key and release it quickly.
  • Press and release the Volume Down key.
  • Keep holding the Power key until the Recovery Mode screen displays.

3. In the prompted dialog box on iTunes window, choose Restore to return iPhone 15 into factory settings.

Afterwards, all content and settings will be erased from the iPhone 15 device. You may use a most recent iTunes backup / Finder backup to restore your iPhone data.

How to factory reset iPhone 15 without password or computer

When you don't remember your passcode and want to permanently delete all personal files and settings before a sale or trade, simply use your Apple ID and password to erase and reset your iPhone 15 to factory settings without passcode or a computer.

Use Erase iPhone to reset iPhone 15 without passcode

With iOS 15.2 or later, it's effortless to execute an iPhone 15 factory reset without using a passcode. Make sure the iOS device is connected to an active Wi-Fi network and has Find My enabled before you choose to erase iPhone 15 without password:

1. Input random passcodes over five times on iPhone until the iPhone Unavailable or Security Lockout alert appears.

2. Tap Erase iPhone at the bottom of the screen and tap it once again to confirm.

3. Enter the Apple ID password to sign out of your Apple account and erase the device.

However, if the iPhone 15 is with updated iOS 17 or newer, the steps vary when proceeding a factory reset on an iDevice:

1. Enter your passcode on the lock screen until you see iPhone Unavailable, try again message.

2. Tap Forgot passcode? option in the bottom-left corner.

3. On next Security Lockout screen, press Start iPhone Reset and enter your Apple ID password to sign out of your device.

4. To permanently remove all your data and settings, tap Erase iPhone to start factory resetting.

Once done, you can get into your iPhone 15 without any passcode and use it as a new one.

TIP: If the iPhone 15 is with iOS 17 or above and using an eSIM card, you have the options to choose Keep eSIM and Erase Data, or Delete eSIM and Erase Data.

Use iCloud to reset iPhone 15 to factory settings without password

How do you start a factory restore on iPhone 15 without physical access to the device? If your iPhone is lost or stolen but has the Find My feature enabled, there is a method to remotely reset your iPhone 15 without needing a password or a computer — using iCloud.

  • Visit iCloud.com on another device you can access.
  • Log in with your Apple credentials.
  • Go to Find My iPhone option from the main screen.
  • In the top selector All Devices, choose your iPhone 15.
  • Click Erase iPhone and confirm it to erase the whole device.

Make sure the device is linked to a Wi-Fi or cellular internet, or iCloud is unable to start a wireless reset to erase your iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 series.

Restore iPhone 15 from backup after a factory reset

The most important thing after successfully factory resetting iPhone 15 / 15 Plus / 15 Pro / 15 Pro Max is to restore your device data from a current backup. You may use an iCloud or iTunes backup to retrieve the data files you still want. Here's how:

  • Follow the instructions to set up iPhone 15 after factory reset.
  • Once you see the Transfer Your Apps & Data (or Apps & Data) screen, choose to restore iCloud backup, or from Mac or PC.
  • Restore iPhone data and complete the setup.

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