We show you how to use a few easy steps to get your iPhone back up to speed, or restore it completely via a backup.Has your iPhone frozen? Do you need to reset your iPhone and restore it from a back up? Do you even have a back up? Here’s how to reset, restore and reboot your iPhone next time it hangs.
If you’ve ever watched the IT Crowd, then you’ll be well versed in the mantra ‘have you tried turning it off and on again?’, which is the stock response used by Denholm Industries’ IT department to solve all computer related ills. In real life, well, strangely enough it’s often the way to fix problems that occur on your iPhone, iPad, or even Mac. Modern electronic devices are very complicated, and can get themselves into a bit of a confused state from time to time. Resetting can clear out random problems that cause the device to get stuck in a loop, appear sluggish, or otherwise impair their performance. It’s not a guarantee, but you’d be surprised how often it works.
For bigger issues though, you might find that a trip to the Apple Store is in order, and this often results in a fixed device but with all the data wiped clean. To solve this it’s vitally important that you backup your iPhone either with iCloud or via iTunes. With that safety net in place you can restore your phone quickly and easily, as we’ll show you in this feature, alongside how to reset your iPhone when it starts to have problems.
If your iPhone has become unresponsive, or you’ve shut it down and it won’t turn on again, all is not lost. There is a feature on iOS devices that can be used when the normal modes of operation aren’t working. Thankfully they are very easy to do, and require no tools or specialist knowledge. In fact you just need two fingers and about twenty seconds.
To reset your iPhone hold down the Home button (the one of the front of the iPhone) and at the same time hold down the power button (aka the lock switch) until you see the Apple logo appear on the screen. Now you can let go of the buttons and let the iPhone complete its start sequence. Hopefully everything should now be back to normal. If things are still not as they should be, then it might be a good idea to restore a backup, as some of your files could be corrupted and causing the issue.
If you want to start with a clean slate, then there are a few steps to take. First of all make sure you have a backup ready. You can use either iCloud or iTunes for this. For iCloud go to Settings>iCloud>Backup and ensure that the feature is enabled. To see when the last backup was run look under the ‘Back Up Now’ option where the date and time should be displayed. If you haven’t done one before you can tap the Back Up Now button and follow the instructions.
To use iTunes you’ll need to plug your iPhone into your PC or Mac using the charging lead. Click on the iPhone icon in the top left corner of iTunes, under the Play button, and then in the Backup section of the main screen click the Back Up Now button.
To clear all of the data off your phone you’ll need to do something called a factory reset. Now, bear in mind this will wipe everything, so make sure those backups are done first. To reset your iPhone go to Settings>General>Reset then select Erase All Content and Settings. You’ll get a warning box appear, with the option to Erase iPhone in red. Tap this. You’ll need to enter your Apple ID password to confirm the action, then the iPhone will wipe everything off its storage and go back to the initial setup screen you saw when you first used the device.
With the factory reset completed you’ll need to go through the set up of your iPhone again from the beginning; entering your details, WiFi password, and a few other things until you reach the page where you’re asked how you want to ‘Set Up iPhone’. You have the three options – Set Up as a New iPhone, Restore from iCloud Backup, or Restore from iTunes backup – so select the iCloud option and you’ll be prompted to enter your iCloud account details. Once you’ve done this, and agreed to the Terms and Conditions, your iPhone will begin restoring all of your data.
Obviously this could take a while if you have large backups or a slow internet connection, so don’t attempt this is you’re in a hurry. When the backup is completed your iPhone will reboot, and then it will start the larger job of downloading all of your apps.
As with the iCloud instructions above, follow the steps up to the ‘Set Up iPhone’ screen, then select Restore from iTunes. You’ll be prompted to Connect to iTunes, so plug in your iPhone and you’ll see a screen on iTunes to gives you the option to restore a backup. Click continue and your iPhone will be set up automatically, with the apps being restored from the iTunes backup. When it’s finished you’ll have a freshly cleaned system and hopefully any problems that you were encountering before will now be a thing of the past.
Chances are that it is backed up but the back ups were happening without your knowledge. To find out if you are backing up to iCloud (you get a free 5GB of space) go to Settings > iCloud and tap on Storage. Wait a few seconds for Manage Storage to show up and tap on that. Here you will see your various back ups for your iOS devices (there might even be one for an old iPhone that you could delete if you need more space.)
One of the back ups should say that it it This iPhone, tap on that and you can see what is, and isn’t being backed up. You can basically turn things on and off so that they don’t take up your full 5GB, or you can pay a few pounds a month for more storage.
You may think that some of those apps don’t need to be backed up, after all, you will be able to download them again from the App Store as you already own them. But note that the data may include saved data for games, and other settings and preferences that you would prefer not to lose.
To check when your iPhone last backed up, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and look at the date and time of the last back up. It will have happened the last time you plugged your iPhone in to charge and had WiFi access available. It happens automatically.
If you find that you aren’t backing up this way, we recommend that you go to Settings > iCloud > Back up and turn iCloud Backup On as this is the simplest way to back up and means that you can always recover the data on your phone no matter where you are, all you will need is a connection to the web.