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How to Erase and Reset your iPhone 3G

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Given how I’ve had some issues lately with my iPhone 3G battery, part of the Rogers exchange involves sending back my old iPhone to them. Obviously before you do so, it is imperative that you erase and reset your iPhone to its original state–unless you want someone looking through all your emails, texts, and pictures!

Anyways, the magic of iPhone firmware 2.0 is that Apple has included basically a “nuke” button that will erase and reset your iPhone 3G. It’s a pretty simple process that is pretty…boring…but how else would you expect it to be? Since it’s not everyday that people use this erase and reset, I decided to film the “excitement” and this is what I came up with…enjoy!

How to Erase and Reset your iPhone 3G

1. Go to Settings–General–Reset–Erase All Content and Settings (the process will take about an hour–make sure you have sufficient battery life).

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  • Arturo

    I am sending mine tonight, but I didn’t even know there was such a thing!:-( what I did was, hit the Restore button on iTunes before putting it inside the box. Wouldn’t this be enough? or is just a fake restore? Thanks

  • Arturo

    I am sending mine tonight, but I didn’t even know there was such a thing!:-( what I did was, hit the Restore button on iTunes before putting it inside the box. Wouldn’t this be enough? or is just a fake restore? Thanks

  • Arturo

    I am sending mine tonight, but I didn’t even know there was such a thing!:-( what I did was, hit the Restore button on iTunes before putting it inside the box. Wouldn’t this be enough? or is just a fake restore? Thanks

  • Arturo: That will do the same thing…but for people who don’t have access to a computer nearby, this is the next best option. πŸ™‚

  • Arturo: That will do the same thing…but for people who don’t have access to a computer nearby, this is the next best option. πŸ™‚

  • Arturo: That will do the same thing…but for people who don’t have access to a computer nearby, this is the next best option. πŸ™‚

  • LoWd0Wn

    I did the same thing on my 1st gen phone before I sold it. Worked great! I was going to do the whole restore/unlock/jailbreak and then I noticed that so I tried it and it wiped everything.

  • LoWd0Wn

    I did the same thing on my 1st gen phone before I sold it. Worked great! I was going to do the whole restore/unlock/jailbreak and then I noticed that so I tried it and it wiped everything.

  • LoWd0Wn

    I did the same thing on my 1st gen phone before I sold it. Worked great! I was going to do the whole restore/unlock/jailbreak and then I noticed that so I tried it and it wiped everything.

  • Tim Aucoin

    Oh come on iPhone Fan… next time I want to see the entire process… the exciting part is watching that white bar slide across the screen. I’m so disappointed in this video!!! πŸ˜€

  • Tim Aucoin

    Oh come on iPhone Fan… next time I want to see the entire process… the exciting part is watching that white bar slide across the screen. I’m so disappointed in this video!!! πŸ˜€

  • Tim Aucoin

    Oh come on iPhone Fan… next time I want to see the entire process… the exciting part is watching that white bar slide across the screen. I’m so disappointed in this video!!! πŸ˜€

  • SilverGS

    I also need to exchange my iPhone, however, I have spent too much time configuring and adding music, apps to my current phone, I don’t want to go through the hassle of redoing all of this on a replacement.

    1. Is there an easy way to reconfigure a new phone so that it is the same as my current one?

    2. What if you get another iPhone with the same battery issue? Is it really worth replacing the phone?

  • SilverGS

    I also need to exchange my iPhone, however, I have spent too much time configuring and adding music, apps to my current phone, I don’t want to go through the hassle of redoing all of this on a replacement.

    1. Is there an easy way to reconfigure a new phone so that it is the same as my current one?

    2. What if you get another iPhone with the same battery issue? Is it really worth replacing the phone?

  • SilverGS

    I also need to exchange my iPhone, however, I have spent too much time configuring and adding music, apps to my current phone, I don’t want to go through the hassle of redoing all of this on a replacement.

    1. Is there an easy way to reconfigure a new phone so that it is the same as my current one?

    2. What if you get another iPhone with the same battery issue? Is it really worth replacing the phone?

  • Tim: haha…watching the white bar slide across 1mm at time is like watching paint dry. Maybe I’ll film the entire 45 min process just for you…expect a revised video coming up. LOL.

    SilverGS: You don’t need to redo it. Just sync your old iPhone in iTunes. Once that’s done, sync your NEW iPhone but restore from the backup you just created. Voila!

  • Tim: haha…watching the white bar slide across 1mm at time is like watching paint dry. Maybe I’ll film the entire 45 min process just for you…expect a revised video coming up. LOL.

    SilverGS: You don’t need to redo it. Just sync your old iPhone in iTunes. Once that’s done, sync your NEW iPhone but restore from the backup you just created. Voila!

  • Tim: haha…watching the white bar slide across 1mm at time is like watching paint dry. Maybe I’ll film the entire 45 min process just for you…expect a revised video coming up. LOL.

    SilverGS: You don’t need to redo it. Just sync your old iPhone in iTunes. Once that’s done, sync your NEW iPhone but restore from the backup you just created. Voila!

  • SilverGS

    Thanks for the info iPhone Fan, but exactly how do you do that? I mean how do you sync the new iPhone but restore from the backup? Is this a menu option in iTunes? (I’m at the office, so can’t check iTunes right now).

  • SilverGS

    Thanks for the info iPhone Fan, but exactly how do you do that? I mean how do you sync the new iPhone but restore from the backup? Is this a menu option in iTunes? (I’m at the office, so can’t check iTunes right now).

  • SilverGS

    Thanks for the info iPhone Fan, but exactly how do you do that? I mean how do you sync the new iPhone but restore from the backup? Is this a menu option in iTunes? (I’m at the office, so can’t check iTunes right now).

  • ice

    hi when i erase and reset my iphone it hanged up so what i did is i pressed the 2 buttons to close after that i open it again but still it doesnt work. what im seeing is the apple logo. pls advice me what to do tnx

  • ice

    hi when i erase and reset my iphone it hanged up so what i did is i pressed the 2 buttons to close after that i open it again but still it doesnt work. what im seeing is the apple logo. pls advice me what to do tnx

  • ice

    hi when i erase and reset my iphone it hanged up so what i did is i pressed the 2 buttons to close after that i open it again but still it doesnt work. what im seeing is the apple logo. pls advice me what to do tnx

  • Guest

    Cool video, might come in handy *if* I ever decide to get a 3G iPhone…. πŸ˜›

  • Guest

    Cool video, might come in handy *if* I ever decide to get a 3G iPhone…. πŸ˜›

  • Dusty

    Cool video, might come in handy *if* I ever decide to get a 3G iPhone…. πŸ˜›

  • sham

    can someone help me please. I did reset my iphone, it took about an hour, then the apple logo came back on with that lil thing in the middle that spins, then the apple logo did not go away and i could not press anything, and its been like this since last night and finnaly just died, i plugged it in to charge but its not working still, just loads the apple logo and thats all. please email me back if you can help
    theridler1@hotmail.com
    Thanks a lot!

  • sham

    can someone help me please. I did reset my iphone, it took about an hour, then the apple logo came back on with that lil thing in the middle that spins, then the apple logo did not go away and i could not press anything, and its been like this since last night and finnaly just died, i plugged it in to charge but its not working still, just loads the apple logo and thats all. please email me back if you can help
    theridler1@hotmail.com
    Thanks a lot!

  • sham

    can someone help me please. I did reset my iphone, it took about an hour, then the apple logo came back on with that lil thing in the middle that spins, then the apple logo did not go away and i could not press anything, and its been like this since last night and finnaly just died, i plugged it in to charge but its not working still, just loads the apple logo and thats all. please email me back if you can help
    theridler1@hotmail.com
    Thanks a lot!

  • Dalibor

    Hi! I have problem with Iphone 3G 16 GB. I was trying to unlock the iphone but something went to wrong side and now probably operating system is damaged and only icon for connection to the iTunes is showing up. ITunes is not recognizing the phone. Please can you help me! Thanks in advance.

  • Dalibor

    Hi! I have problem with Iphone 3G 16 GB. I was trying to unlock the iphone but something went to wrong side and now probably operating system is damaged and only icon for connection to the iTunes is showing up. ITunes is not recognizing the phone. Please can you help me! Thanks in advance.

  • Dalibor

    Hi! I have problem with Iphone 3G 16 GB. I was trying to unlock the iphone but something went to wrong side and now probably operating system is damaged and only icon for connection to the iTunes is showing up. ITunes is not recognizing the phone. Please can you help me! Thanks in advance.

  • fabio

    Same issue happened to my 3G 16Gb. I waited for an hour and now the device shows the apple logo.

    Any help?

  • fabio

    Same issue happened to my 3G 16Gb. I waited for an hour and now the device shows the apple logo.

    Any help?

  • fabio

    Same issue happened to my 3G 16Gb. I waited for an hour and now the device shows the apple logo.

    Any help?

  • angel

    i reset my iphone to erase all the applications and media that has been installed. at first i was shocked when i saw that ‘no network’ had to call everyone from where i bought it then… i re-sync it to itunes πŸ™‚ it works fine …

  • angel

    i reset my iphone to erase all the applications and media that has been installed. at first i was shocked when i saw that ‘no network’ had to call everyone from where i bought it then… i re-sync it to itunes πŸ™‚ it works fine …

  • angel

    i reset my iphone to erase all the applications and media that has been installed. at first i was shocked when i saw that ‘no network’ had to call everyone from where i bought it then… i re-sync it to itunes πŸ™‚ it works fine …

  • testdummy

    Ho o tried this and for some reason im stuck on the apple logo any help here πŸ™ please help me out thanks!

  • testdummy

    Ho o tried this and for some reason im stuck on the apple logo any help here πŸ™ please help me out thanks!

  • testdummy

    Ho o tried this and for some reason im stuck on the apple logo any help here πŸ™ please help me out thanks!

  • cr0matic97

    The exact thing has happened with my iPhone 3G. I tapped the reset button, and then the white bar came up, and loaded all the way. and then the apple logo was the only thing displaying on the screen. its been a day now. the battery ran out, and i plugged it into a power supply, and the apple logo is what that kept showing up even after that. What do i do? :s

  • cr0matic97

    The exact thing has happened with my iPhone 3G. I tapped the reset button, and then the white bar came up, and loaded all the way. and then the apple logo was the only thing displaying on the screen. its been a day now. the battery ran out, and i plugged it into a power supply, and the apple logo is what that kept showing up even after that. What do i do? :s

  • cr0matic97

    The exact thing has happened with my iPhone 3G. I tapped the reset button, and then the white bar came up, and loaded all the way. and then the apple logo was the only thing displaying on the screen. its been a day now. the battery ran out, and i plugged it into a power supply, and the apple logo is what that kept showing up even after that. What do i do? :s

  • hardwired

    turn the phone off, unplug it from the usb cable, hold down home button, plug phone in while still depressing the home button then open itunes. Itunes will now see your phone and you can start the restore process…

  • hardwired

    turn the phone off, unplug it from the usb cable, hold down home button, plug phone in while still depressing the home button then open itunes. Itunes will now see your phone and you can start the restore process…

  • hardwired

    turn the phone off, unplug it from the usb cable, hold down home button, plug phone in while still depressing the home button then open itunes. Itunes will now see your phone and you can start the restore process…

  • Same thing happened to my 3G 16Gb. I waited for an hour and now the device shows the apple logo, and not working anyother thing

    Any help pleas?

  • Same thing happened to my 3G 16Gb. I waited for an hour and now the device shows the apple logo, and not working anyother thing

    Any help pleas?

  • Same thing happened to my 3G 16Gb. I waited for an hour and now the device shows the apple logo, and not working anyother thing

    Any help pleas?

  • Please any one help me please. I did reset my 3G 16 GB iphone, it took about an hour, then the apple logo came back on with that lil thing in the middle that spins, then the apple logo did not go away and i could not press anything, and its been like this since last night, i plugged it in to charge but its not working still, just loads the apple logo and thats all. please email me back if you can help
    luqmankr@yahoo.com
    Thanks a lot!

  • Please any one help me please. I did reset my 3G 16 GB iphone, it took about an hour, then the apple logo came back on with that lil thing in the middle that spins, then the apple logo did not go away and i could not press anything, and its been like this since last night, i plugged it in to charge but its not working still, just loads the apple logo and thats all. please email me back if you can help
    luqmankr@yahoo.com
    Thanks a lot!

  • Please any one help me please. I did reset my 3G 16 GB iphone, it took about an hour, then the apple logo came back on with that lil thing in the middle that spins, then the apple logo did not go away and i could not press anything, and its been like this since last night, i plugged it in to charge but its not working still, just loads the apple logo and thats all. please email me back if you can help
    luqmankr@yahoo.com
    Thanks a lot!

  • hmm.. I think i’ve just killed my 16gb iphone 3g by using the ‘erase all..’ option from the phone.. *pat on the back*

    just when i was beginning to think this was a really well designed piece of kit! πŸ™

  • hmm.. I think i’ve just killed my 16gb iphone 3g by using the ‘erase all..’ option from the phone.. *pat on the back*

    just when i was beginning to think this was a really well designed piece of kit! πŸ™

  • hmm.. I think i’ve just killed my 16gb iphone 3g by using the ‘erase all..’ option from the phone.. *pat on the back*

    just when i was beginning to think this was a really well designed piece of kit! πŸ™

  • edthatsme

    so i did this… and once the progress bar finished… the apple icon comes up.(like shown at 1min 45sec.) and the a thinking circular thing comes up and its stuck like this…. i left it all night like this and its still there…

    any suggestion

  • edthatsme

    so i did this… and once the progress bar finished… the apple icon comes up.(like shown at 1min 45sec.) and the a thinking circular thing comes up and its stuck like this…. i left it all night like this and its still there…

    any suggestion

  • edthatsme

    so i did this… and once the progress bar finished… the apple icon comes up.(like shown at 1min 45sec.) and the a thinking circular thing comes up and its stuck like this…. i left it all night like this and its still there…

    any suggestion

  • Derek

    Put your phone into DFU mode.

  • Derek

    Put your phone into DFU mode.

  • Derek

    Put your phone into DFU mode.

  • charles carla

    thank for the advice,i follow what you said and it works.thank you so much

  • charles carla

    thank for the advice,i follow what you said and it works.thank you so much

  • charles carla

    thank for the advice,i follow what you said and it works.thank you so much

  • georges81

    Fabio, i have the same problem, how did you repair it?

  • Charcoal_Filter

    I have tried erasing and resetting my iphone 3gs but it is stuck on the apple screen and it keeps on reloading. Can you give me some advice on how to fix this problem?

  • Charcoal Filter

    I reset my iphone last night but it is stuck on the apple screen with the white loading wheel in the middle, can someone help me fix it. Thank You
    lxlchaostheorylxl@yahoo.com

  • andrew_29000

    Sure, I have the same problem but I just got it working again. You have to connect your ipod to itunes, hold own the standby and home button for 10 seconds, then while still holding the home button, let go of the standby button and keep holding the home button for 8 seconds. Itunes should now recognise it as in 'restore mode' then go ahead and click restore on itunes.

  • LNP

    My iphone 3GS have been erasing all content and settings as your command above but it is taking longer than an hour. It has showed the black screen with apple logo for about 5 hours. Could you tell me why? Or because there are a lot of installed program, my iphone is running about 100 installed programs?

  • max191

    Really great information in your blog. Please write more so that we can get more updates in your blog. Thanks a lot!
    regards
    weber grill recipes

  • Miki

    I did this and now my iphone 3gs 16 gigs is stuck at apple logo for 12 hours, is this normal?
    Should i take it to service ?

    Please answer thank you

  • Miki

    Thanks andrew i worked for me.

  • Miki

    the answer is three postst up by Andrew_29000

  • Hang Up the John D Sail

    I updated to new iPhone OS to ver 3.1.2 using iTunes. It said it had Sync'd all before it erased, wiped my phone and installed the new updated OS but when I checked my iTunes afterwards my MP3 songs were missing not on the laptop and not restored on the phone. I used the iPhone/USB supplied cable to transfer.
    Please can anyone help me to fetch back my missing MP3's?

  • Henrik

    hello.

    Got a question for anyone that might be able to help me out.
    I reseted my iPhone 3G today and then pressed on the erase all data button.
    It told me that it would take aprox 1 hour… That was at 5pm and its now 10.10pm, and its still going???

    Could it be that the phone is jailbroken and unlocked that fu**s it up?

    Give me your thoughts on this problem and maybe how I could reset it to the factory ettings again.

    Kind regards,

    Henrik.

  • Bacardi

    I have a very simple question: I purchased an iPhone from China, yes I know now, the moment I received it, I knew there was something wrong with it. No, it was not cheap either, it cost me $300 US dollars. It is alledgedly an iPhone 3G 32GB, so here is the one million dollar question. Is there a way that I can delete the entire contents of the phone (which is really nothing else than a MEDIATEK Flash Disk with 32GB of memory) and load the actual iPhone software? I cannot even download an application, a song, and everything is in Chinese! Can you help me?!

  • Pingback: iPhone: The U.S. Can Look To Europe To See What The iPhone’s Future Will Be Here | Free iPhone 3GS()

  • Larry

    Thanks hardwired, my phone was stuck at apple screen after hitting erase all content and settings. tried your way and now i'm restoring my way back into happiness. waiting for phone to finish and hope it works. again, thanks.

  • Larry

    Bacardi,
    if you bought the same phone i think alot of people did when i was also in china, then it's a fake phone. Only way to tell is the fake one's you are able to remove the back cover and expose the battery, and you were also able to put 2 sim cards in these phones. the original iphone's sim cards are located on top and require either a paperclip or the special tool to retrieve the sim card, and also can't remove the back panel very easily to expose the battery. my hint would have been the 32gb flash drive to tell me it's not a real apple iphone. sorry if any of this is actually your phone. good luck πŸ™‚

  • dorybutt

    i did this but my iphone got stuck on the apple logo and now just keeps resetting and loading and resetting will not start up at all do y0ou know how to fix this

  • Rom

    Guys, i have a problem here. I erased content and settings from my iphone 3gs 32 gb but it was just like held for hours and hours and won't turn on now. Please tell me a way to solve this problem.

  • aliff

    my question here is the same as Bacardi above. But fortunately the iPhone i purchased does have the simcard slot on the top of the phone. So im sure the phone is a real iphone but the only problem is the OS which is fake.. Is there a way for me to erase everything and reinstall the Apple iphone OS in that phone? Thanks a million..

  • Clare

    This happened to me too – before you restore the phone to update it to a new version, a box comes up that says “iTunes will verify the restore with Apple. After this process is complete, you will have the option to restore your contacts,calendars, text messages and other settings.” when will you receive that option? PLEASE, someone answer. I really need some help!
    Thank you..

  • Daaniyal

    after this……apple logo appears and doesnt dissapear…it is stuck on it..then after some googling i found that i have to restore….dfu mode……etc…but then i get an error called error 1601…i am helpless.plz help..i've messed up with ma phone..plz help..

  • I_sham2005

    i also did same problem here what should i do

  • I_sham2005

    i also did same problem here what should i do

  • Vmzamora

    Sure, I have the same problem but I just got it working again. You have to connect your ipod to itunes, hold own the standby and home button for 10 seconds, then while still holding the home button, let go of the standby button and keep holding the home button for 8 seconds. Itunes should now recognise it as in 'restore mode' then go ahead and click restore on itunes

  • Majid

    Very great and helpfull, thank you.

  • Christisurfer

    My iPhone tells me to type in a password! Please help

  • Christisurfer

    My iPhone tells me to type in a password! Please help

  • Vicky

    I erased all content from my 3G S 16GB
     Its been nearly 5hrs and the screen of my iPhone is still showing the Apple logo even once its turned off for Low Batt Reason .. anyone can please help out from this what should i do ???

  • funsho

    thanks a whole lot, it worked for my iphone3gs too…….thanks!

  • Amostaghim11

    this happened to me how did u fix it

  • Naeem

    Thanks for your kind good advice. I did have same problem and was very worried. Thanks again.
    N!
    Dhaka

  • Relaxedvision

    Thanks a million Andrew.Β  I’m pretty dang ignorant, but when I hooked my computer up to the phone, it openedΒ  itunes and wanted to sync. Β  Since this phone is for my niece, I checked the boxes that it is a ‘newΒ  iphone’ and it seems like it’s all done!Β  Just need to hook her up with some phone coverage and we’re good to go.Β Β  πŸ™‚

  • emaan

    WHEN I PRESS ERASE ALL CONTENTS AND SETTINGS ON IPHONE STUCKS ON EMERGERCY CALL ONLY AND INSERT SIM TO ACTIVATE MY IPHONE I INSERTED THE SIM IN IT NOW IT IS SAYING CONNECT TO ITUNES WHEN I CONNECT TO ITUNES IT IS NOT CONNECTING

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