How to wipe iPhone data permanently?

iOS and iPadOS


I got a new iPhone 7 and want to destroy all the data on my iPhone 5S. Factory reset is safe enough to protect the data? I heard the data could be recovered.



Submitted by Fatima.Hamoud10 on Wednesday, January 11, 2017

You can try to restore from an iTunes or iCloud backup. If you've never backed up your old iPhone to iCloud, you will have to set up your iPhone 7 as a new iPhone.

Submitted by Jake on Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Use the erase all content and settings item once then, at the setup screen, don't sign in with your Apple ID. Once you complete setup, use erase all content and settings again. This will insure that the data has been erased twice and also insures that the old encryption keys are removed from the security hardware.

Submitted by Chris on Thursday, January 12, 2017


If the normal erase all content and settings option doesn't work, restore the phone using iTunes. Doing a rstore this way is probably better since the entire device is being formatted and a new copy of the system is downloaded and installed.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Friday, January 13, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Truth to be told nothing is totally secured. For the most part you will be just fine. I also recommend that one do a wipe of your device from your iTunes. Although using the Erase All Contents and Settings would also be my second choice. In the end most people would not be able to recover you data. But, it is possible and for those that really know how to do it. Yes, it is possible. What I have heard is the best way to protect yourself is to delete important apps you don't want people to recover. Like Banks and other important apps that you deem sensitive. Also, to be sure to log out of everything including iCloud and your AppleID. Once that is done. Now do a wipe of your device.


Submitted by Abastat on Monday, March 20, 2017

I just reset back to factory settings by erasing all content and data. It wiped everything and I set it up as a new phone. All data was gone as to be expected and I checked the storage and it was all clean. No I-cloud, no user ID, nothing at all. So, I created a brand new account, downloaded an app that I know how to work and installed it. To my surprise the app appeared as brand new and I had to set everything up however, my old dictionary settings from voiceover for pronunciation were there. I can't imagine how this could be possible. Everything including the user account is different so where is the phone storing these voiceover settings that are not getting erased with a factory reset.

Submitted by Paul Martin on Monday, March 20, 2017

This is my best guess after reading what you said above. The main unclear area: What kind of "new account" did you create? Remember that this isn't Mac OS, and user context doesn't exist for iOS devices as it does for user accounts on Mac OS machines.. Had you used the same iCloud account (my best guess after you mentioned reinstalling apps), then this would include your iCloud settings. Using iCloud drive seems to back up some of your voiceover settings as once noted on this very site, though the post I had the mind to direct to makes an error happen. Should you want to attempt a search for it, try this here link which will run a search for Voiceover Touch and iCloud Drive. Maybe someone else will find something I didn't stumble upon aside from this topic we had going about the Voiceover Touch entry in iCloud drive settings in iOS8.