iPhone: what does reset do?

A reader has an iPhone question:

“I’m curious about something I found on my iPhone under Settings > General¬†> Transfer or Reset iPhone¬†> Reset.. What happens when you use this feature?”

I’m glad you asked before you tried this one out because it causes big changes to your device.

To access reset options, open Settings.

Then choose General, followed by Transfer or Reset iPhone

You’ll see several options under Reset.


Resetting can be helpful if your phone is acting up and other methods of troubleshooting have failed. It can also be used if you’ve accidentally made changes and aren’t sure how to get back where you need to be.

Reset All Settings, does just that. Your settings will go back to factory defaults, but your content won’t be affected. Erase All Content and Settings is the nuclear option. It wipes every trace of you from the phone including your contents. Make sure everything you need is backed up before you do this. If you’re giving away, trading in, or selling a phone, always make sure to do this. If you’re resetting the phone in hopes of straightening out a problem, once you log back in under your Apple ID, you can go to the App Store and redownload your apps. You’ll have to set up your email, log on to WiFi, and into all of your apps.


Reset Network Settings, wipes out your WiFi passwords and forgets any saved networks. You’ll need to set up all WiFi networks again.


Reset Keyboard Dictionary erases any words you’ve added to the dictionary. This can be especially helpful if you accidentally added a misspelled word to autocorrect. Reset Home Screen Layout take your home screen back to the default layout. If you’ve managed to jumble the layout or lose a favorite icon this can help. Reset Location and Privacy can help if your phone thinks your in the wrong locale or you just want to change it. You can also undo any privacy changes you’ve made.


Resetting can be convenient and a lifesaver if your phone is acting up. But always be very careful.

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