There are various scenarios where you may need to restore your iPhone to the original settings. After restoring to the original settings you can then restore your iPhone from a backup but the problem with this may be the initial conflict could have been caused either by a setting or an application installed on the iPhone. Recently I reset my iPhone to its original settings because I thought it would resolve an issue I was having with Visual Voicemail however it did not end up resolving my issue because after restoring from the backup the conflict that caused Visual Voicemail to not work was restored and so Visual Voicemail stopped working again. I will explain the details behind that in another post but below I describe the process of first restoring the original settings to the iPhone followed by restoring everything else from a backup.

I recommend testing whatever  you are attempting to resolve after restoring to original settings but before restoring from a backup. This way you will know if your issue is resolved by restoring your iPhone to original settings before the backup is restored since restoring the backup could cause the issue again.

How to Restore iPhone to Original Settings:

  1. Backup iPhone: Before you do anything else make sure that you have a current backup of the iPhone. If you have this configured properly you should be able to plugin your iPhone to your computer which will then launch iTunes to backup and sync your iPhone data with iTunes on your computer.
  2. Start iPhone Restore: Now with the iPhone plugged into your computer while viewing iTunes click on the iPhone listed in the left navigation menu. Once highlighted make sure you are on the Summary tab and then click the Restore button located in grey area titled Version as shown in the below image.

    Restore iPhone to Original Settings

  3. Restore iPhone to Original Settings: Now watch as the restore process continues and make sure to not unplug your iPhone during this process. The images below guide you through the restore process and will appear as status windows that pop above the iTunes applications.
  4. Extract iPhone Software:

    Extract iPhone Software

    Preparing iPhone for Restore:

    Preparing iPhone for Restore

    Waiting for iPhone:

    Waiting For iPhone

    Preparing iPhone Software for Restore:

    Preparing iPhone Software for Restore

    Restoring iPhone Software:

    Restoring iPhone Software

    Verifying iPhone Software:

    Verifying iPhone Software

    Verifying iPhone Restore:

    Verifying iPhone Restore

    Restoring iPhone Firmware:

    Restoring iPhone Firmware

    Verifying iPhone Software:

    Verifying iPhone Software

  5. Restore Finish & Restart iPhone: Once the restore has been verified by iTunes your iPhone will reboot and iTunes will display the below message on your computer screen.

    iTunes: iPhone Restore Confirmation and Reboot Notification

  6. Test iPhone Functionality: Remember before you actually complete the restore as noted in the next couple of steps to test your iPhone to see if the problem you were attempting to resolve has been corrected.
  7. Restore From iPhone Backup: Once your iPhone reboots then iTunes will display a screen with numerous options as shown below. Select “Restore from the backup of: <backup name>” from the list and make sure to select the newest backup from the drop down menu. Once the proper options are selected click the Continue button.

    Setup Your iPhone: Restore from iPhone Backup

  8. iPhone Backup Restore Process: Depending on how much data  is on your iPhone it could take awhile for the restore to complete. A status message similar to the previous messages shown during the firmware restore will display as shown in the below image.

    Restoring iPhone from Backup:

    Restoring iPhone From Backup

  9. iPhone Backup Restore Complete: After the status message disappears a message from iTunes will appear letting you know that the restore is complete. The message disappears after 10 seconds but really just flashes to let you know that the backup restore has been completed. Once completed verify that the issue is still resolved if it was actually resolved in step 5.

There may be a couple items that were not restored from the backup properly so be sure to go through your settings to make sure everything is set the correct way. One thing I noticed immediately that was not restored from the backup was custom ringtones I had installed on my iPhone. It was easy enough to load the ringtones back on the phone however there may also be other items that are not backed up and then restored correctly so be sure to check everything you can think of.


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