How to reset an iPad to its factory settings if a simple restart doesn’t solve your technical issues

iPad 2018
You can reset your iPad if you’re facing a serious issue with it; otherwise, there’s always the option to restart your iPad instead.

  • You can reset an iPad to its factory settings if you’re experiencing significant problems with it or are planning to sell it or give it away.
  • You can restart your iPad with the push of a few button combinations.
  • A restart should clear your iPad’s memory and solve the majority of technical problems.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Apple might try to disguise it, but your iPad is really a computer. And like any computer, it can suffer from problems that are easily solved by restarting the device or, in some cases, resetting it to its factory settings. You might be familiar with the way rebooting a sluggish or glitchy laptop can restore it to working order; the same is true of your iPad.

Restarting an iPad is easy and risk-free; it’s the equivalent of turning it off and back on again. It’s a good option if your iPad is sluggish, the web browser won’t open webpages properly, or you find an app won’t start or is misbehaving.

A reset should be reserved for more serious issues. Called “Erase All Content and Settings” in the iPad’s Settings app, it wipes out all your personal information, installed apps, and data related to your Apple ID. Because it restores the iPad to factory settings, it’s what you should do if you’re selling or giving away the iPad, or having serious problems that repeated restarts have not resolved.

A reset should be your last choice, though. Afterward, you will need to set up the iPad and reinstall your apps and data, either manually or from an iCloud backup.

How to reset an iPad

You should think of a reset as the ultimate “nuclear option” when troubleshooting and resolving issues with your iPad. Unlike a restart which is little more than turning the iPad off and then on again, a reset generally means a factory reset, which erases all the information off of your device and restores it to the way it was when it came out of its box.

You should only do this if you are selling or giving away the iPad, or if you absolutely need to in order to solve a very serious glitch. That’s because you’ll need to restore data from a backup or install all apps and settings manually.

1. If there’s a chance you might need to restore your iPad, make sure it’s backed up to iCloud first. You can do that in the Settings app by choosing “Passwords & Accounts,” “then iCloud Backup,” and tapping “Back Up Now.”

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Back up your iPad before performing a factory reset in case you need to restore your content.

2. When you’re ready to perform the reset, tap the Settings icon and then tap “General.”

3. Tap “Reset” and then tap “Erase All Contents and Settings.”

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Tap “Erase All Content and Settings” to wipe your iPad clean.

4. Tap “Backup Then Erase” if you want to make a copy of your iPad’s content before the reset. If you’ve done this recently or do not need a backup, you can just tap “Erase Now.”

5. Enter your iPad’s passcode.

When complete, your iPad will behave like it did when you first used it, displaying the initial setup screen.

How to restart an iPad with Face ID or the Home button

Normally, it only takes a moment to restart your iPad if it is misbehaving or you need to restart it for troubleshooting. The process is slightly different, though, depending upon whether or not your iPad has a Home button (models without a Home button support Face ID; those with a Home button do not).

1. Display the iPad’s restart screen by doing the following, depending on your iPad model:

  • If you have an iPad with Face ID, press and hold the Power button (located on the side, opposite the volume controls) and either of the volume buttons. After a few seconds, a slider should appear.
  • If you have an iPad with a Home button, press and hold the Power button (which you’ll find on the top or side, depending on which model you own). After a few seconds, a slider should appear.

2. Drag the slider to the right. Your iPad should turn off automatically.

How to reset an iPad or restart and force restart your Apple device 1
After pressing the right button combo, the reset screen should appear.

3. Wait a few moments for the iPad to power down completely. Then press and hold the Power button until the Apple logo appears. Your iPad should restart normally.

How to force-restart an iPad with Face ID or the Home button

A normal reset should solve most iPad problems most of the time. But if your iPad suffers a more serious problem and won’t respond to a restart procedure, you should try to perform a “force-restart” instead. A force-restart does the same thing – it reboots your iPad – but the way you trigger it is a little different.

If you have an iPad with Face ID, press this button combination:

1. Press the Volume Up button for one second and release it.

2. Press the Volume Down button for one second and release it.

3. Press and hold the Power button for five seconds until the Apple logo appears.

If you have an iPad with a Home button, press this button combination:

1. Press and hold the Home button; at the same time, press and hold the Power button.

2. Continue to hold both buttons for about 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo appear.

How to reset an iPad or restart and force restart your Apple device 2
There’s a secondary set of button combos that can force your iPad to reset if the first method does not work.

If a force-restart does not work

Regardless of which kind of iPad you own, if your iPad is having serious technical troubles, the force-restart process might not work. Don’t worry; there’s another solution that can usually get it working again.

1. Connect your iPad to AC power and let it charge for at least an hour. Don’t disturb it while it charges.

2. After that, see if it has restarted on its own.

3. If not, try another force-restart using the procedure above.

If that still does not work, you might have no other option but to contact Apple for service.

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How to factory reset an HP laptop if you’re planning to sell it or experiencing technical problems

HP laptop
You can factory reset your HP laptop in two different ways to return it to its original condition.

  • You can factory reset an HP laptop using Windows Settings to revert the laptop to its original state.
  • You can choose whether you want the reset to wipe out all personal files or only to reset Windows itself.
  • If you can’t boot your HP laptop, you can also reset it using Windows Recovery in Safe Mode.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

You won’t need to factory reset your HP laptop often, but it’s a good thing to do when you plan to sell or give away your laptop, or when you have especially difficult technical problems.

That’s because a factory reset will revert your laptop back to the state it was in when you took it out of the box for the first time (though you generally have the option to keep your files and only reset Windows).

These days you can reset any laptop, including HP models, using the standard reset procedure in Windows 10. See our overview guide on how to reset any Windows 10 computer for more information.

How to keep your Windows drivers up to date to avoid a factory reset

To prevent the need to reset your HP laptop for troubleshooting or to clear out a serious problem, you should keep your computer’s drivers up to date. The good news is that by default, Windows automatically updates many of your laptop’s drivers as needed. But there may sometimes be drivers that need to be updated manually.

You can do that using the Device Manager – to get started, open the Device Manager from the Start button and then find the device that needs updating in the list of devices. Right-click and choose to update the driver. See our guide on how to update or reinstall drivers in Windows 10 for detailed instructions and further information.

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How to reset your Roku streaming device if it’s not functioning properly

pregnant woman and dog setting up TV
There’s several ways to restart or reset a Roku device that’s acting up.

  • You can reset your Roku streaming device with a simple restart or a more permanent factory reset.
  • To restart a Roku, go to the Settings menu, unplug the power cord, or use your remote.
  • To factory reset a Roku, you can use Settings or find the reset button on the back of your device.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If your Roku streaming device is experiencing glitches or not performing the way it’s supposed to, you can reset it in a few different ways.

First, you should try restarting your Roku, as this soft reset does not erase any of your settings or log you out of your channels. In many cases, this will fix channels or apps that are repeatedly freezing or crashing.

Then, if the problem persists, you can perform a factory reset, which is a more holistic solution that restores your device to its original settings.

Here’s how to restart your Roku, or perform a factory reset.

How to restart a Roku device

You can restart your Roku from the Settings menu, or do a forced reboot by pressing a series of buttons on your Roku remote or unplugging the Roku power cord.

To restart your Roku from Settings:

1. From the “Home” menu, scroll down to the “Settings” menu.

2. Select the “Settings” menu by pressing “OK” on the remote.

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Select “Settings.”

3. Scroll down to select the “System” option. Press “OK” on your remote to open the menu.

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Select “System” at the bottom of the list.

4. Scroll down to the “System restart” option and press “OK” on your remote.

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Select “System restart.”

5. Select “Restart.” Your device will shut off, then turn on again. You will see the bouncing Roku logo while the device is booting up.

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Choose “Restart” and your device should begin shutting down.

To reboot your Roku if it’s frozen:

If your Roku encounters a more serious glitch, it may freeze and block you from navigating the menus. In that case, you’ll need to press a series of buttons on your remote control to trigger a reboot.

1. Press the “Home” button five times.

2. Press the “Up” arrow once.

3. Press the “Rewind” button twice.

4. Press the “Fast Forward” button two times.

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These are all the buttons you’ll need to press on your remote.

5. After pressing the buttons in this order, your Roku will eventually turn off. After a few seconds, you should see the bouncing Roku logo, and your home screen will return soon after.

If you find you need to restart your device often for it to function properly, you could be experiencing issues with one of your installed channel apps, or the device itself. You can try deleting and re-installing any newly installed channel apps. Contact Roku support if you continually experience issues with your device.

How to factory reset a Roku device

When you factory reset your Roku, it will be set back to its original state. There are two methods to reset your Roku: selecting the reset option in the Settings menu, or pressing the reset button on the back of the device.

To factory reset your Roku from Settings:

1. Use the “Home” button on your Roku remote to jump to the home screen.

2. Navigate to the Settings menu by scrolling up or down until you find it.

3. Press “Ok” on your Roku remote to select “Settings.”

4. Choose “System” from the available menu items.

5. Choose “Advanced system settings.”

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Scroll to and select “Advanced system settings.”

6. Select “Factory reset” from the available menu items.

7. When prompted, choose “Factory reset everything” and follow the reset wizard’s on-screen instructions.

To factory reset your Roku with the hardware reset button or pinhole reset:

Every Roku device comes with a hardware reset option. Newer devices will have a hardware reset button, while older devices will have a pinhole for resetting.

1. Locate the reset option on the outside of your Roku device. It will either be a tactile button or a pinhole button.

roku reset
Find the reset button on your Roku.

2. Press and hold the button for 10-20 seconds. If your device has a pinhole reset, you’ll need to use an object like a paperclip or bobby pin to press and hold the button.

3. Most Roku devices have an indicator light that will blink rapidly once the reset is complete.

What happens after you reset a Roku

After your device has been reset, it should boot up to the home screen. If you’re not selling the device or returning it, but instead looking to use the device again, you’ll need to reconnect to your home network.

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Log back onto your “Network” in Settings.

Once you’re connected, log in to your Roku account on your computer or from your mobile device to relink it to your account. Your Roku channels will begin downloading after the device has been added to your Roku account. You’ll need to log in to all your channel apps again.

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How to factory reset your iPhone and wipe its data, whether you’re selling it or troubleshooting issues

hands holding phone and typing on laptop
It’s easy to reset your iPhone to its factory defaults, but before you do, make sure to back up all your data.

  • You can reset your iPhone to its factory settings and erase all the information stored on the device.
  • You may want to factory reset your iPhone if you’re getting rid of it or troubleshooting issues.
  • Before you reset your iPhone, be sure to first back up your data so you can restore it later.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you’re experiencing issues with your iPhone, like if it’s freezing or glitching, resetting the device to its factory settings may solve the problem. Or, if you’re selling or giving away your iPhone, you’ll want to reset it so all your personal information is wiped from the device.

Resetting your iPhone to its factory settings will take it back to the basics it came with: no contacts, playlists, pictures, password memory, or anything else you’ve added since the day you bought it.

But before you begin the process of resetting your iPhone, it’s important to back up all your data so you don’t lose your important information. After your iPhone has been reset, you can then restore it with your backup.

Here’s how to factory reset your iPhone and make sure your data is backed up.

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5 things you should know when buying a refurbished or used Mac

Macbook computer
Buying a used Mac can be a smart move if you do the proper research.

  • Buying a used Mac can save you some money, but there are some important things to look out for. 
  • Be sure to test a used Mac — make sure the screen doesn’t have dead pixels and that the ports work, among other operational aspects.
  • You should also verify the Mac’s specs and ensure the battery is in good condition.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

You can save a lot of money by buying a previously owned Mac. As soon as a computer leaves the retailer it loses a lot of its value, but a Mac that is a few years old can still be a great value.

5 things you should know when buying a used Mac

There are always a few risks associated with getting a secondhand computer, though, so here are a few things you need to know about buying a used Mac. 

Refurbished is usually better than used

There’s an enormous market for previously owned Macs out there, and you can buy a used Mac directly from a private owner – or you can get a refurbished model which has the advantage of being inspected, have bad components replaced, certified in good condition and even features warranty coverage. In general, getting a refurbished Mac is a lot safer than buying an unwarranted used computer, and you can find refurbished models at reputable reseller sites and even directly from Apple

Beware of the Mac’s impending obsolescence 

Every Mac, regardless of model or age, will eventually become obsolete.  That means it will no longer be supported by Apple, and you won’t be able to install OS updates and security patches. For a used Mac to be a good value, you want one that puts that obsolescence date as far in the future as possible. It’s a good idea to not invest in a used Mac that is more than three years old, because Apple tends to support its computers for about six years. Also, keep in mind that Apple is moving away from Intel processors. As Macs with Intel chips are phased out in favor of Apple’s own silicon, your used Intel-based Mac may start to encounter obsolescence sooner than you expect. 

Get the details on the used Mac

If you’re buying a Mac from a private seller, you might need that person’s help to get a detailed look at the computer before you make the purchase. The easiest way to find out all the important specs at once – including the year the model was produced – is to ask for a screenshot of the “About This Mac” screen, found in the Apple menu. It will tell you details like the model, serial number, RAM, version of the OS, and more. 

Make sure there isn’t a firmware password

The previous owner might have set up a firmware password, which can prevent you from booting your Mac from a USB port, which might be important during troubleshooting or disaster recovery. To find out, start the Mac and hold down the Option key. If you’re asked for a password, ask the owner to turn it off before you buy the computer.  

Test the Mac to make sure it works properly

If you can spend some time with the Mac before you buy, there are some simple tests you can run to make sure the computer is in good working order. Minor cosmetic blemishes are no big deal, but if the battery doesn’t hold a charge, that might be a dealbreaker. 

Perform a factory reset

When you buy a used Mac, you don’t know the history of what’s been on the hard drive. The previous owner probably performed a factory reset, but there’s no reason to take chances – it might have malware installed even if it looks clean. For details on how to do that, read our article “How to wipe a Mac computer, and reset it to its factory settings.”

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