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I want to sell my old iPhone 4 but want to make sure to securely erase the phone before selling it. I know the way to do it on a non-jail broken phone, but I've been told that it isn't totally secure. I jail broke my iPhone 4 because I was told there was a way to securely erase/reformat (the equivalent of writing zeros to the hard drive if I was reformatting my Mac hard drive). Is there a way to do this and if so, can someone please provide a link to the step-by-step process I need to follow.



asked 10 Feb '13, 13:28

sevemiller's gravatar image


closed 01 Dec '13, 23:35

spockers's gravatar image

spockers ♦♦

I'll subscribe to this, interesting to know :)

(10 Feb '13, 13:31) ml05019 ml05019's gravatar image

Thanks for all the responses. I've been advised that the Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content isn't 100% secure. Likewise with simply "Restore the iPhone as a new device". However, if everyone is saying that these are secure, I guess I don't have to worry as I 've done this a few times by now. To reverse the jailbreak, I assume I should just plug it in to iTunes and Restore as a new device?


(10 Feb '13, 14:40) sevemiller sevemiller's gravatar image

That is much correct

(10 Feb '13, 14:44) eYe-I-aïe eYe-I-a%C3%AFe's gravatar image

Ask anyone who has accidentally lost data by having to restore when they had no backup. It's secure enough, because they never got that data back. :P

(10 Feb '13, 14:45) spockers ♦♦ spockers's gravatar image

They are same. Restore to a new device or restore from backup will remove all jailbreak, it can turn back ur iOS to virgin. You must rejailbreak it again. Restore from backup will restore your saved data such as password, bookmark, contacts, or even sms and whatsapp chat. But it won't restore jailbreak settings, apps or tweak.

(10 Feb '13, 15:00) MVLS MVLS's gravatar image

When you click your device's name in iTunes, you are presented with two choices: Restore from backup and Restore the iDevice. At that point, restore from backup will NOT erase your iOS, it'll simply restore... your backup. To the contrary, Restore the iDevice will erase everything and install (by default) latest Apple's iOS compatible. Ath the end of this process of reformating and installing the iOS, you are presented with two choices: configure as a new device or restore from backup. Configure as a new device will keep the original iOS settings and show the device as if it was brand new, and restore from backup will... ..again, restore your backup. Apps passwords (email or so) will only be backed-up if the backup itself is password protected (encrypted). All is perfectly secure.

(10 Feb '13, 15:11) eYe-I-aïe eYe-I-a%C3%AFe's gravatar image

I'm just reading it and can't get rid of one thought. Not to offend the TS, but how paranoid one needs to be to care about destroying their data so much? Are you working for FBI or...? Why do you think someone will bother to forensic scan your device?

(10 Feb '13, 15:19) ml05019 ml05019's gravatar image

Again, thanks for all the responses. This is clearly a very helpful forum/community. I think I'm all set for getting a clean format and readying it to sell. Question definitely answered. As to the the paranoid comment, no offense taken at all. Just remember, I'm the one with my name in plain sight, I only know that you're ml05019. :-) But seriously, before I get rid of old tech stuff, I like to make sure that whatever personal data was once on the device is definitely gone. Sure, call me paranoid. :-)

(10 Feb '13, 15:33) sevemiller sevemiller's gravatar image

Lol your name is Seve?

(10 Feb '13, 15:38) spockers ♦♦ spockers's gravatar image


(10 Feb '13, 15:44) eYe-I-aïe eYe-I-a%C3%AFe's gravatar image

The question has been closed for being "Solved" by spockers, 01 Dec '13, 23:35

  1. Plug it to iTunes;
  2. Click on its name right up corner;
  3. Click Restore the iPhone;
  4. Choose configure as a new device at the end.
  5. Congrats !

answered 10 Feb '13, 13:50

eYe-I-a%C3%AFe's gravatar image


You forgot one crucial step for the security conscience. 6. Settings>AppStore>Click your email address>Sign out

(10 Feb '13, 15:25) JuergenWest ♦ JuergenWest's gravatar image

Then 7. Unplug from Computer, and go to Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings. You will now have an iPhone in sell-able condition that the new owner can chose to activate and configure how ever they wish, etc.

(10 Feb '13, 15:27) JuergenWest ♦ JuergenWest's gravatar image

"Restore the iDevice" completely erases everything and installs (by default) the latest iOS compatible. Then, if you choose at the end of the process "configure as a new device", your device will boot up as it has been just bought new straight from the store.

So there is absolutely no personal data remaining on the device if you chose "restore the device" and at the end "configure as a new device".

(10 Feb '13, 15:48) eYe-I-aïe eYe-I-a%C3%AFe's gravatar image

don't forget to remove it from you icloud account if it was ever on ios 7

(02 Dec '13, 01:46) WalterWhite WalterWhite's gravatar image

Well, there is a tweak in Cydia that will zero free space (don't remember the name), but there's really no need. All you need to do, including on a non-jailbroken phone, is to go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings. All the data is stored using hardware encryption. The key is stored in a certain location, and that option completely obliterates the key, writing over it (IIRC) a few hundred times. That's more than enough to assure that your data is safe. The data is useless and meaningless without that key.


answered 10 Feb '13, 13:50

Micha's gravatar image


That doesn't work on a JB device.

(10 Feb '13, 13:52) eYe-I-aïe eYe-I-a%C3%AFe's gravatar image

Erase all content and settings strongly prohibited on a jb device coz it may turn the device stuck in apple logo

(10 Feb '13, 13:57) MVLS MVLS's gravatar image

@MVLS: Nothing that an iTunes restore won't fix -- worst case, DFU restore.

(10 Feb '13, 14:08) Micha Micha's gravatar image

@Micha, While it's true that a stock restore will get you out of the bootloop, advising people to get in a bootloop in the first place is a waste of time. Just advise them to restore, since that is what they will end up having to do. There is no need for this extra step.

(10 Feb '13, 14:18) spockers ♦♦ spockers's gravatar image

Sorry i mean it will stuck in bootloop not in apple logo :)

(10 Feb '13, 14:51) MVLS MVLS's gravatar image

GO to settings>General>Reset>Erase all content and settings

that's it


answered 10 Feb '13, 15:37

Sali7iust's gravatar image


This is not recommended on a jailbroken device, always best to do a first pass with a restore via iTunes, then the second pass with Erase All Content and Settings

(10 Feb '13, 15:44) JuergenWest ♦ JuergenWest's gravatar image

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Asked: 10 Feb '13, 13:28

Seen: 4,330 times

Last updated: 02 Dec '13, 01:46

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