How to Restore iPad (and iPad Mini) to Factory Settings

Whether you’re looking to fix a software glitch, prepare your device for resale or gifting, or ship it off for repairs, there are various reasons why you might need to reset your iPad to its factory settings.

In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through multiple methods to perform a factory reset on your iPad. These options include resetting directly on the iPad, using a Mac, or via iTunes. We’ve designed the guide to be easy to follow, step-by-step.

Before You Begin: Back Up Your iPad

If the files and data on your iPad are valuable to you, then we strongly recommend you perform a backup before proceeding.

You have multiple backup options at your disposal. You can back up your iPad to iCloud, or to a Windows PC or Mac.

For detailed instructions, check out our article on how to back up your iPad.

Three Methods to Reset Your iPad to Factory Settings

Resetting an iPad Mini to its original factory settings can be done in multiple ways. You can achieve this directly on the iPad, through a Mac, or via iTunes on a Windows PC. The direct method on the iPad is generally the simplest and most straightforward.

1. Reset Directly on the iPad

To reset your iPad to its factory settings right on the device itself, you can follow these steps:


  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to General and tap “Transfer or Reset iPad”.
  3. Transfer or Reset iPad screen
  4. Tap “Erase All Content and Settings” on the following screen.
  5. Erase All Content and Settings option
2. Reset Using a Mac

If you have a Mac running macOS Catalina (10.15) or later, you can also use it to restore your iPad to factory settings.


  1. Connect your iPad to your Mac and tap “Trust” if prompted.
  2. Open the Finder application.
  3. Look under Locations on the sidebar and select your iPad.
  4. Click “Restore iPad…” in the General tab.
  5. Mac Restore Factory Settings

This process will erase all data on your iPad and install the latest iPadOS. Your iPad will automatically restart once it completes the factory reset.

Note: If you’re signed into Find My, remember to sign out before hitting the “Restore” button.
3. Reset Using iTunes

If you are using a Windows PC or have a Mac running macOS Mojave (10.14) or earlier, you will need to use the iTunes application for this process.


  1. Connect your iPad to your computer.
  2. Open the iTunes application.
  3. Click the device icon located at the top-left corner of the iTunes window.
  4. iTunes Device Button
  5. Under “Settings”, click “Summary”.
  6. iTunes Summary Settings
  7. Click “Restore” and follow the on-screen instructions.
  8. iTunes Restore iPad

Three Ways to Restore Your iPad from a Backup

Whether you’ve recently reset your iPad to factory settings or acquired a new device, restoring your iPad from a backup can be essential. This guide will outline how to restore your iPad using iCloud, Finder on a Mac, or iTunes on a Windows PC.

1. Restore Using iCloud

If you’ve completed a factory reset or have a new iPad and wish to restore it from an iCloud backup, this section is for you.


  1. Set up your new or reset iPad by following the on-screen prompts until you get to the “Apps and Data” screen.
  2. Choose “Restore from iCloud Backup” and sign in using your Apple ID.
  3. Go to “Choose Backup” and select the appropriate iCloud backup for your iPad. (You may need to update your iPadOS or iOS first.)
  4. Finally, sign back in with your Apple ID to restore your apps and data to your iPad.
2. Restore Using the Finder App on Mac

If you have a Mac running macOS Catalina (10.15) or later, the Finder app can also be used to restore your iPad.


  1. Connect your iPad to your Mac using a USB cable and launch the Finder app.
  2. Under “Locations” on the sidebar, find and click “Restore Backup”.
  3. Select the appropriate backup and click “Restore”.
  4. Once your iPad restarts, wait for the synchronization process to complete.
3. Restore Using iTunes on Windows or Older Macs

If you’re using a Windows PC or a Mac running macOS Mojave (10.14) or earlier, iTunes can be your go-to solution for restoring your iPad.


  1. Open iTunes and connect your iPad to your computer via a USB cable.
  2. Locate and click the iPad icon in the top-left corner, then select “Restore Backup”.
  3. Choose the relevant backup and click “Restore”.
  4. After your iPad restarts, wait for it to sync before disconnecting the USB cable.