It is a good practice to periodically download a complete backup of iPhone to computer using iTunes. If you did not, it is still possible to both Reset and Restore iPhone without using iTunes.
Restore iPhone Without Using iTunes
Ever since its launch on 29 June, 2007, iTunes has been the go to software to Manage, Backup, Reset and Restore iPhone.
However, the problem with iTunes is that it relies upon the users to manually download a backup of their device to computer from time to time.
In short, you won’t be able to use iTunes to Restore iPhone, if you had never made a backup of your device to computer using iTunes or if the Backup of iPhone stored on your computer is old and outdated.
Fortunately, Apple now provides the option to Reset iPhone right on your device and allows you to Restore iPhone using iCloud and Recovery Mode.
Difference Between Reset and Restore iPhone
As mentioned above, the option to Reset iPhone is included right on your device and it can be accessed by going to Settings > General > Reset.
The next screen, provides multiple Reset options like Reset All Settings, Reset Network Settings, Reset Location & Privacy and the option to Factory Reset iPhone (Labelled as Erase All Content & Settings).
If you select, Erase All Content & Settings option, it will erase all the data from your device, without having any impact on the firmware or the iOS operating system installed on your device.
While the Reset process can be used to fix multiple iPhone problems, it cannot be used if your iPhone is locked, stuck on black screen or going through other major problems.
The solution in such cases is to Restore iPhone, which practically wipe out everything from your device, including all Apps, Settings, Operating System and also the Firmware.
1. Reset iPhone Using Settings
All that is required to Factory Reset iPhone is to go to Settings > General > Reset and select Erase All Content & Settings option on the next screen.
On the confirmation pop-up, you can select from Backup Then Erase or Erase Now options, depending on the problem that you are trying to fix.
In both cases, all the data from your device will be erased. Once the Reset process is completed, you will see iPhone starting with the “Hello” screen, promoting you to start the Setup process (Slide to set up).
Follow the onscreen Setup instructions, until you reach “Apps & Data” screen.
On this screen, you can select Set Up as New iPhone or Restore iPhone from iCloud Backup, depending on the problem that you are trying to fix on your device.
2. Restore iPhone Using “Find My” Service
This method works only if you have previously Setup Find My device feature on your iPhone. As you might appreciate, this restriction is designed to prevent the possibility of iCloud being used to unlock stolen iPhones.
Using your computer, visit iCloud.com and sign-in to your iCloud Account. Once you are in iCloud, click on Find My iPhone icon.
When prompted, enter your Apple ID Password to Sign-in to “Find My iPhone” service. On the next screen, click on All Devices and select your iPhone in the drop-down.
On the next screen, select Erase iPhone option to Erase all the data from your device.
When prompted, enter your Apple ID password to Confirm that you do want to Erase all the Data on your iPhone.
Once the data on your iPhone is Erased, you will see it staring with the “Hello” screen, prompting you to Slide to Setup your iPhone.
Follow the setup instructions, until you reach Apps & Data Screen, providing you with different options to Restore iPhone. device.
You can select Restore from iCloud Backup or Setup as New iPhone option, depending on the problem that you are trying to fix on your device.
3. Restore iPhone Using Recovery Mode
Although, Recovery Mode uses iTunes, you can use this method, even if you do not have an iTunes Backup and also if had never connected your device to iTunes.
However, you do need to have the latest version of iTunes installed on your Windows computer (Mac computer will have iTunes installed on it by default).
1. Connect iPhone to computer using its charging cable.
2. Open the Finder on your Mac (macOS Catalina or higher). If you are using an earlier version of macOS or Windows PC, Open iTunes (If iTunes is already open, close iTunes and open it again).
3. Follow the steps below to enter Recovery Mode as applicable for your model of iPhone.
iPhone 8 and later: Press and release Volume UP button > Press and release Volume Down button > Next, Press and hold the Side button (Power Button), until you see the Recovery Mode screen.
iPhone 7/7 Plus: Press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them, until you see the Recovery Mode screen.
iPhone 6 or earlier: Press and hold Home and Side (Power) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them, until you see the Recovery Mode Screen (iTunes Logo and Cable)
Note: Do not release the button as you see iPhone starting with Apple Logo. Continue holding the button, until you see Recovery Mode Screen.
4. Update or Restore iPhone Using iTunes
Once your device enters recovery mode, you will see a pop-up allowing you to either Update or Restore your device.
If you select the Update option, your computer will try to install the latest version of software on your device, without erasing any of its data.
If you select the Restore option, your computer will completely erase the data on your device and install the latest version of software on your device.
In both cases, patiently wait for your computer to download the software on your device. If the download is taking longer than 15 minutes and your device exits recovery mode, allow the download to finish and repeat step 3.
5. Setup iPhone Using Backup or as New Device
After the Update/Restore process is completed, you will find your iPhone starting with the ‘Hello’ screen.
Follow the setup instructions, until you reach ‘Apps & Data’ screen, providing you different Restore options.
You can select, Restore from iCloud Backup or Set up as New iPhone, depending the problem that you are trying to fix on your device.