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Used iPod/iPhone/iPad: How To Reset

Jerry from Greensboro, NC writes:

I bought a used iPod touch. How do I insert my ID and password? It has the original owners info and won’t let me do anything.

Apple’s iPod, iPhone and iPad line of touchscreen devices offer some fantastic features, but come at a very hefty price. You did well to go to the secondary market where you can find a gently used unit at an amazing price. What do you do though when the original owner left all of their stuff on it?

The best thing to do is to factory restore the device. Start by going to Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings. You will be prompted to confirm the erase and the device will reboot and erase everything to factory new condition.

If you’re locked out of the unit, or the factory reset option isn’t working you can restore the device using iTunes, too. Apple provides instructions on how to use iTunes and your computer to factory restore the iOS device wiping out everything on it.

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from the device, but leave the other end of the cable connected to your computer’s USB port.
  2. Turn off the device: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until the red slider appears, then slide the slider. Wait for the device to turn off.
  3. While pressing and holding the Home button, reconnect the USB cable to the device. The device should turn on.
  4. Continue holding the Home button until you see the “Connect to iTunes” screen. When this screen appears, release the Home button.
  5. iTunes should alert you that it has detected a device in recovery mode. Click OK, and then click Restore to restore the device.

New is great, but with the yearly releases of electronics a second hand iOS device makes a great purchase. If you’re buying from eBay, make sure to use a reputable seller (check feedback) that has a good return policy and read the auction carefully for all the details of condition and return policy.