4 Replies Latest reply: Jul 10, 2010 11:33 AM by Luba Cox
Aaron Boyce Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
My phone has been running very sluggish lately and I would like to restore it but I don't have a computer. I'm on 3.1.2 right now so my questions are, if I do Erase All Content and Settings, would that be the same as a restore? Would it keep me on 3.1.2 afterwards, and would it require me to plug the phone into a computer afterwards? Or would it just erase everything from the phone, leave me on 3.1.2, and the phone would be up and running after the Erase All Content and Settings was finished and wouldn't require any additional steps to get the phone working? Also, I'm not concerned about losing my data but it's literally impossible for me to go to any computer to do a restore through iTunes.

iPhone OS 3.1.2
  • 1. Re: Erase All Content and Settings
    Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,340 points)
    I'm on 3.1.2 right now so my questions are, if I do Erase All Content and Settings, would that be the same as a restore?


    No. Erase all content and settings is exactly as provided - it erases all content and settings only, which is a secure erase.

    Would it keep me on 3.1.2 afterwards, and would it require me to plug the phone into a computer afterwards?


    The firmware/OS is not touched. This erases all content and settings only. Your iPhone will be completely erased of everything but the firmware/OS.

    If something goes wrong with this process for whatever reason, you will need to have a computer with iTunes available in order to restore the iPhone with iTunes if needed.
  • 2. Re: Erase All Content and Settings
    Aaron Boyce Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    So what's the difference between Erase All Content and Settings, and a restore? A restore erases everything from the phone and is supposed to fix any issues the phone has, while updating the firmware, so wouldn't Erase Content and Settings do the same thing besides updating the iPhone version?
  • 3. Re: Erase All Content and Settings
    Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,340 points)
    You're welcome.

    No, it is not the same.

    Restoring an iPhone with iTunes completely erases the iPhone including the firmware/OS followed by re-installing the firmware/OS. After the firmware is re-installed, there are two options. Restoring from your iPhone's backup, which is the default selection and if selected, all settings are restored along with the data on the iPhone that is included with the backup. The other option is as a new iPhone or not from the iPhone's backup. If this option is selected, no previous settings are restored and the same for the data on the iPhone that is include with the backup.

    Erasing all content and settings erases all content and settings only - the firmware/OS is not touched.

    This is similar when having a problem with an application on your computer. If no change after deleting the application settings, deleting and re-installing the app will usually resolve it.

    Erasing all content and settings is not the same thing as restoring the iPhone with iTunes. One erases all content and settings only, and the other not only erases all content and settings but it erases and re-installs the firmware/OS also. Big difference.
  • 4. Re: Erase All Content and Settings
    Luba Cox Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the info!

    Erase Content Settings on 3GS and presumably the 4 is done by deleting encryption key. Is that data scrambled? If not, sounds like somebody at Apple could theoretically connect to iPhone and see the data? If they see scrambled data then it's secure, but if they see intact data, that's not good.

    With Restore, firmware and OS re-installed, and Erase Content Settings is performed. Is it the same as above . . . deleting encryption key?