The trendsetting Apple iPhone 4 was released to high acclaim in June 2010. It shipped with iOS 4 as the standard operating system (now upgradeable up to iOS 7) and was widely regarded as the premier smartphone of the year. While iPhones usually carry a longer shelf life than other phones in their class, after a couple years it is likely that you will begin experiencing software problems such as errors, closing applications, and other increasingly frequent annoyances. Performing a hard reset on your iPhone 4 can, in many cases, resolve these software errors and bring the phone back to life for another cycle.
The iPhone 4 was a major upgrade to its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS. By including the now-standard dual-camera setup, applications such as FaceTime made their global debut alongside this iPhone, and the modern methods of iPhone use became largely standardized. The 1 GHz A4 chipset was one of the most powerful available at the time, and a new level of syncing with iTunes was introduced.
Before moving on with the hard reset procedure, it is very important to make a recent backup of all your applications, contacts and personal data. All of this data will be erased when you reset the iPhone to factory settings. Both the backup and restore process can be performed automatically through iTunes. Any data that is left on the iPhone without being copied in a backup to your Mac or PC will be lost during the reset process.
How to Hard Reset the iPhone 4 without iTunes
The first method that this article will cover uses only the iPhone’s internal iOS, and doesn’t require a connection to iTunes. The process is largely the same whether you are using the original iOS or if you have upgraded. It remains the same even up to iOS 7, so you can use this step-by-step solution regardless of the operating system:
- From the home screen, enter your Settings folder, then go into General.
- Enter the Reset menu at the bottom of the resulting screen.
- Select Erase All Content and Settings, confirm and let the iPhone restart.
Hard resetting the iPhone 4 with iTunes
The first method will wipe the entire internal memory of the iPhone 4, allowing you to immediately begin the restore process and get your iPhone back to working order. If this method does not work, you can also reset the iPhone 4 through iTunes, although this depends on whether you are using iTunes version 10 or 11. The first method this article will cover uses iTunes 10:
- Switch the iPhone off, and open iTunes on your computer.
- Hold the Home button down and connect the USB cable from the computer to the iPhone.
- Release the Home button when iTunes recognizes the connection
- iTunes will prompt you for action with a message saying, “iTunes has detected an iPhone in Recovery Mode.”
- From iTunes, select Restore and let iTunes handle the rest.
If you’ve upgraded to iTunes 11, the process is even simpler and does not require any buttons to be held down. iTunes 11 will offer the option to restore your iPhone directly from the application menu:
- Connect the iPhone to your computer using the USB cable, and open iTunes 11.
- Click on the iPhone button in the upper-right hand corner to open your options menu.
- Click on Restore iPhone, confirm the iTunes alert that will warn you directly afterwards.
- Click on Restore And Update, then on Next, agree to the license agreement and continue.
iTunes will restore the iPhone after a few minutes of initialization, and then ask you to begin restoring your data back to the iPhone. iTunes will save a snapshot of your entire phone’s content and put it back in exactly the state it was in at the moment of your backup.