Apple have changed the way some things are done with the release of the iPhone 8. Where previously we would hold the sleep button in the side with the volume button, this now activates the Emergency SOS feature of the iPhone 8. We don’t want that so we have to change the way we reset the phone. Here is how to factory reset the iPhone 8. I’ll show you how to soft reset it too.
As well as changing what the sleep button does, Apple also changed the nomenclature of it. It is no longer the sleep button but merely the side button. So when I say hold down the side button, for the iPhone 8 at least, it means the button on the side formerly known as the sleep button.


It is rare that you should need to perform any kind of reset on an iPhone 8. iOS is much more stable and able to cope with misconfigurations than before. However, apps, user error and general use can still confuse it, requiring a soft or hard (factory) reset. As with previous editions, there are a couple of ways to reset your iPhone 8.


If your phone is slowing down or taking a while to respond, a soft reset should be enough to refresh. It will close any errant apps and restart all processes without causing you to lose data. It is where we would usually start when troubleshooting a phone.
  1. Press and hold the side button on your iPhone 8.
  2. Swipe right on the slider that says power off.
  3. Give the phone a second and then press and hold the side button once more to turn on.
While merely turning the phone off and then on again, this is a soft reset. It does not delete any files or mess with your settings.


A force restart is the middle ground between a soft reset and a factory reset. If the phone isn’t responding or won’t shut down properly, this is what you do.
  1. Press and release the volume up button on the side of the phone.
  2. Press and release the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo appear on screen.
  4. Release the side button and let the phone reboot.
A force restart does not delete any data or settings either but is more of a brute force reboot for when the phone really isn’t co-operating.


If that didn’t work and you have tried other steps to address any issues, you can factory reset the iPhone 8. This will delete all your files, settings, preferences and apps. Essentially it returns the phone back to stock, as if you were using it for the very first time.
The factory, or hard, reset will fix most software issues on an iPhone but will also wipe it of any personal data. I think it is easiest to use iTunes to perform this task. You need to access it to save any of your files and settings anyway so may as well let it factory reset while you’re there.
  1. Connect your phone to your computer and open iTunes.
  2. Save your files and settings in iTunes as required.
  3. Select your iPhone 8 in iTunes and select Summary from the left menu.
  4. Select Restore iPhone in the right pane.
  5. Select Restore in the popup window to confirm your choice.
Once wiped, your iPhone will reboot and load into that initial setup screen you saw when you first got the phone. Set up the basics from there and reconnect it to iTunes once more. You can reload your files and settings direct from iTunes as required.
If you don’t want to use iTunes, you can factory reset your iPhone 8 from within the phone itself.
  1. Select Settings and General.
  2. Select Reset and Erase All Content and Settings.
  3. Enter your passcode or Apple ID to confirm.
  4. Wait for the phone to complete the reset and reboot into the initial setup screen.
I would always suggest using iTunes as it is just easier. However, it’s your phone to do with as you see fit. Once you have saved what you want to save, you can disconnect the phone and use the menus as above to perform the factory reset. You will then need to remove the phone from the USB cable to perform the reset and then reconnect it to reload your config from iTunes. The end result is the same however you do it.

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