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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to restore your iPhone to a backup or factory settings with Finder in macOS Catalina «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

How to restore your iPhone to a backup or factory settings with Finder in macOS Catalina «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



Restoring your iPhone from a previous backup is still a simple process with your Mac, but how it works has changed since Apple killed iTunes with the MacOS Catalina update. Now you have to use Finder to both back up and restore your iPhone, which may take some getting used to.

If you are using a Windows computer, you would still use iTunes to sync and back up your iPhone, but not in macOS 10.15 and higher. As long as you have backed up your device with Finder or iTunes in macOS Mojave and older, you can restore your iPhone with just a few clicks. We also show how to turn off Find My iPhone (which is necessary to reset your iPhone) and reset your iPhone to factory settings.

Step 1
: Back up your iPhone (Before it is too late)

Before you can restore your iPhone with a backup, you must first back up your device to your computer. You can check out our other guide that shows you how to back up your iPhone, encrypt and password protect your backups, delete old backups and archive them, all with Finder.

If you do not care to restore a backup and just want to go back to the factory settings, with your data dried, skip to Method 2 in step 3.

Step 2: Disable Find My iPhone on Your iPhone

You must also Disable Find My iPhone on Your iPhone. If you try to recover from a previous backup without turning off the feature, Finder will not let you restore the device and will tell you to turn it off. You can do it right when the Finder reminds you, or if you can knock it out in advance.

To do so, go to the Settings app on your iPhone and tap your name at the top. Then go to "Find My" and hit the "Find My iPhone" option.

Toggle "Find My iPhone" and enter your Apple ID password when prompted. Finally, click "Turn Off" and Find My iPhone will be disabled.

Step 3: Reset your iPhone [19659004] Now that Find My iPhone is off, you can restore your iPhone from either a previous backup or to factory settings.

Method 1: Restore from a Backup

To restore your iPhone from a previous backup, connect your device to your computer with a Lightning to USB or Lightning to USB-C cable and open a Finder- window. Click on the left side of your device when it appears under Locations . Click "Restore Backup." On your device screen Summary

Select your backup from the options displayed. Look at the time and date of each backup and select either the latest or most relevant. You can see three different types of backups in your options, including:

  • iCloud : Your most recent backup saved to your iCloud.
  • Local : Your most recent backup saved to your computer. [19659020] Filed : An older backup that cannot be overwritten.

If it is an iCloud, local or archived backup, just click "Restore" to start the process. However, if it is a local (archived or not) backup and it is encrypted, you must first enter your encryption password before pressing "Reset."

Method 2: Restore to default configuration

Using an iCloud or local backup is not the only way to restore your iPhone. To reset your iPhone to the factory settings from the Finder, select the "Reset iPhone" option, click "Reset" again when prompted, and your iPhone will revert to the latest stable iOS software version. [19659002] Note : If you are running public or developer software, your iPhone will revert to the latest public software, so keep that in mind.

When your iPhone is restored to factory settings, it will restart. You can now set your iPhone as new.

Cover Photo and Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

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