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Want to Give Away or Sell Your iPad? You'll Want to Factory Reset it First

Here's how you can factory reset your iPad so you can protect your personal data when handing down or selling it.

Mary-Elisabeth Combs Associate Writer
Mary-Elisabeth is an associate writer on CNET's How-To team. She's a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's English Department, and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. On the How-To team, she covers a little bit of everything. When she's not writing, she's catching up on Formula 1 or reading.
Mary-Elisabeth Combs
3 min read
Apple iPad 2021

If you're selling your old iPad, don't forget to wipe it clean first.

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It's been a big year for Apple fans. There's been new iPhones, Apple Watches and software updates -- and Apple is currently teasing updates for its Mac family with its Scary Fast event. While this has all been exciting, iPads have been a bit left out this year. There have been some rumors of new iPads hitting the market, but in my opinion, it doesn't seem too likely, especially since the October event seems to focus solely on Macs (but we will have to wait and see).

Even though there might not be any new iPads this year, you still might want to switch out or upgrade your current iPad. However, if your old iPad is still in working condition, you might want to hand it down, sell it or repurpose it instead of just hanging on to a device you won't be using. If you want to do any of these things – you'll need to factory reset your iPad before getting rid of it. 

When you give your iPad a factory reset, you protect any sensitive personal data that might be left on your device. The process takes just a few seconds and can save you a whole lot of time and stress. Read on to find out exactly how to wipe your iPad and protect yourself when switching out devices. 

For more, here's the best iPad deals. 

Before you erase, be sure to back up

If you want to keep the data that's already on your iPad before you erase and reset it, you will first need to back up your iPad. There are a couple of ways you can back up your iPad via Mac and Windows PC, but the easiest way is by using iCloud. 

You can back up using iCloud by going to Settings > your name at the top of the page > iCloud > iCloud Backup. Next, choose "Turn on iCloud Backup." Once you've enabled iCloud Backup, your iPad should back up automatically once a day when your iPad is connected to power, connected to the internet and locked. 

Settings menus from an Apple iPad showing the necessary steps to complete a backup and factory reset.

Using Apple's iCloud is the easiest way to back up an iPad. 

Screenshot by Mary-Elisabeth Combs/CNET

If you want to manually back up your iPad you will follow the same steps as above but once you get to iCloud Backup select "Back Up Now." You can view previous backups by going to Settings > your name at the top of the page > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups. 

Settings menus from an Apple iPad showing the necessary steps to complete a backup and factory reset.

Click Back Up Now in iCloud settings to start saving immediately.

Screenshot by Mary-Elisabeth Combs/CNET

A helpful tip for backing up your devices: Make sure whatever you are backing up is connected to both your home internet and a power source. This ensures that you aren't draining your battery or your data while you back up your devices. 

Settings menus from an Apple iPad showing the necessary steps to complete a backup and factory reset.

Apple makes it pretty easy to wipe an iPad from the settings menu.

Screenshot by Mary-Elisabeth Combs/CNET

Time to erase

Now that you've saved your data, it's time to erase your device. Like backing up your iPad, there are two ways to erase your device: with your Mac or Windows PC, or on your iPad. Again, the easier option is to reset directly from the iPad. 

To erase your device go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPad and then tap "Erase All Content and Settings." 

Screenshot of an Apple iPad settings menu
Screenshot by Mary-Elisabeth Combs/CNET

Now that all of your personal data is safely backed up and your iPad is completely wiped, you can fully revel in the joys of selecting a new iPad or other tablets. 

Speaking of that new iPad or tablet, check out CNET's recommendations for iPads and for Android tablets