How can I securely erase or wipe an iPad?

Why Trust Techopedia

Erasing or "wiping" the storage media of an Apple iPad device is fairly easy. Unlike with some other types of hardware devices, Apple has built a single control point for secure deletion directly into the iOS operating system.

With older systems that predate smartphones and tablets, users had to use specific third-party software products to completely delete information on devices in secure ways. The process was often labor-intensive. It’s important to understand that depending on the operating system being used, a simple file deletion may not effectively and securely erase information. In some cases, those who need to dispose of old computers may even resort to methods like using a degausser machine to disrupt the electromagnetic disk settings on the hard drive, or to physically alter a drive to make it impossible to retrieve information.

With the iPad, users simply need to access a feature on the device operating system called "Erase all content and settings." This feature is listed under the Settings>General>Rest menu.

Depending on the type of iPad device operating system, the process can take several hours. Experts also recommend backing up iTunes or other valuable information before wiping the device. This ensures that important music or media is not accidentally thrown away.

Another alternative for completely erasing content on a device is encryption. Some iPad models do offer hardware encryption. On the iPad, device wipe strategies that involve encryption will be less labor-intensive than those where the software has to completely rewrite drive data. On older devices that predated the iPad, encryption can also be an effective shortcut when it comes to making sure that valuable data is not exposed to unauthorized use. The full and secure deletion of data has become important for those who need to dispose of an old iPad or other device.

Techopedia Staff

At Techopedia, we aim to provide insight and inspiration to IT professionals, technology decision-makers and anyone else who is proud to be called a geek. From defining complex tech jargon in our dictionary, to exploring the latest trend in our articles or providing in-depth coverage of a topic in our tutorials, our goal is to help you better understand technology - and, we hope, make better decisions as a result.