Every now and then you have to reset your iPhone 12. Whether the phone has crashed or developed a software glitch, or you just want to reboot it from scratch, resetting the iPhone 12 is an easy and effective way to get the most out of it. We therefore explain how to reset an iPhone 12, with this guide covering the standard iPhone 12, as well as the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. We also explain how to do a force restart and factory reset, in addition to the normal “soft” reset.
If you want a more general guide on how to reset other iPhone models, check out our previous article on how to reset an iPhone.
How to soft reset your iPhone 1
The easiest way to reset your iPhone 12 is to do a “soft reset”, which is basically the standard reset that doesn’t erase any data from your phone. You should do this if your phone is running a little slower than normal, an app isn’t working properly, or if you have some other minor software glitch that isn’t really interfering with the overall operation of your device.
For the iPhone 12 you can perform a soft reset in the same way as with the iPhone X, XS and 11. Unlike previous models (eg iPhone 7 or 8), a soft reset is completed by two keys at the same time.
Step 1: Keep the Sleep / awake button and the Reduce volume button.
Step 2: Rest your finger on the slider and swipe to the right.
Step 3: Once there is nothing on the screen and it turns black, press and hold the button Sleep / awake button again until the Apple logo appears.
There is another way to do a soft reset. You can also go to Settings> General and scroll down where you will find Shut down. If you tap Shut down, you will see the Drag to turn off slider. You can then repeat step 2 as described above.
How to Restart Your iPhone
Another way to reset your iPhone 12 is to do a ‘hard’ reset, or what Apple officially calls a ‘force restart’. A force restart is recommended when your iPhone becomes largely or completely unresponsive, such as when the screen freezes or goes black. Again, no important data will be lost.
Here’s how to perform a hard reset on your iPhone 12:
Step 1: Press and quickly release Volume up button.
Step 2: Press and quickly release Reduce volume button.
Step 3: Keep the Sleep / awake button until you see the Apple logo.
What if a reboot doesn’t work? Use forced restart to enter DFU mode
Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode allows your iPhone 12 to communicate with iTunes without having to boot iOS. If your iPhone 12’s operating system is in a malfunction where you really can’t do anything with your phone, in most cases by turning on DFU mode you can fix it.
This process will delete everything you had on your device, but in extreme cases, it is the only way to bring the iPhone 12 back to life. Before proceeding with this, check out our guides on how to backup your iPhone with or without iTunes so that you can recover your data after restoring iPhone 12.
Here’s how to enter DFU mode.
Step 1: Connect your iPhone 12 to your computer and open iTunes.
Step 2: Perform a force restart as described in the section above.
Step 3: Release the Sleep / Wake button.
Step 4: Press and hold the volume down button for another 10 seconds.
Step 5: Your iPhone 12 screen should remain black.
Step 6: You will see a message on your computer screen saying “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.”
Step 7: Click OK on this post to start restoring your iPhone.
What’s the difference between a soft reset, force restart, and factory reset?
Restarting your iPhone with the software option – a soft reset – will not lead to data loss. The same goes for a force restart, which allows you to use the hardware keys to reboot your iPhone when the touchscreen is unresponsive. However, a factory reset is very different and could be better described as ‘restoring’ or ‘erasing’ your iPhone 12. That’s because it restores your iPhone 12 as it was when it first left the factory: it erases all content, settings and personal information.
We recommend to factory reset your iPhone as a last resort if you have problems that you cannot solve. That said, you should also use it if you trade in your iPhone, give it to a friend, or if the phone is lost or stolen. However, it is not necessarily a permanent process as a previous backup can be used to restore everything that was once on your phone. If you need to perform a factory reset, read our guide on how to factory reset an iPhone, which also provides an overview of the reset options in Settings> General> Reset.