Returning iOS Devices

So, depending on my conclusion once we know more about the RAM in the new iPad Pros (yeah, I know… I’m making something out of nothing probably) I might end up returning an iOS Device for the first time ever (and getting the 1 TB instead).

I have a feeling that quite a few people here have tested and returned iOS Devices, and thought it would be nice to have a Topic covering what to do.

The process itself seems simple. Keep the packaging, log in to your Account and get a return registered, and wait for pickup.

But what do you do with the device? Do you take extra precautions to protect the data that’s been on the Device while used? Like multiple erases or something?

Your iOS device is already encrypted. When you tap Settings > General > Reset then tap ‘Erase All Content and Settings’ the OS is essentially re-encrypting the files with a key no one knows, then deleting the encrypted file keys. Even if someone could get back the structured, encrypted data it’s still (hopelessly) encrypted. As Apple’s Security guide says,

The “Erase all content and settings” option
in Settings obliterates all of the keys in
Effaceable Storage, rendering all user
data on the device cryptographically
inaccessible. Therefore, it’s an ideal way to
be sure all personal information is removed
from a device before giving it to somebody
else or returning it for service.

Important: Don’t use the “Erase all content
and settings” option until device has been
backed up, as there is no way to recover the
erased data.


Alright. So if I end up returning, all I should worry about doing is turn of Find My iPad and then use the Erase All Content.

As a final step I’d log in to My Apple ID and remove the device from My Devices as well


Thanks for sharing, I find that interesting.

Actually, it seems to have been automatically removed from “Devices” from my Apple ID when i logged out of iCloud before doing the Erase All Data and Content process. But I guess it’s good to check to make sure it’s been removed.

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