How to reset an iPhone X: Soft reset, hard reboot, and factory reset

If your iPhone X is frequently freezing or giving you trouble, the first troubleshooting step you’ll want to try is turning it off and on again. But that’s not always the easiest thing to do when your iPhone is acting up. 

In this article, we explain the various ways to reset your iPhone, and we go over how to do each. Some of the reset methods we’ll discuss will wipe your data, but don’t worry — keep reading, and you’ll learn everything you need to look out for.

If your iPhone feels laggy, freeing up some storage could help it run better. Quickly clean up space by removing photo clutter with Gemini Photos. It scans for things like duplicate and blurry pics to help you get rid of them easily.

Download on the App Store

What’s the difference between a restart, a hard reset, and a factory reset on iPhone X?

When it comes to resetting your iPhone X, there are three methods that will help with troubleshooting most of the issues you might be experiencing.

  • Restart: Turning your iPhone X off and back on gives it a chance for apps to close and then start back up correctly.
  • Hard Reset: If your iPhone is unresponsive, a hard reset will force it off and allow you to turn it back on.
  • Factory Reset: This reset completely erases and reinstalls the software on your iPhone. 

As you may have noticed, the list above is ordered from least to most invasive. A restart, for example, will result in very minimal data loss, while a factory reset wipes your phone entirely.


How to restart your iPhone X 

Restarting your iPhone X is good to do from time to time anyways, but if it’s been running slow or generally feeling buggy, a restart is the first thing you’ll want to do. 

Here’s how you restart the iPhone X, which doesn’t have a Power button:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either the Volume Up or Volume Down button.
  2. When the Power Off Screen slider appears, drag to turn your phone off.
  3. To switch the phone back on, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

Soft reset an iPhone X from the Settings

If you’re unable to turn your iPhone off using the steps listed above, you can try doing it through the Settings app.

  1. In the Settings app, tap General.
  2. Scroll down and tap Shut Down.
  3. Slide to power off.
  4. When your phone shuts off, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.
Screenshots: How to force shutdown an iPhone X from the Settings

How to force restart (hard restart) your iPhone X

In the event that your screen is frozen or your iPhone X isn’t responding, you’ll want to try a force restart. You might be familiar with how to do this on older iPhones, but since iPhone X doesn’t have a home button, the process has changed a little bit.

  1. Quickly press the Volume Up button. 
  2. Press the Volume Down button.
  3. Press and hold the Side button until it shuts off completely.
  4. Once it is shut off, press and hold the Side button again to power it back on.

The timing of the button sequence can be a little difficult the first time you try it, so if you’re having problems, wait for a second and then start again at Step 1.


How to perform a factory reset on your iPhone X

If, after you’ve reset your iPhone, it’s still giving you problems, it may have some buggy software. The best thing to do is to erase everything and install a fresh iOS on your iPhone.

  1. On your iPhone X, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  3. Follow the prompts until you see the Apple logo and progress bar.
  4. When it finishes, your iPhone will reboot and start on the Setup Assistant.
  5. Tap through the steps and finish setting up your phone.
Screenshots: How to factory reset an iPhone X

Factory reset an iPhone X using iTunes

If your phone is completely unresponsive or you feel more comfortable using iTunes, you can perform a factory reset on your iPhone by connecting it to your computer.

  1. On your computer, open iTunes.
  2. At the top, click on the iPhone icon.
  3. In the sidebar, make sure you’re on the Summary page.
  4. Click the Restore iPhone… button.
  5. Follow the prompts to confirm the restore.
  6. When it’s finished, your iPhone will reboot and start on the Setup Assistant.

Will an iPhone X factory reset delete all my data?

The short answer: yes. The purpose of a factory reset is to return your iPhone X to the condition it was in when it came from the factory. And to do that, it has to erase everything that’s currently on your iPhone and reinstall the iOS. 

But don’t worry. As long as you have a good backup — whether you use iCloud, iTunes, or some other third-party backup — you’ll still be able to put everything back on your iPhone once the factory reset is done.


Resetting your iPhone is a great troubleshooting tool for when you start to experience issues. Hopefully, all the trouble your phone is giving you will be fixed with a simple restart. However, in case things are a little more severe, there are a couple of alternatives you can try, such as a hard reset or a factory reset. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of backing up your iPhone X, so if you haven’t already been doing that, then backing up prior to any type of reset is a great time to start.

Gemini Photos
Too many iPhone photos?

Gemini Photos: Keep just the good ones