How to Restore iPhone Without iTunes

When the iPhone was first introduced, you had to connect it to a computer running iTunes to get new music, update the OS, subscribe to podcasts, back up content and restore your phone. Now -- to the joy of those for whom the iPhone is their only computing device -- iOS 8 allows you to factory reset your iPhone and then restore your content and settings without connecting to iTunes.

...
A factory reset can help with unresponsive apps and grayed-out options.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Back Up Your iPhone's Content to iCloud

Step

Make sure you have iCloud Backup turned on and perform a backup. Select "iCloud" in the Settings App.

...
Go to "iCloud" in the Settings app.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.
...
Set toggles to the "On" position for content you want backed up.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Step

Set the toggles to the "On" position for all content to be included in the iCloud Backup, such as Photos, Contacts, Mail and Calendar.

...
Scroll down and tap "Backup"
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Step

Scroll down and tap "Backup" in the same iCloud Settings screen.

...
Slide the "iCloud Backup" toggle to the on position and tap "Back Up Now.".
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Step

Slide the "iCloud Backup" toggle switch to the "On" position so that it is green. Then, tap "Back Up Now."

Step

If you already have had iCloud backup turned on, this screen is also where you can check the date of the last backup.

Factory Reset Your iPhone and Restore Your Content

Step

Go to "General" in the Settings app.

...
Tap "General" in the Settings app.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.
...
Select "Reset."
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Step

Select "Reset."

...
Tap "Erase All Content and Settings."
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Step

Tap "Erase All Content and Settings."

...
Tap "Erase iPhone."
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Step

Tap "Erase iPhone." At this point, you may be asked to enter your passcode.

...
Select "Restore from iCloud Backup."
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Step

Be patient as your iPhone restarts and resets. After entering your preferred language and the country where you live, select "Restore from iCloud Backup."

...
Sign in with your Apple ID.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Step

Tap "Sign In With Your Apple ID."

Step

There is an option to "Skip This Step." Use this if you are resetting the iPhone to sell it.

...
Select the latest backup to be used to restore your iPhone.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Step

Select which backup to use to restore your apps, data and settings. IOS 8 keeps the three latest backups made for that iCloud account.

Step

In some cases, the latest backup may not be the one you want to use. If you were having problems with your iPhone that forced you to factory reset, then you might want to use an earlier backup from a time the phone was working more reliably. Otherwise, go ahead and select the latest backup.