How to Permanently Delete Data From iPhone

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permanently delete data from iphone

With the growing ubiquity of iPhones, the necessity to ensure data safety has never been more paramount. This article delves into the reasons why iPhone users might feel compelled to permanently delete their data, and why simply pressing the ‘delete’ button might not suffice. From resale considerations to cyber threats, explore the intricate nuances of iPhone data management.

Why People Seek to Delete Data From iPhone Permanently

Every iPhone user, at some point in their tech journey, may feel the need to permanently delete data from their device. While the motives can range from reselling to simply ensuring personal data safety, it’s crucial to understand that merely hitting the ‘delete’ button might not be enough.

When you decide to resell, recycle, or gift your iPhone to someone else, you must be certain that the new user won’t retrieve your old data, intentionally or otherwise. Beyond the risk of personal embarrassment, there are severe implications tied to data breaches, identity theft, and potential cyber threats. In light of this, let’s explore why many seek to permanently delete files on iPhone rather than just erasing them.

Common Scenarios for Permanent Data Deletion

Scenario Description
? Reselling the Device When selling your iPhone, ensuring that the new owner doesn’t get access to your pictures, apps, notes, and other private data is essential. A simple factory reset might not permanently delete iPhone data, leaving fragments that can be retrieved with specialized software.
♻️ Recycling or Disposal E-waste is a growing concern, and as responsible citizens, many choose to recycle their old gadgets. But before you do, it’s crucial to delete data from iPhone permanently to prevent any unauthorized access.
? Gifting Handing down your device to a family member or friend? Wipe iPhone data entirely to offer them a fresh start and to keep your personal details safe.
?️ Protection Against Cyber Threats With the rise in cybercrimes, your deleted files might become a gateway for hackers. Even if you aren’t giving away your iPhone, it’s a good practice to permanently delete files from iPhone that are sensitive or no longer needed.

Regular Deletion Vs. Permanent Deletion

On the surface, when you delete a file or photo on your iPhone, it seems to vanish. But that’s not the complete truth. Regular deletion often means that the data is simply marked as ‘free space’ and can be overwritten. Until then, with the right tools, this data can be retrieved. Experts have shown how easy it is to recover files that aren’t deleted securely. This is why to truly ensure your data’s safety, especially when considering potential data breaches or reselling the device, you should aim to permanently delete data from iPhone.

In conclusion, as technology evolves, so do the methods to exploit it. Ensuring you permanently delete files on iPhone not only safeguards your personal information but also promotes a safer digital environment for everyone.

How to Permanently Delete Files and Apps on iPhone: Step-by-Step Guide

Every iPhone user knows the simplicity of deleting apps or files: a tap on the trash icon, and it’s gone. However, to ensure that certain files or apps are permanently deleted from iPhone, a more thorough process is required. Let’s dive into the steps to make sure your selected data is entirely removed without any residues.

1. Backup Important Data

Although we’re focusing on specific files and apps, it’s always safe to backup your iPhone. You can use iCloud or iTunes for this purpose. Having a backup ensures you can retrieve data if something unintended gets deleted. Here’s a guide on how to backup your iPhone using iCloud.

2. Deleting Specific Photos and Videos

To permanently delete files from iPhone:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Select the photos and videos you wish to photos you wish to dlete permanently
  3. Tap on the trash icon and confirm deletion.
  4. Go to Albums > Recently Deleted.recently deleted album
  5. Select the photos and videos again and choose ‘Delete All’ to remove them permanently.

3. Removing Apps and Their Data

When you want to permanently delete apps and their associated data:

  1. Long press the app icon until a dropdown menu appears.
  2. Select Remove App > Delete App.remove app
  3. Confirm the deletion.
  4. For added assurance, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
  5. Find the app in the list and tap on it, then choose ‘Delete App’.delete app permanently

This ensures that the app and all its residual data are completely removed from your iPhone.

4. Erasing Files from Third-Party Apps

If you use third-party apps like document editors or note-taking apps, ensure you delete sensitive files from within these apps and also clear them from any ‘recently deleted’ or ‘trash’ folders in the app.

5. Securely Delete Data from Messaging Apps

For apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, or Telegram:

  1. Open the respective messaging app.
  2. Find the chat containing sensitive data.
  3. Delete specific messages or the entire chat.permanently delete chats in whatsapp
  4. For added measure, visit the app’s settings and clear caches or backup data if available.delete whatsapp cache

In conclusion, while the iPhone’s user-friendly design makes deleting data seem straightforward, ensuring the complete and permanent removal of specific files and apps requires a tad more attention to detail. Always remember to review your ‘Recently Deleted’ folders and double-check to maintain your digital privacy.

Additional Methods to Permanently Delete Files From iPhone

While the iPhone provides built-in features to delete files and apps, sometimes users seek extra layers of assurance. Enter third-party software solutions. These tools can aid in the process of permanently deleting files from iPhone, ensuring that the data is irretrievable, even with advanced recovery tools. Below, we’ll explore some reputable third-party solutions and their standout features.

Dr.Fone – Data Eraser (iOS)

Dr.Fone offers a comprehensive data eraser tool for iOS devices. It’s designed to wipe your iPhone clean of any data, ensuring privacy:

  • Complete iOS device cleanup.
  • Erases deleted files to ensure they’re unrecoverable.
  • Space freeing capability by removing junk files.
  • User-friendly interface with step-by-step guides.


  1. Connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac.
  2. Open Dr.Fone and select ‘Data Eraser’.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to permanently delete files on iPhone.

More about Dr.Fone can be found on their official website.

iMobie PhoneClean

iMobie PhoneClean is another tool to consider when looking to delete data from iPhone permanently. Its features encompass more than just data deletion:

  • Intensive cleanup for private data.
  • Removes sensitive data like messages, call history, and more.
  • Clears internet history and webmail caches for added privacy.
  • Advanced file scanning algorithms to find hidden junk.


  1. Install PhoneClean on your computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone using a USB cable.
  3. Select the desired cleanup mode and initiate the cleaning process.

Learn more about iMobie PhoneClean on their official site.

In conclusion, while iPhones come equipped with substantial data deletion features, third-party tools add another layer of surety. Opt for these solutions when looking to ensure that your digital footprints are completely erased, safeguarding your personal and sensitive data from potential misuse.


In an age where personal data is both a treasure and a target, ensuring its complete erasure from devices like iPhones is crucial. Whether you’re considering reselling your device, gifting it, or merely aiming for personal data security, understanding the importance of permanent deletion is essential. Not only does it guard against potential cyber threats and identity theft, but it also provides peace of mind. Always prioritize your data’s safety, and stay informed about the best practices for device management.


Jeff Cochin
221 posts
About author
Jeff Cochin has been immersed in the Apple ecosystem for most of his professional career. Now, he’s covering the latest Mac news and writing in-depth guides and reviews for the readers of