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Sooner or later, you will be disposing of your iPhone, iPad and/or iPod touch. Whether you plan on recycling, selling or giving away your old gadgets, you should remember to first remove all personal information from them, including all downloaded apps that may contain information, too.

1. The following process will permanently delete the data on your device. Before you begin, if you think you might need to recover your information, make sure you have an iCloud or iTunes backup and it is up-to-date.

2. Go to the home screen and select “Settings.” Go to “General” and tap it, then scroll down to “Reset” (the last selection in the right-hand column) and tap it.

3. Select “Erase All Content and Settings.” In newer models, this removes the encryption key that protects data, and all information will be erased in a few minutes. Older models must overwrite data, which may take several hours.

To ensure a complete erase, Apple suggests you connect your device to a charger until the process is complete.