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iPad, iPhone and iPod touch repairs - Preparing your device for service

In this article we will take you through the recommended steps to complete before submitting your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch for service.  In most cases the process presumes that your device is still functional to an extent, but we have also added contingency processes if it doesn’t power on at all.


Find My Device


Even if you’ve not consciously enabled it, the chances are that your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch has the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature enabled.  In the case pictured we’re using an iPad, so it’s called ‘Find my iPad’.  Before any iOS device can be serviced you must disabled this feature which disassociates the device from your Apple ID and removes a security feature called activation lock (which stops anybody erasing and using your device without knowing your Apple ID).


To do this go to the ‘Settings’ app, in to the ‘iCloud’ settings and ‘Find My iPad’.  Turn it off by tapping the green slider.  You will need to know your Apple ID.  If your device will not power on you can go to the iCloud web site and disable activation lock from the list of devices in there.


More information about the ‘activation lock’ feature can be found on Apple’s web site.



Backup your device 


In most cases your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch will be backing up to iCloud automatically.  iCloud backups take place when the device is connected to power, connected to a wifi network and the screen is locked. To verify the latest backup of your device go back in to the iCloud setting and tap on ‘Backup’.  Your device needs to be online, then it will show the ‘Last Backup:’ date.  If your device will not power on you can go to the settings section on the iCloud web site and click on the device to find out the latest backup date


IMPORTANT:  To restore from your backup you must know your Apple ID and password for the iCloud account.


Please be aware that this backup does not include passwords saved on your device for security reasons.  To back up an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch including all passwords you must perform an encrypted backup on to a computer running iTunes.  Instructions on how to complete an encrypted backup can be found on Apple’s website



Disassociate apps


This step will not be required for many users, but depending on the apps you use on your device some of them may be paired to the hardware of your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch for security reasons.


Examples of typical apps which pair to the hardware of your device are personal banking apps and second factor authentications apps for online tools or games.


If your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch still powers on you should go through the required process to disassociate any paired applications from your device.  If this isn’t possible because your device will not power on you should contact the app publisher for assistance before you submit it for repair, just in case you need unique identifiers from the paired hardware to prove ownership to the app publisher.



Erase the device


Having disabled Find my iPad, verified that you have an up to date backup of the device and disassociated any paired apps you are now ready to erase the device so it contains no personal data during repair.  If the device will not power on there is no need to erase data.  From the Settings app go in to General - Reset - Erase All Content and Settings 



Restoring replacement device


During many iPad, iPhone or iPod touch repairs a replacement device is often the most efficient way of providing you with a repair.  When you receive a replacement device you need to reverse the steps that you took to prepare your device for repair.



Restore backup


During progression through the welcome screens on an erased iPad, iPhone or iPod touch you are offered the opportunity to ‘Restore from iCloud backup’.  To restore from an iCloud backup you  will need to know the Apple ID and password for your iCloud account.



Alternatively connect the device to the computer and iTunes used for backup and restore from the latest backup 



Enable Activation Lock


For security reasons you should ensure that activation lock is enabled on your new device, so go back in to the ‘Find My iPad’ setting to confirm that it has enabled as part of the setup process. 



Buy an app


Once the restoration process has completed go to App store and buy a free app.  Doing so will force the Apple servers to recognise your use of the Apple ID to purchase on this new device, and in most cases they will ask for a secondary form of identification beyond the Apple ID and password, normally the security code from your chosen payment card.  Doing this now will save the inconvenience of having to verify your identity when you may not have that particular card to hand.



And that should be your new device back up and running.  Don’t forget that it is normal for your restored device to ask for a multitude of passwords when you first restore the backup because an iCloud device backup cannot remember passwords from the old device.

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