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Guide to iPhone and iPad settings: how to use all the iOS Settings UPDATED

Cliff Joseph | Aug. 20, 2015
Like System Preferences on a Mac , Settings on your iPhone or iPad offers access to tools for adjusting screen brightness, setting up a password, configuring your WiFi, and more. But in addition you will also find options for handling phone calls and mobile broadband, as well as many additional security features that protect your personal files, photos and other information.

Your IT manager can show you how to configure the VPN features that are built into iOS, but it's also possible to download a number of VPN apps from the App Store. Business users will probably avoid these third-party apps and set up VPN themselves, but these apps can also be used for distinctly non-businessy tasks, such as gaining access to the US version of Netflix.

Reset All in Settings on iPhone and iPad

The last option in the General settings panel is one that you will probably never use - until you decide that it's time to get rid of your iPhone or iPad altogether.

The Reset command actually provides a number of different options. The first is 'reset all settings', which leaves all your apps, music and other content alone, and just resets personal preferences, such as new keyboards or VPN settings that you might have added. We've heard that this particular option can be a bit buggy, though, so it's worth backing up your iPhone or iPad onto your Mac before resetting it.

The next option is to 'erase all content and settings'. This is the nuclear option that gets rid of all your personal preferences and settings, along with all apps, music, videos and photos. This is the option that you'd use if you were selling your iPhone or iPad and you wanted to remove all your personal information first (for more details on this option take a look at Apple's help file).

There are some other options in here as well, although they're a lot less drastic than a complete reset. The network reset simply tells your iPhone or iPad to forget details such as wifi passwords. One reset option that might be worth using occasionally is the Location And Privacy option. This resets the location and privacy settings for all your apps, which means that any app that tries to access your location, contacts or other information will have to ask permission all over again.

Plus, if you want to erase the contents of your iPhone because you are selling it, or because it's not working properly, here's how to reset an iPhone, erase the contents of an iPhone and restore from a backup.

Accessibility options on the iPhone: Turn off Parallax effect

It's taken us quite a while to cover the long list of options that are crammed together in the General settings panel on iOS devices, but there's one complete group of settings that we won't include here. Like Macs, iOS devices include a number of Accessibility features that are designed to help people who have problems with vision, hearing or motor skills. (We are planning to cover them in a separate article, coming soon!)


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