How to clear porn off your iPad or iPhone

Giving away, returning, or just lending your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and need to know how to clear off any porn -- er, adult content -- that might have somehow made its way onto your device? We may not have had the fun with this issue that our Android Central friends did over the holidays, but we can share their cautionary advice... after the break!

Steve Jobs might say Android is for porn and iPhone is not (never mind the numbers...), but iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad have Safari, the best web browser in the mobile business, and as everyone but Apple's CEO apparently knows -- the web, it has porn. More than that, your texts might be sexts, your email extreme, your photos more than flirty, and while your App Store apps can't be rated XXX, they still could be rated R. How do you tidy things up before giving away or lending your device? Here are some options

Total Wipe

If you're just returning your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to Apple, Best Buy, or another retailer your best option is to nuke it completely, i.e. "Erase all content and settings."

The instructions are pretty much the same for iPod touch and iPad, and you'll be left with a device almost in factory fresh condition.

Selective Wipe

If you just want to lend your device, or want to sell it while maintaining a Jailbreak on older firmware, you'll need to be more selective.

Deleting Text/SMS/MMS Messages

  1. Launch the Messages app
  2. Tap Edit
  3. Tap the red - icon on the left
  4. Tap the red Delete button to confirm
  5. Repeat for any and all conversations you want to delete

delete messages

Or you can simply choose to delete only certain specific SMS or MMS messages.

Deleting Photos

You can only delete Photos that are in the Camera Roll. If you want to delete a synced album you have to connect to iTunes and deselect the photos so they don't sync any more. To delete from the Camera Roll:

  1. Launch Photos
  2. Follow the directions for selecting multiple Photos (There's no limit to the amount of photos you can select for deletion.)
  3. Choose Delete instead of Share... carefully!

delete photos

Clearing Mail

Just remove the email account. You can always add it back later, especially if it's a server-side IMAP or ActiveSync account like MobileMe, Gmail, Exchange, etc.

  1. Launch Settings
  2. Scroll down to Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  4. Tap the account you want to delete
  5. Scroll to the bottom
  6. Tap Delete

delete email account

If you really only want to delete individual email threads:

  1. Launch Mail
  2. Follow the same instructions as for Messages, as described above.

Clearing Safari

Streaming might be safer than storing on-device, but web sites, especially advertising heavy web sites, especially porn sites, love to keep track of you. While there's no "private browsing mode" for iOS Safari like there is for Mac Safari, you can still manually clear it out.

  1. Launch Settings
  2. Follow the directions in our tip on how to clear out Safariclear safari history, cookies, cache

Deleting Apps

Deleting apps, or Home Screen clipped web site, is easy:

  1. Touch and hold your finger down on the app until it goes into "Jiggly Mode" (starts to dance around).
  2. Look for the small X badge at the top left of the app you want to delete
  3. Tap the small X badge
  4. A dialog box will pop up identifying the name of the app you're about to delete and warning you that you'll delete all the data in the app as well (your account login, game progress, etc.)
  5. If you're sure, tap Delete (if you're not, tap Cancel)
  6. If you decide not to delete an app, tap the Home Button to exit Jiggly Mode

How to delete an iPhone or iPad app

Deleting Movies

If you have synced any movies over, they're simple to delete as well:

  1. Launch iPod
  2. Tap Movies
  3. Swipe from left to right over the movie
  4. Tap the Delete button

delete movies

Deny, deny, deny

Again, the "Erase all content and settings" is your first, best option if you're really getting rid of your device. With everything else, your being human, you'll eventually mess up. If you do, just remember what every celebrity and politician on every talk/news show in America has taught us -- deny, deny, deny!

(Or if you have any better ideas, leave them in comments!)

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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How to clear porn off your iPad or iPhone

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I exchanged a faulty iPhone for new in an Apple store without wiping it first. Thank goodness for Mobile Me and remote wipe!

remember if you dont want to delete, but hide stuff, you can use an app like videosafe to move your image and videos from prying eyes.

Any browser that doesn't give you the option to display Flash, severely limiting access to porn, is not the best in the business. But hey, at least you can brush up on your checker skills while your page loads or when pinching to zoom.

U should be able to tag any content, files, data, or cookie on your device as explicit. Then, like a wipe, there should be a wipe explicit. Lol

I worked in phone retail for a few years and it never ceased to amaze me how many people would trade in phones or return them and wouldn't delete the personal stuff first. I've never had a job which exposed me to so much stranger T&A or C&B before or since.
Sometimes, I miss those days. Always good for a salacious chuckle. ;-)

I think Ive seen that version of Sean the sheep but in the UK it's called animal farm lol

Was the first screenshot between Steve Jobs on the prototype Verizon iPhone 5 and Google's Eric Schmidt?!
I need to run, take a hot bath, and scrub hard.

You should be aware that clearing Safari's caches, cookies, and history, doesn't touch the auto complete/suggested sites. Even with history cleared, manually entering a URL will helpfully pop up suggestions for sites you have previously visited.
This has been a bug for quite some time.

DK2676: Fake. I'm guessing someone jailbroke, changed the text, and tries to wow their friends that they have an "exclusive" CDMA iPhone. I'm guessing their friends aren't impressed; but maybe I'm just old.

Your instructions contain an incorrect link to show how to select multiple photos.
How do you do that?

vj,
View the album containing the photo(s) you wish to ... delete
Tap the arrow at the upper right corner
Tap the photos you wish to ... delete (up to ... whatever)
Tap “delete” at the bottom .... right corner

i would definitively press 'like it' to facebook, but then somebody could think that i watch porn...

How do I clear the back arrow history when using Safari/Google in my iPad? Even after I clear the History, Cookies and Cache I can still go back to Google and use my back arrow. I do not want to be able to revisit previous web sites. Help!

WRONG in IOS 5 in safari you can go to setting (on an iPhone or iPad) under settings you will scrolling down 'private browsing' flick the switch to ON confirm remove or keep your current tabs then launch safari it will now be black as opposed to the usual silver window and tabless (if you made it that way) and wont record any history till you turn it off

I'm just wondering. I do see private browsing mode and I do use it often, not for porn of course o.0, but because I like seeing black safari, rather than the regular light blue.

Settings > Safari > Private Browsing > ON/OFF

You forgot to mention clearing the clip board.
I know it's an app for that, but how can I do it natively and quick.

Hey guys, if you are looking to hide your porn on your i Phone, try Folder Lock. Its a specialized software developed to hide porn. It's free to try for 30 days.Just Google "Folder Lock" and it should show up as a first result.

I've been keeping my iphone 5 a virgin so far except for my messaging app which gets the raincoat flash from friends constantly

IF YOU WANT TO BE A WORLD WIDE PORN STAR OR INTERESTED IN BECOMING A PORN STAR,PORN STRIPPER,WANT TO BE SERIOUSLY FUCKED BY A YOUNG FRESH BLOOD OR YOU HAVE ALL IT TAKES TO BE A PORN STAR HERE IS YOUR CHANCE OF BECOMING ONE. EMAIL US AT dopepornstar@gmail.com

IF YOU WANT TO BE A WORLD WIDE PORN STAR OR INTERESTED IN BECOMING A PORN STAR,PORN STRIPPER,WANT TO BE SERIOUSLY FUCKED BY A YOUNG FRESH BLOOD OR YOU HAVE ALL IT TAKES TO BE A PORN STAR HERE IS YOUR CHANCE OF BECOMING ONE. EMAIL US AT dopepornstar@gmail.com

What I don't get, is if that information/media is SO private, why are you carrying it around with you? to work, to home, out to eat. To me storing personal pictures of yourself nude is raunchy to begin with, but do you really have a need to carry a picture of your dongs around?

Lets grow up a little.

on a side note, it is your device to do whatever with, but WTF are you doing putting stuff personal onto a device without already knowing how to get rid of it?

that's like shoving a bunch of raw ingredients into the stove and then going to look up how to actually cook it down the road...

Believe it or not, some people DON'T WANT adult content on their iPad or iPhone. Families who share their iPad with their kids for ex.

You can actually filter the internet to block this stuff with a service like PageClean.com (yes, I work with them). This way you can:
- lock porn off your tablet
- stop sexting apps like SnapChat
- lock the filter in place