How to Remotely Erase your iPad

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Find My iPhone

It happens to the best of us.  Despite our best efforts, every once in a while our most prized Apple products either become lost or stolen.  Luckily, you already added your Mac, iPhone or iPad to find my iPhone–right?  If you did, then you have the ability to remotely erase   your device(s).  Before you consider wiping your device clean, make sure that you are unable to locate or track it on the Find My iPhone Map, and that playing the identifying sound does not reveal its location.  If it’s not already apparent, erasing your device(s) will remove these actions as available options for you.

How to Erase your Device

To erase your iPad, first sign into your iCloud account on another one of your iOS devices, or via any supported web-browser.  Next, view the list of your the available devices you have included in Find my iPhone, and select the name of the device that needs to be erased.  Then tap the Actions button and select Erase iPad.  You will next be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password.  In addition, all iOS devices running iOS 7 or later have the ability to add a call back phone number and a short message to be displayed on the screen after the erase has been completed.


If the iPad you have scheduled to be erased is currently online, confirmed with a green dot to the left of the device name in your list, your remote wipe will begin, and you will be sent a confirmation email indicating as much.  If the device is currently offline at the time  the remote erase is activated, then the your iPad will be wiped as soon as it comes back online.  In addition, if you happen to find your iPad before the remote erase has begun, you can cancel the process by selecting the device name in Find My iPhone, and tapping Stop Erase Request.  You will once again be asked to enter your Apple ID and Password.


In the event that you find your iPad or have it returned to you after it has been erased, you can simply restore it to your latest saved back-up–whether it be via iTunes or iCloud.  The same goes for Mac’s that are erased that have been backed up via Time Machine or your via your favorite third party solution.

Note: All devices that are compatible with Apple Pay will have their credit and debit cards erased when the remote wipe has begun, and therefore will have to have their information re-entered and/or verified to be used to make purchase again.


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2 thoughts on “How to Remotely Erase your iPad”

  1. Keep in mind, – erasing the device will allow the thief, or person who finds the device to use it completely as though they just bought it from the Apple Store, and brought it home. Leaving it alone causes the device to become worthless to the thief, provided you enabled a password. You really should only erase the device if you feel the person has your passcode. Guessing will take a very long time, and the device will only allow so many guesses before it starts forcing long periods of time between guesses.

    1. Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your comment. The process of erasing the data from your device does not leave it as though it is brand new, and available for anyone who finds, or steals it, to use it. It only erases your data in the event that someone gains access to your device. The device is still paired with your Apple ID and the serial number is still matched to you, and can be restored to one of your previously saved back-ups. Lastly, if you leave your device matched with your account after you erase it, Activation Lock will still be on, keeping anyone else from being able to activate your device.

      If you didn’t turn on Find My iPhone before your device was lost or stolen, you still have options to protect your data.
      -Change your Apple ID password to prevent anyone from accessing your iCloud data or using other services (such as iMessage or iTunes) from your missing device.
      -Change the passwords for other internet accounts on your device. This could include email accounts, Facebook, or Twitter.
      -Report your lost or stolen device to local law enforcement.
      -Report your lost or stolen device to your wireless carrier which will allow your carrier to disable the account, preventing phone calls, texts, and data use.

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