As the title suggests what’s the best way to permanently delete data from an iPhone.

I know when you delete something, it’s not really deleted, but merely marked as ‘free space’.

So how, on an iPhone, can you make sure it’s gone for good so no high-level forensics can retrieve it?

  • Is your goal to wipe the iPhone, or just when you delete some data off of it? – Linny Jun 18 '20 at 20:02
  • Just when I delete data from it, I want to make sure it’s gone forever. Without chance of recovery. – MP115 Jun 18 '20 at 20:14
  • Unless you incinerate the hardware, you'll always have a non-zero probably that at least some of the data may be recoverable. – multithr3at3d Jun 18 '20 at 20:38
  • So there’s nothing out there that could get rid of it? – MP115 Jun 18 '20 at 20:51
  • I have answered this question in detail here, previously: security.stackexchange.com/questions/212388/… In short: factory reset it twice. – Martin Fürholz Jun 18 '20 at 22:24

I don't think there is a way to actually scrub the data.

The recommended method is doing a factory reset. All the data will be left behind intact but the encryption key will be lost, so the data will be virtually irrecoverable. (Or as much as the key can be brute forced in a reasonable time frame)

  • But wouldn’t data extraction tools, top if the range ones, still be able to recover data even with the encryption key lost? – MP115 Jun 19 '20 at 4:36
  • it's not impossible. but there is nothing that has been publicly confirmed which is capable of extracting encryption keys of a factory reset device. – Pedro Jun 19 '20 at 7:27
  • What about forensic equipment? Like ones police etc use? – MP115 Jun 19 '20 at 7:35
  • those would be the same extraction tools you mentioned earlier. – Pedro Jun 19 '20 at 7:45
  • @MP115 You're possibly confused over the term "forensic extraction tools". To me, they are more about re-accessing data that hasn't "totally" been deleted (either simply reading data the OS has marked as deleted; side-stepping the "wear-leveling" erasure of solid-state memory, or reading vestigial magnetic traces on a traditional hard-disk). If the data so recovered was subject to full-disk-encryption, then (statistically) nothing can be done with it if you don't have the key. – TripeHound Jun 20 '20 at 10:45

To my knowledge there's no way to shred internal storage.You can however change hardware.

The easiest way to do this? Destroy it.

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