Everyone relies on their phone for so much more than communication these days that a failure can be a truly traumatic experience. Time and time again people are left without a phone for weeks due to simple software bugs while the manufacturer repairs them. With the iPhone however you do not have to worry, by following a couple of simple steps you can restore your iPhone to factory settings in a matter of minutes.
Restoring to factory settings of course should be a last resort before you send your phone repair as it will cost you all your data, any pictures, music, apps or notes you have stored on your iPhone. If you are in doubt about when you last backed up your phone to iTunes or are worried about losing information attempt to back your phone up before you do the restore. You do this by simply plugging the phone into your computer and opening iTunes which should start the backup process straight away. After you restore your iPhone to factory settings you will be able to retrieve all this data.
Once you have your phone backed up to iTunes and have made yourself a cup of coffee you are ready to begin the restore process. Now depending on the condition of your phone you can go about this a number of ways. If your phone is functioning you can simply click "Settings" then go to "About" and click "Restore to Factory Defaults". If however the phone is not working it can be a little trickier.
The second way to restore your iPhone to factory settings is to connect it to your Mac or PC and open iTunes. Once iTunes is open select your iPhone from the list on the right hand side of the screen. Once you have found and selected the iPhone the screen should display a picture of it with several options. One of those options is "restore", click it. This method will work about 99% of the time but if for some reason your iPhone is not being detected by iTunes so not worry there is a third option.
With the phone turned on, hold it firmly in your left hand and using your index finger begin to power it off, when the screen goes black, keeping your index finger on the power button press and hold the home button on the front of the phone using your right hand. Count to ten and then release the power button. Your phone should restart in what is known as a "restore state" and iTunes will detect it straight away when you connect it to your computer and prompt you to restore and update your phone. Follow the prompts and you sill soon have your phone restored to its original settings.
These methods will fix nearly any problem you have with your iPhone provided it is software related. If you have tried all of these and your phone is still not working then perhaps it is time to send it back to Apple for a repair.