Ready to trade in your old iPhone for a new one? Before you do, take a look at these 12 Things You Need To Do Before Selling Your iPhone in order to make sure you’ve completely wiped all important data from your iPhone. Don’t leave anything behind!
Here are 12 Things You Need To Do Before Selling Your iPhone
We want the selling process to be plain sailing for you, so follow these steps to protect your device, the offer price and yourself if anything unfortunate happens.
1. Back Up Your Data
Our phones store all the videos and pictures we take, texts and emails we send, contacts we make, apps we use and our personal information when we browse websites. For convenience reasons, when you continuously use your phone, you don’t need to log in to apps, enter your card details when you make purchases online over and over again or memorise the phone numbers of your friends. So when selling your phone, the first thing is to back up your data. This easy but crucial step will ensure that your data isn’t going to fall into the wrong hands and you can transfer it to your new phone when you set it up.
If you have an iPhone, go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.
2. Remove Cloud Accounts
You’ve just completed the data backup step and all your data is up in the cloud from where you will be able to access it when needed. Now it is important to remove access to your cloud account from the smartphone you’re about to sell. This is not only going to keep your data safe, but will also ensure that the merchant you sold your phone to can test the device.
Unfortunately, it happens way too often that merchants receive cloud locked devices. In this case you can’t test the functionality of such devices so in return it reduces their value to zero. For the order processing to proceed and for you to receive your payment, cloud removal needs to be performed remotely which is frankly speaking more difficult to do. So in order to avoid all of this, you need to remove your cloud account (i.e. iCloud, Samsung Cloud or Google Account) before your phone reaches the buyer
3. Turn off Find My iPhone
Find My iPhone also enables Activation Lock on your iPhone. If you don’t turn it off and force-erase your iPhone, the next person can’t use it. With Activation Lock enabled, the iPhone is nothing more than an expensive paperweight!
Therefore, before selling, giving, or trading, go to Settings > your name > Find My > Find My iPhone and turn it off.
Extra info: Some eBay and online sellers use this trick to sell locked iPhones and later ask for extra payment to share the Apple ID and password to remove Activation Lock!
4. Unpair your Apple Watch
- Place your iPhone and Apple Watch close together
- Open the Watch app on your phone
- Tap on the My Watch tab and select All Watches
- Identify the watch you’d like to unpair and tap on the orange ‘i’ button to its right
- Tap Unpair Apple Watch
- At this stage you’ll need to choose to keep or remove your mobile-phone plan. Keep it if you plan on pairing the watch with your new iPhone.
- Enter your Apple ID password if needed to disable Activation Lock.
This will unpair your Apple Watch and restore it to its factory settings. However, during the process your iPhone will have created a new backup of your Apple Watch, which you can use to restore it.
5. Turn off iMessage and FaceTime
Go to Settings > Messages and turn off the switch for iMessage. Now, go back to the main Settings screen and tap FaceTime. Turn off the switch for FaceTime as well.
6. Deregister iMessage (if you’re not moving to a new Apple device)
Because Apple devices use iMessage for texting, if you don’t turn iMessage off before you sell your iPhone (or after) and switch to a non-Apple phone you might not receive your SMS or MMS messages.
(iMessages are those texts, photos and videos that you receive in blue bubbles. They can only be sent between Apple devices, can be sent via Wi-Fi as well as a phone network and are encrypted. The green messages you receive are normal, unencrypted messages that can only be sent via a phone network.)
If you still have your Apple device
- Put your SIM card back into your iPhone or iPad
- Go to Settings > Messages and turn off iMessage
- While you’re about it, it doesn’t hurt to turn off Facetime by going to Settings > Facetime
If you ever turned on iCloud or Find My iPhone, it’s likely that Activation Lock has been enabled on your phone. This is a powerful anti-theft feature that requires the original Apple ID used to activate the phone in order to activate it for a new user. If you sell your iPhone without turning the feature off, it’s going to prevent the buyer from ever using the phone.
See Also: How To Fake Location On Snapchat
8. Take screenshots of apps and Home Screen layout
All the apps you have ever downloaded are listed in your App Store purchase history. The most popular ones are also listed in the Top Free Apps section of the App Store
Still, you might have some apps that you don’t use often but are necessary. Now, after you restore your iCloud or computer backup, iPhone will start downloading all the apps and even keep the layout of the Home Screen.
But if you decide to set up your iPhone as new (which many, including me, prefer), you may take screenshots of your Home Screen and save it to Google Drive or AirDrop it to another device. After setting up your iPhone, this will help in downloading all the apps
9. Reset Your Device to Factory Settings
In order to keep your privacy protected is to restore your phone to its factory default settings and remove any trails of your use. Here’s how to clear an iPhone before selling by performing a factory reset.
If you’re selling an iPhone, a factory reset option can be found under Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
10. Sign out and Delete all Apps.
A general reset should clear this out but it’s an extra precaution to make sure cached data and any traces of login/personal information associated with these apps (Facebook Instagram, etc) that might have been stored on your iPhone will also be deleted
11. Remove the SIM Card
Before parting with your iPhone or cellular iPad, save yourself a trip to the carrier store by safely ejecting the physical SIM card.
12. Clean your iPhone to make it look nice
Your old iPhone may be the first iPhone for the person you’re giving or selling your device to. So, to make it a pleasant experience for them, take five minutes to clean your iPhone.
Use a soft dry cloth to wipe the front and back of the device. Carefully clean the speaker grills, earpiece, and other such places too. Be careful not to use any sharp metal pin.