How to Erase Your Old Phone Before You Sell It


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So you’ve got your eyes on that shiny new Pixel 2, or maybe you’re getting ready to go (almost) all-screen with the iPhone X. Since you’ll be getting a new phone, you won’t need your old one anymore. Plus, you can sell it and make some extra cash to put towards your new one. Some companies, like Apple and Google will even let you trade in your old phone to get money towards their latest and greatest phones.

But before you get ahead of yourself, that phone’s full of top-secret messages and embarrassing selfies that you’d never want anyone to see. Good news, though! All that private info can be wiped away before you hand off your boring old phone to some stranger. Here’s how to do it.

iPhones

For iPhone owners, you’ve got a few things you need to do to clear out all your junk. First, unpair your Apple Watch to avoid any struggles when your new iPhone gets plopped on your doorstep. Then, back up your phone so everything’s right where you left it.

Then it’s time to bulldoze all your data off that bad boy. You should sign out of iCloud, which is as simple as jumping into Settings, tapping your name up top, scrolling all the way down, and hitting Sign Out. After you type out your Apple ID and password, tap Turn Off and you’re all set. To clear up all your data, dive back into Settings, hit General, scroll down to Reset, and choose Erase All Content and Settings.

Oh, and one more thing: If you’re switching to an Android phone, save yourself a headache and turn off iMessage. That way, you won’t miss any incoming messages on your new phone.

Android Phones

Things are a bit different on Android, but you can still back up all your data and get everything cleared off pretty easily. If you’re sticking with Android, sync all your apps to your account. You can do this by going to Users and Accounts under Settings, tapping Account Sync, and tapping Sync Now.

After that’s done, back everything up. Jump into Settings, select System, hit Backup, and turn on Back Up to Google Drive. This will make sure all your data is nice and snug, ready to be unpacked when your new phone makes its way to your hands.

Now that you’ve got your data on lock, it’s time to clear it all. For that, you just dive into Settings, tap that big ol’ System button, and choose Reset (your device may also say Backup and Reset, in which case, pick that). From there, select Factory Data Reset, then Reset phone. Since you’re getting rid of this phone, you’ll want to erase everything.

Got it? Good. You’re all set! But if you’re feeling a little nostalgic and aren’t ready to say goodbye to your old pocket companion, here are some neat things you can do with your old phone.

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