How to Wipe Your Phone Before You Sell It

Posted On May 6, 2021

It’s Christmas, a time of year when thousands of mobile phones are purchased and gifted. In January hundreds of people will be looking to sell an old phone, make some cash and recover from December spending. Its essential that you wipe your phone completely before you sell or recycle it.

While we endeavor to ensure your devices are all wiped clean and are data free when they get to our offices; we do encourage all of our customers to ensure their devices are wiped clean prior to sending them to us. 

Unfortunately, although we use a reputable and reliable courier we can’t be responsible for the loss of any gadgets during transit. While the product itself can be compensated by the courier in some way, your personal data cannot. So to ensure you’re never in a position where your data is exposed, we encourage everybody to wipe any device prior to sending it to us.

How To Wipe An iPhone

Selling your iPhone? iPhones, iPads and iPods pretty much work in the same way; so you can use this guide to wipe your phone, table or iPod.

First thing is first, back up all of your data; this can be done using the iCloud or your computer (as long as you’re not selling that too). Make sure you then sign out of the icloud on your device; this can be done in the settings menu and clicking on your name at the top.

Unpair any devices you have like an Apple Watch, sign out of your iTunes account and your App Store. This is done by clicking on settings, your name, and scroll down to the bottom and tap sign out. You will then be asked for your Apple ID and password.

If you’re using an earlier device, you will see an iCloud line in your settings menu instead of your name. Once you have signed out you will need to select delete from my device and enter your password. Finally, you will need to go into iTunes & App store, Apple ID and sign out.

Next you will need to head to settings, general and then reset; here you will need to select erase all contents and settings. If you had the Find My Phone feature switched on you will need to remove this prior to this step.

If at any stage you are asked for your device passcode or restrictions password, you will also need to enter it.

You can find Apple’s official guide to wiping your iPhone here

How To Wipe an Android Phone

Depending on your android device the method of wiping your phone can vary from phone to phone. If you’re struggling just google your specific device followed by ‘how to wipe for sale’.

First things’ first, if it runs 5.0 Lollipop or later you may have a factory reset protection setting activated. This feature is designed to make your phone unusable if it’s been reset without entering a previously used google account password (yours). 
You will therefore, need to deactivate this FRP setting if you plan to sell your phone to us. If your phone is running earlier software don’t worry about this.

Step 1

Turn off any lock screen locks, to do this, visit settings; security and locks screen security changing this option to ‘None’. Then in settings, the next step is to remove your google account from your phone/tablet. 

If you’re working on a samsung device you’ll also need to remove your samsung device. 

You can now begin to wipe your device; when you do this it often removes applications and other data but leaves SMS and chat messages which can be restored with online data recovery tools. To protect your conversations and data you will need to do the following to ensure everything is wiped.

  1. Encrypt your device – this will scramble your data so nothing can be recovered, and if there is data left it can’t be read without a special key. This is found under settings, security.
  2. Perform a factory reset. In settings select factory reset in backup and reset options. This will erase all the data on your phone/tablet.
  3. Load dummy data – try adding stock images into your phone and perform another factory reset. This should erase the dummy images etc you loaded onto your device. The reason for this is if any of your data (which is encrypted) is left it will be burried under dummy content.

Google’s official guide to wiping your Android phone can be found here

Don’t forget

Some final advice before selling a mobile or tablet; remove your sim card and if you have an android device don’t forget to take out the microSD card.

We also advise writing down your device data like it’s IMEI number it’s 15 digits long and can be found on the back of the phone or in the settings. This will ensure if your device goes missing on it’s way to us it can be registered as lost or stolen with the authorities.

For guides on wiping other devices, such as laptops, PCs and Apple MacBooks or iMac, please check out our data wiping guides

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