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Checklist before selling your iPhone

To-Do Checklist before you sell off your iPhone

December 9, 2015

 
  

Apple devices (especially iPhones) are eagerly awaited by millions of users across the globe. So much so that long queues of buyers start forming a day before the launch outside Apple retail stores. If you’re among iPhone fans that love to hop on from one model to the next, don’t simply post an advert for the device and get rid of it. There’s a lot of stuff to be done to make sure your personal data on your old iPhone doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Erased your phone did you? Well, that’s not enough. Here’s our list of the most important to-dos before you sell iPhone.

How to wipe iPhone completely before selling

Before we move on here’s a word of advice. Some of these steps might seem unnecessary to you, but let us assure you that in today’s world of technology, there’s nothing that cannot be done to your photos, documents, contacts or other files. All it takes is a twisted mind and a little technical help and bam! You can land up into a pothole of trouble. So we emphasize again – staying doubly sure never hurt anyone!

1. Take a real, complete backup

Okay, we know a backup’s always real but what we mean here is that if you don’t have a latest backup of your iPhone take one immediately and make sure that the backup is accessible on your local system or another device. A good practice would be to take one backup on iCloud and one on iTunes so that even if one goes messy, you have the other one to fall back on.

iClioud backup

Note: Backing up may take time depending upon the network speed and the amount of data being backed up. You can choose to let the process run in the background and continue using your phone.

  1. Plug-in your iPhone to the power supply and make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
  2. Open Settings on the home screen and tap on iCloud
  3. Scroll down and tap on Storage & Backup
  4. Enable the switch for iCloud Backup
  5. Click on Back Up Now

The good part about iCloud backups is that you can choose what data you wish to back up. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings -> iCloud -> Storage & Backup -> Manage Storage
  2. Under the Backups label, tap on your iPhone’s name
  3. Now under Backup Options, turn on/off the switch for the apps you wish to backup to iCloud

iTunes backup

  1. Plug-in your iPhone to your Mac or PC
  2. Launch iTunes and click on the iPhone icon on the menu bar
  3. Under the Summary tab under Backups, click on Back up Now
  4. Check “Encrypt iPhone Backup” and add a password.

Note: This step an additional security layer to your backup. When you restore the backup to a new iPhone, you’ll have to enter the password you entered at the time of encryption. Hence, no one but you can unlock the backup. However, you can choose not to do so too if you find remembering a new password difficult.

2. Delete all Photos on the phone (Camera Roll)

Though many people prefer to go for a factory reset after taking a full backup, the recommended way to go is by deleting them manually (that will clear out the traces too).

  1. Plug-in your iPhone to your Mac or PC
  2. Launch Image Capture or iPhoto
  3. Select all photos and click Import All
  4. In iPhoto, click on delete photos from your iPhone after import has complete. In Image Capture is the delete option doesn’t show, turn of Photos in iCloud on your iPhone and Mac and then restart both devices. The option will appear. Click on the delete button to proceed.

3. Export Contacts

When you backup to iCloud / iTunes, it backs up Contacts too, however, just to be absolutely sure that all the contacts have been exported, do a manual Contacts export as .vcf.

  1. Open a browser window on your Mac / PC and go to iCloud.com
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID and then click on Contacts
  3. Click on the cog wheel at the bottom-left of the screen
  4. Click on Export vCard

4.  Disable iCloud and other accounts, turn off iMessage & FaceTime

  1. Go to Settings.
  1. Tap on iCloud -> Sign Out -> scroll down and tap on Delete Account -> Delete
  2. Tap on iMessage -> turn off switch
  3. Tap on FaceTime -> turn off switch
  4. Tap on Mail / Contacts / Calendars -> Delete Account -> Delete

5. Sign out of App Store / iTunes

  1. Go to Settings -> iTunes & App Store -> Apple ID -> Sign Out

6. Disable Restrictions and clear out Safari Cache

  1. Go to Settings -> General -> Restrictions -> Disable Restrictions (enter restriction passcode)
  2. Clear out Safari Cache manually

7.  Factory Reset your iPhone

Once all the above steps have been followed, you can be sure that a factory reset will wipe iPhone completely.

  1. Go to Settings -> General
  2. Scroll to the bottom and tap on Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings
  3.  Tap on Erase iPhone -> Erase iPhone to confirm
  4. Enter your passcode and then your Apple ID to turn off Activate Lock and remove the device from Find my iPhone.

Once you’re through with these steps, unregister your device at supportprofile.apple.com and then call your data carrier and ask them to disassociate the device from your account.

Wrapping it up

So there are the steps to erase iPhone in a full-proof manner. As an additional bonus, here are some handy tips – while deleting stuff manually, make sure you’re not signed into your iCloud account or the stuff might get deleted from the iCloud server too. Moreover, make sure your iPhone is connected to power supply during the entire process since an interruption might prove to be disastrous. Just in case you need to recover any data lost from the iPhone, you can opt for Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery for iPhone.

 
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