If you update your iPhone regularly, it makes sense to pass the old one on to a family member, sell it, or trade it in. Enter with Apple to get store credit. Giving away your iPhone is also good for the environment. However, before you proceed, you need to perform some basic steps to make sure that your personal data from unknowingly ending up in the hands of the next iPhone owner. To help you out, we’ve created this comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to do before you say goodbye to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Hide Table of Contents
What not to do before you sell or give away your iPhone
Before telling you what to do, it is important to inform you about it, What you must not do. If you decide to sell, give away or trade in your iPhone:
Don’t manually delete contacts, reminders, calendar appointments, photos or videos as this will remove them from your iCloud or Google account. Don’t start removing the apps one by one. You need to keep it so that it can be backed up. We will tell you about removing apps later in this guide.
Use eSIM on your iPhone?
As you may already know, your iPhone XS and above supports a physical nano-SIM and an eSIM. If you use two phone numbers on your iPhone like me, this is important.
Before selling, contact your wireless carrier or browse the eSIM section of their website and make sure you don’t have any trouble setting up the eSIM. Your new device. Once you feel comfortable, you can proceed with the remaining mandatory tasks.
If your wireless carrier asks you to remove the plan from this iPhone, go to Settings> Mobile phone > tap the second rate > Remove mobile plan.
The next important question is, are you still? Do you have the iPhone with you or have you already given it away? If the old device is still with you, that’s perfect. You can take your time to follow the things mentioned here carefully. If it’s not with you, learn more about your options.
What you must do before you sell or give away your iPhone
Here’s a list of 15 things you need to do before you hand it over your iPhone or iPad to the next owner:
1. Back up your iPhone
The data that is currently on your device is valuable. Therefore, you need to back up your iPhone to iCloud or computer first. It will also back up the Apple Watch if you have one.
After you’ve backed up the device, follow the remaining things mentioned here.
Here are also some tips to secure your iPhone.
Speed up the backup
Before backing up, you can hide unnecessary social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Delete, reducing backup size and time. Besides, these apps already store all your data on their servers. When you sign into these apps on your new device, sign in with the same username, and you’ll get everything back. For more information, check out our guide to prevent unnecessary apps from being part of your iPhone backup.
Create a temporary iCloud backup
Assuming you’re using the 5GB free iCloud plan or don’t have enough free iCloud storage space. In this case, if the iPhone you are selling is updated to iOS 15, you can create a temporary iCloud backup of that device for 21 days and restore it to the new device. Apple offers you as much free iCloud storage as your old device backup needs, so you can transfer everything to your new iPhone effortlessly. To do this, go to Settings > General > Transferring or resetting your iPhone > Getting Started.
2. Back up your third-party apps
On my iPhone, I use GoDaddy Studio to create important images. Before I switch to a new iPhone, I make sure all of his projects are backed up in the cloud.
Similarly, for third-party chat apps like WhatsApp, I go to the in-app settings and make sure everything is in order safely secured.
3. Move your photos and videos to another location
If you already use iCloud photos, you can skip this one. But if you don’t, and to save space you have Photo Library disabled in iCloud Backup, make sure you move your memories from iPhone to your computer. You can also use a service like Google Photos or Amazon Photos to store your pictures and videos.
Related: How to access photos web browser with iPhone, iPad, Mac and other devices in iCloud
4. Unpair your Apple Watch
Before you sell or give away your iPhone, make sure you’ve untethered your Apple Watch.
5. Disable Find My iPhone
Find My iPhone also activates the activation lock on your iPhone. If you don’t turn it off and force your iPhone, the next person won’t be able to use it. When Activation Lock is enabled, your iPhone is nothing more than an expensive paperweight!
Therefore, before selling, gifting or trading, go to Settings > Your name > Find my iPhone > Search my iPhone and disable.
Additional information: Some eBay and online sellers Use this trick to sell locked iPhones and later demand an additional payment to share the Apple ID and password to remove the activation lock!
6. Disable iMessage and FaceTime
Go to Settings > Messages and turn on the switch for iMessage From. Now return to the main Settings screen and tap on FaceTime. Also turn on the switch for FaceTime From.
7. Sign out of iMessage when you switch to Android
If you are switching to a new iPhone, you don’t have to follow this. But if you want to get rid of that iOS device and use an Android phone, make sure you sign out iMessage. This will ensure that you don’t miss regular text messages sent by others to your current phone number.
8. Unlock your iPhone with carrier lock to get higher resale value
If your iPhone is tied to your carrier, you should unlock it so the new owner can use it with another carrier of their choice. Unlocking your iPhone will also significantly increase its resale value. If in doubt, follow this post to check if your iPhone is not locked. In this case, contact your mobile carrier and ask them to unlock the device.
Similar: How to determine the estimated value of your device with Apple GiveBack
9. Sign out from iCloud and Apple ID
The next important step is to sign out from iCloud and your Apple ID. Go to Settings > Your name and tap below Sign out. When asked if you want to keep a copy of your contacts, keychain and other data, uncheck it as you don’t need it on this device.
10. Take screenshots of apps and home screen layout
All the apps you have ever downloaded will be listed in your App Store purchase history. The most popular ones are also listed in the section Top free apps of the App Store listed.
Still, you may have some apps that you don’t use often but are necessary. Now that you restore your iCloud or computer backup, iPhone will start downloading all apps and even keep the home screen layout.
But if you decide to set up your iPhone as new (which many, including me, prefer), you can take screenshots of your home screen and save them to Google Drive or transfer them to another device via AirDrop. After setting up your iPhone, this will help download all apps.
Must read: Over 30 things I (iDB’s founder) always do when setting up a new iPhone
11. Delete everything from your device
This is the most important step, to make sure that no data remains on the iPhone or iPad you sell or give away. But before you do that, double check that the backup was done correctly.
Once you’re ready to wipe everything off that iPhone, head over to Settings > General. strong> > Transfer or reset iPhone > Erase all content and settings. Read the message on the screen, tap on Continue And follow the instructions.
12. Remove the SIM card
Before you part with your iPhone or iPad, save yourself a trip to the wireless carrier’s store by safely ejecting the physical SIM card.
13. Clean your iPhone to make it look nice
Your old iPhone may be the first iPhone for the person you are gifting or selling your device to. So take five minutes to clean your iPhone to make it a pleasant experience for them.
Wipe the front and back of the device with a soft, dry cloth. Also clean the speaker grills, earpiece and similar places carefully. Be careful not to use sharp metal pins.
14. Keep iPhone accessories in one place
Before you give away the iPhone, get the original box, charging cable, adapter (if any) and SIM eject tool with it. These are not costly items, but including them will undoubtedly improve the buyer’s experience. Not to mention a higher resale amount!
If you switch to another iPhone model, the cases and screen protectors you bought for that old iPhone will most likely be useless. So you can also bundle this to Provide a big smile on the second owner’s face.
15. Remove this iPhone from your list of trusted devices
If you have successfully given away or sold your iPhone, the last thing you need to do is to make sure that it no longer appears in your device list.
If you have another iPhone or iPad, learn how to remove a device on an iPhone and iPad from your Apple account. You can also do the same through a web browser by following the steps below:
Visit appleid.apple.com and sign in with the Apple ID you used on the old iPhone. Click Devices. When the old iPhone appears here, select it and click on Remove from account.
What to do if the iPhone is not with you?
If the iPhone is not with you, you can still follow some of the things above. Incidentally, you can ask the new owner to follow these steps.
If the old device still has your Apple ID, read our guide on how to remotely wipe your old iPhone via the Find My app on your current iPhone or using iCloud.com. You can also lock the device remotely and (force) the owner to meet you. Once you regain physical access to the iPhone, follow the steps above to wipe everything properly. Use your other Apple device or iCloud Web to change your Apple ID password. Disable Apple Pay remotely on the old iPhone. Remove the old iPhone from your Apple ID. Sign out iMessage when you switch to an Android phone.
What happens to my app purchases?
Once you sign in to your new iPhone with the same Apple ID as the old iPhone, you can re-download all the apps you purchased.
For in-app purchases, open the app in question and tap on Recover purchases.
Rest assured, you don’t have to pay for the paid apps, subscriptions or in-app purchases. App purchases again. These things are tied to your Apple ID, not the device. So there should be no problem getting these back.
Related: How to recover deleted apps on your iPhone or iPad