Wipe and reset your iPhone to factory settings before trading it in or selling it

January 31, 2021 0 By boss



Getting rid of your old iPhone? Make sure you reset it properly. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

When it comes time to get rid of your phone, don’t just power it off and put it back in its box. Whether you’re upgrading to the latest shiny new iPhone, trading it in to save some cash, selling it to a random stranger, or repurposing it, there’s still some work to get your phone ready for its new home. 

Before you can even begin to think about giving your phone to someone else, you need to take some time to wipe and reset it to factory settings. Doing so will ensure that nobody has access to the treasure trove of personal information we all keep on our phones

Stop! You have to back up your iPhone

Before you reset your iPhone, create a backup that you can return to if you’re missing contacts or photos on your new phone. You can back up your iPhone by connecting it to your Mac and following these steps, or use iTunes on a PC to back it up. 

Alternatively, you can use iCloud to back up your phone by going to Settings > tap on your name at the top of the page > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back up now. This backup method will take a while, depending on how long it’s been since you’ve backed up your phone, but it’s dead simple. 

You’ll need to keep your iPhone connected to a Wi-Fi network and on a charger to prevent the backup from draining the battery. 


Back up your iPhone before doing anything else. 

Angela Lang/CNET

After the backup is complete, here are a few more things you should do:

  • Sign out of apps and services. Go through each app and service you’re signed into and log out.
  • Remove any email accounts from your device in Settings > Passwords & Accounts.
  • If you haven’t already, remove your SIM card. If your new phone came with a new SIM card, destroy your old one and throw it away. If you’ve been using an eSIM, make sure you remove or deactivate it

Resetting your iPhone only takes a few taps. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

All right, now you can reset your iPhone

With your phone backed up and all of your accounts removed, factory reset it by following these steps:

1. Open the Settings app. 

2. Select General

3. Scroll to the bottom and select Reset

4. Select Erase All Content and Settings

You’ll need to enter your phone’s PIN code along with your Apple ID password to remove the phone from your account. In the past, you had to disable Find My iPhone (now called Find My) before you could reset your phone. Now, however, Apple prompts you for your Apple ID password during the reset process so it can turn Find My off for you. 

After entering your password, the screen will go dark and the Apple logo along with a progress bar will show up. A few minutes later, you’ll be greeted with a screen with “Hello” in different languages flashing on it, indicating the reset was a success. 

With your phone now wiped and ready for a new owner, you can send it on its way with peace of mind. 

As for your new phone, here are some settings you should change right away, along with some hidden features in iOS 13 that are worth checking out. Still trying to figure out what to do with your old phone? Give these ideas some thought.

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