How-To: Safely prepare + wipe your iPhone for resale or trade-in


If you’re thinking about selling or trading in your current iPhone ahead of the iPhone 6S’s release, you probably understand that you’ll need to clean your device before a buyer can use it complimentary and clear. Prepping an iPhone for resale utilized to be almost as easy as hitting a “reset” button in the iPhone’s settings menu. However over the previous couple of years, the procedure has ended up being more intricate thanks to new security, wallet, and cloud-dependent features such as Activation Lock, Apple Pay and iTunes in the Cloud. Totally getting rid of all your individual items from your iPhone — — and your iPhone from Apple’s servers — requires additional work.

Today, I’m going to stroll you through the process of extensively scrubbing your iPhone prior to resale. There are 8 steps to take to ensure your device is tidied up and ready to sell to its next owner. Here they are…

… [1] Erase All Material And Settings. The very first, simplest, and best-known step in wiping your iPhone is found within the Settings app at the bottom of the General menu: click on Reset, then “Erase All Material And Settings.” (I ‘d recommend taking this step only after utilizing iTunes to do two full, encrypted backups of your iPhone to your computer system.)

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You will certainly be triggered to enter your iPhone’s passcode, then told that “this will delete all media and information, and eliminate all settings.” If you push the Erase iPhone button, iOS will ask you for your iCloud account password to “eliminate this iPhone and eliminate it from your [iCloud] account.”

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You’ll be amazed at how rapidly the iPhone is wiped — — as quickly as you’ve entered your password and hit remove, you’ll get an alert e-mail on your account’s other devices that Find My iPhone was disabled, and it ought to take just a few minutes for the cleaned iPhone to display “Hello” and “Slide to Set Up” text. Is the erasure secure? Well, all of the iPhone’s memory is safeguarded using AES-256 encryption, and hitting the Erase iPhone button destroys the encryption secret. Several security companies have actually tried to provide ‘‘ protected erase’ tools that more boldy scrub the iPhone’s memory, however Apple has shut those tools down as ‘‘ deceptive,’ noting that the file encryption is efficiently solid. Hitting the Reset button leaves the previous contents of your device all however totally impossible to recover by a subsequent owner. But you’ll be able to get everything back from your computer’s encrypted iTunes backup, should you need it.

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[2] What About Activation Lock + Disable Find My iPhone?As revealed above, you can by hand disable Find My iPhone by going into the Settings app’s iCloud menu, pressing the Find My iPhone “On” button, flipping the Discover My iPhone switch to off, and entering your iCloud password. But if you utilize the Erase All Content And Settings function above, this step is instantly managed for you when you enter your iCloud password at the end of the process. Either approach will disable your iPhone’s “Activation Lock,” the security system that allows you to find, from another location wipe, and send out signals to an iPhone no longer in your belongings. Any buyer of a used iPhone will expect you to have taken this step (or more intelligently, the step above) before offering your device.


[3] Apple Pay/Credit Card and Touch ID Finger print Wiping. If you’re making use of an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or newer iPhone, removing your iPhone will immediately purge whatever credit cards and fingerprints you have actually kept in your iPhone. (Even attempting to disable finger print protection for your device will certainly prevent it from keeping cards for Apple Pay.) You will most likely get a collection of emails from your banks noting each “Virtual card” that has been “deleted from Apple Pay,” and you may also get notifications of the card’s deletion from your Apple Watch. If you wish to by hand eliminate individual cards or fingerprints, the Settings app’s Touch ID & & Passcode menu manages prints, and the Passbook & & Apple Pay (iOS 8) or Wallet & & Apple Pay (iOS 9) menu deals with cards. However even if you delete cards for Apple Pay, your iPhone can still store card numbers for Safari web deals; they can be deleted under Settings > > Safari > AutoFill > > Credit Cards.


[4] Provider Lock + Cleaning The ESN/IMEI/MEID.Purchasers of used iPhones wish to prevent acquiring devices that are either stolen, or still under agreement with a cellular business. The status of an iPhone can be examined making use of a device-specific serial number that’s called an IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number, ESN (Electronic Serial Number), or MEID (Mobile Devices Identifier). IMEIs have actually generally been made use of by GSM networks (AT&T/ T-Mobile), while ESN/MEIDs are typically made use of by CDMA networks (Verizon/Sprint). Fourteen or fifteen numbers long, the number can be discovered in Settings > > General > About > > IMEI or MEID.

If you bought your iPhone without an agreement or have totally settled your agreement, the serial number must be free and clear for transfer. Must the phone be locked to a specific carrier, you can get in touch with the provider to request that it be carrier opened prior to selling it, which will considerably improve its trade-in value at services such as Gazelle. If you bought your iPhone made use of, or were given the phone by a member of the family, this free serial number checker can let you understand if the serial number is clear, offering you a sense of reported ownership/theft problems with your device. If your phone’s serial number isn’t clear, contact your cellular service provider to obtain the device settled. And if you’re trying to sell a stolen phone… … return it.

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[5] iCloud Versus iTunes in the Cloud.In among its more complicated branding efforts, Apple in 2011 presented both iCloud — — an e-mail, backup, and information integrating service — — and iTunes in the Cloud, a virtual media locker that allows you to download previously acquired iTunes content free of cost. Removing your iPhone removes it from your iCloud account, however does not remove it from your iTunes in the Cloud account. To do that, you’ll need to open iTunes, go to your account (presently next to the Search bar, signing in with a password under Account Information), scroll down to iTunes in the Cloud, and pick Manage Devices. When you see your old iPhone on the list, hit the Eliminate button. This will liberate among your 10 designated media sharing spaces, and allow the iPhone to be signed up by someone else for iTunes in the Cloud.

I went to do this for my iPhone, purchased in October 2014, and found that the Eliminate button was grayed out. This was a bug with Apple’s system: the iTunes guideline is that “computer systems and devices can be related to a various Apple ID once every 90 days,” but my iPhone was in continuous use for 10 months. I had to contact iTunes consumer support to obtain the iPhone by hand eliminated from my account. Three emails and 2 phone contacts later on, it had not been 100 % dealt with, so ideally your Remove button works effectively.


[6] Apple ID: Manage Trusted Devices.Yes, there is yet another place where your iPhone might be connected to an account online: Apple’s identify verification web site at As soon as you log into your account, which might be protected with two-factor identification — — a password on your Mac, then another one-time password sent out to your choice of “trusted devices” — — you can click Password and Security to “Manage your relied on devices” by hitting the “Include or Eliminate Relied on Devices” button. Your old iPhone will probably be on this list, and you can eliminate it by hitting the “Remove” button. This will avoid your iPhone from serving as a device to verify your identity for any two-factor authentication process.


[7] Get rid of The SIM Card. If you have actually gone through everything above, you’ve done quite much everything needed to scrub your iPhone’s onboard information, cloud associations, and carrier agreement prior to resale. There are only a couple of last physical steps to get it all set to send out to someone. The most crucial is to remove your SIM card from the iPhone using either Apple’s included SIM card device or a paperclip to pop the side compartment open. Place the card in a safe location for transfer to your next phone.


[8] Physical Tidiness. It would behave (and likely maximize your trade-in/resale rate) to have your iPhone looking as near to brand-new as possible. You can use two lightly dampened microfiber cloths to clean the visible outside surface areas, initially carefully getting rid of any crusted-on particles, then wiping the glass and metal or plastic down gently. Don’t get the cloths near speaker, microphone, or accessory port holes; leave them alone. After that’s done, assemble the iPhone’s pack-ins, such as its earphones and/or earphone case, wall charger, and USB cable television, preferably with the initial box. If they’re looking great, you can take photos and list your iPhone on eBay, or skip the pictures and sell your iPhone to a company such as Gazelle. My full guide to getting the best offer on trading in your old iPhone is right here.

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