9 Things You Need to Check Before Selling Your Smartphone – Every year, the next big thing emerges on the smartphone market, and here you are once again deciding the fate of your current phone. If you think it’s time to finally move on, hold your horses. You don’t want to sell your old phone without going through the right steps!
1. Remove all paired devices. One of the handiest things about smart devices is that you can link them. You get a message – it’ll be on your smartwatch. You can share your notes and calendar between your phone, tablet, and laptop seamlessly. Convenient, yes – but it’s just as easy to forget to unpair them. Do that first, and only then take care of your phone.
2. Back your files up. Don’t rush to reset your phone just yet– that’ll be later! You don’t want to lose all the good memories and important information you may have attached to your device. Simple synchronizing might not work here. Just back it up manually – it’s not that hard to do. Start with your pictures, music, and other files.
If you have any network disk app on your Android phone, it probably already uploads all the photos you have. If not, then get yourself covered with any of them in the App Store. Most of them are free, and after signing up, you’ll get some free space on a cloud drive where you can store your stuff. Or simply plug your smartphone into a PC and manually transfer all the files you need.
Just don’t forget to delete them from your phone after that. It’s pretty much the same on an iPhone. Connect it to your computer, then import all the pictures from Image Capture or iPhoto. Now you can remove them from your phone. Just curious: have you ever sold a phone? Let me know how it went down in the comments!
3) Back up account information. Apple users, you have two ways to go about this: through iTunes or iCloud. Either way, you need to connect your phone to a computer, select the device you want to back up, go to the Summary tab, and then choose the Backups menu. Here, you can click on the ‘Back up now’ button, and you’re all set. In iCloud, you just need the ‘Storage & Backup’ menu.
Whatever you do, don’t erase the contact information on your phone manually! It could get deleted from your account too if it wasn’t backed up beforehand. Android users will find the backup menu in the phone’s Settings. Then it’ll ask you to choose a platform to back up your data to. Most of the time, that will be linked to your Google account automatically, but it won’t hurt to double-check.
4. Delete apps manually. Resetting the Phone may leave behind some cached information from apps. And this cache could include your personal info or even saved passwords. Deleting apps manually is a better way to go. But it’s not the only step to take if you’re concerned about security.
5. Turn off all the anti-theft measurements. Anti-theft apps and functions in your phone’s OS can help you remotely delete all data, but you won’t need it if you’re following all these steps. And if the buyer tries to use your device with this function still on, they’ll have a hard time. So just find the anti-theft stuff in your settings and switch it off. If you have some additional anti-theft apps, get rid of them too.
6. Encrypt data on your phone. All apps are gone, all the files are backed up and deleted. But there still might be some leftover information, and it’s always better to encrypt it. Encrypting lets you mix data around so it becomes unintelligible without proper access to it. Most smartphones’ OS have their data encrypted by default, but this data needs further protection with a passcode.
iPhone users will find how to set one up in Touch ID & Passcode settings – just turn the passcode on. Near the bottom of this menu, you’ll also find an option to make your passcode more complex and, therefore, less breakable. An additional option here will allow you to set a limit to attempts of authorization. Android users will find the option to encrypt data and set a passcode in the Security settings menu.
7. Prepare your phone for the factory reset. Do this only after you encrypt data because you’re about to cross the point of no return. A Google account protects your Android from the factory reset by default, so you need to remove that account from your device before you do this step. Go to the Settings, then Accounts and Sync.
Tap on the Google icon and choose to remove it. That’s it! For iPhones, go to the Settings app menu, chose the Messages line, and turn off iMessage. Go back to the Settings app and turn off Face Time too. Then, all that’s left to do is sign out of iCloud and Apple ID.
8. Reset your phone. It’s finally time to say the last goodbye to your old friend. Android users will find the right option in the Backup & reset menu of their Settings. For iOS, it’s in the General tab under Settings. Resetting to factory settings takes time and energy, so it’ll drain the battery fast. Don’t forget to fully charge your phone before you do it! But you still might not be entirely ready to part with your phone forever!.
9. Some Additional Tips & Tricks
– Apple is both the manufacturer and the software developer for its product line, which means they can provide an extra security step if you’re wanting to sell it. You can contact them to unregister your smartphone so that the new user can start working with it from scratch! You can also help the buyer by contacting your Carrier and asking them to detach your phone from your account.
– Check the battery’s health and overall condition before selling your phone. It should at least shift the price one way or another. In iOS, this function is built in the system. You need to go the Settings, then Battery, and tap on Battery Health. Here, you’ll see if your phone can typically work at full capacity or, if not, what your battery’s maximum capacity is.
Androids have access to a variety of apps capable of running full health diagnostics for every system in the phone, including the battery.
– It isn’t necessary after all the steps you took, but you can protect your personal information even further by filling your smartphone with dummy data. Copy some larger files to the memory and encrypt it once again. This way, any leftover data on the phone becomes absolutely inaccessible. …Except if you use USB debugging, but it also can be blocked.
You can get to the USB debugging through the Settings menu while the phone is connected to a PC or laptop. But if it’s someone else, they can also collect your data using this option! So, you might want to leave one app on your phone, and make it an app blocker.
It can restrict access even to the Settings menu. Just set up a password and leave it only to the buyer. Well, as long as you trust that they won’t try to access that personal data!
– If, for some reason, you weren’t able to follow these steps before selling your smartphone, then try to recall if anti-theft apps were still on it when you did that. Remember, you can use them to remotely delete all your leftover data. But you should probably contact the new owner before that if you can and ask them if it’s alright. It’s always better to agree on everything in this kind of deal.