Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Wiping the Contents of an iPhone Before Reselling or Trading In

With new versions of iPhone's slated to be released in a few weeks, now is a good time to tackle the task of wiping data off of older, albeit perfectly functional, iPhone's.  An older iPhone no longer being used can be sold to companies or friends and family, but it is smart to remove all data first regardless of who ends up with the device.  Before selling a device it is highly recommended it be reset to its factory default settings.  Resetting a device to factory settings will remove:
  • Contact names and information
  • Messages including email accounts and data
  • Photos and videos
  • Apps and stored data
  • Calendar events, locations, and details

An important step before resetting a device is to back it up using iTunes.  Backing up the device makes it easy to transfer all the settings, apps, music, photos, and other data to a new iPhone automatically.  To reset an iPhone to its factory default settings:
  • After backing up the phone, go to Settings, General, and select "Reset"
  • On the reset menu, select "Erase All Content and Settings"


  • If you have a passcode, enter it when prompted
  • At the pop-up menu, select "Erase iPhone"  



  • At the second alert warning all data will be removed and that the process cannot be undone, select "Erase iPhone" again
  • The phone will start the factory reset process including rebooting
  • Once done, check the phone to be sure all settings have been removed
Older devices can be resold to help cover the cost of new devices and to keep them from lying around collecting dust.  Before being resold it is always a smart idea to remove all of their data.  Removing apps and accounts one by one is tedious and less thorough than resetting a device to factory settings.  For those devices it does not make sense to resell, check out our ideas for re-purposing old smart phones.

As always, technology marches on!

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