You’re probably interested in donating or selling an old iPhone after purchasing a new device if you’ve landed here. We commend you for not tossing your electronics in the trash, but we must iterate how important it is to erase contents from your old phone before you recycle it.
Let’s dive into why you need to wipe your iPhone’s data and discuss what actions you can take to protect yourself.
Why do I need to wipe iPhone data before selling or donating?
When you sell, donate, or trade in an iPhone, you may not even realize how much data is still left on your device.
One study assessed 100 used Android device purchases from eBay and found 17% contained traceable data. The types of data still included on the “new phones” were:
- Employers name, payroll number, insurance number, and date of birth
- Bank account details
- Social media accounts still logged in
- Apple ID and password
- eBay username and password
- Email username and password
- Text messages
How do I perform a factory reset on an iPhone?
First Things First: Backing Up Your Data to iCloud
You’ll want to make sure the files you’d like to keep up are backed up to your iCloud account. You can check this by going into your Settings app > tap your name > tap iCloud > tap iCloud Backup. Then, see if the on button is enabled. This will also tell you when your iPhone was last backed up.
If this setting isn’t enabled, you can select the Back Up Now button to perform the backup manually. Make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network and a power source before starting the process.
How to Erase All Data From an iOS Device
Once you’ve saved what data you want to keep, it’s time to turn back the clock on your iPhone (metaphorically, that is) by performing a factory reset. What this does is restore your device back to its original factory settings while wiping any stored data it contains.
First, make sure you sign out of iCloud and unpair your iPhone from other connected devices. Then, to perform the factory reset on an iPhone, iPad, or even an iPod Touch, you’ll want to open your Settings app > tap General > tap Reset > tap Erase All Content and Settings. You may be prompted to enter your Apple ID password or passcode and confirm you want to erase iPhone settings.
There is a lot of speculation about whether this is enough to protect your iPhone data. Technically, it is still possible to retrieve photos, emails, texts, and other sensitive information, but, in most cases, a general factory reset is enough.
When CPR buys or accepts a donation of any old phone, we erase all content and settings so that a new user won’t have access to an old user’s data. So, if you’re worried about making sure your data is still available to you but not to a new owner, we can help with that.
Visit a CPR Cell Phone Repair near you to back up your iPhone data before wiping it. Once there, you can also get assistance transferring data to your new phone, sell or donate your old device, or shop for a new iPhone!