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8 Things You Need to Delete Before Selling Your iPhone

by on January 11, 2017
in Cell Phones, Phones and Mobile, Tips & How-Tos :: 11 comments

If you received a new smartphone for the holidays, you might be ready to hand down your old iPhone or trade it in for cash or credit. Before you hand over your old phone, you'll want to make sure you've deleted all important data. Here's how. 

1. Unpair your Apple Watch

If you paired an Apple Watch with your iPhone, unpair your Apple Watch. Go to the Apple Watch app on your phone, with your Apple Watch sitting nearby. Go to the My Watch Tab and select your watch. Select the information icon next the watch you want to unpair. Select Unpair Apple Watch. Confirm (you may need to enter your Apple ID again to disable Activation Lock.) Before erasing your watch, your iPhone will create a backup of your Apple Watch, which you can use to restore your Apple Watch if you're pairing it with a new iPhone.

2. Back up your iPhone

The easiest way is to use iCloud. At Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, tap a device backup (such as your iPad or iPhone) to control which apps are included. Toggle off apps you don’t feel are absolutely necessary to have on your next phone. Then go to Settings > iCloud. If you want to back up your photos, toggle on Photos and then toggle on iCloud Photo Library. In Settings > iCloud make sure iCloud Backup is toggled on. Then Select Back Up Now. If you don't have enough space in iCloud, check out our tips for freeing up space on iCloud

You can also backup to your computer using iTunes. Connect your device to your computer. Select your device when it appears in iTunes. If you want your photos backed up, make sure you turn that feature on. If you want to backup your Health and Activity data from your iPhone or Apple Watch, you'll need to encrypt your backup by selecting the box Encrypt backup (make sure you create a memorable password). The select Back Up Now

3. Turn off iMessage

Open Settings > Messages > iMessage >  toggle it off.

4. Turn off Activation Lock

Go to Settings > iCloud and select Find My iPhone. Then toggle off Find My iPhone

5. Sign out of iCloud

Go to Settings > iCloud and select Sign Out. (If your phone is running iOS 7 or earlier, select Delete Account.) Select Sign Out again, then select Delete from My iPhone. 

6. Sign out of the iTunes & App Store

Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Apple ID > Sign Out.

7. Restore to factory settings 

Open the Settings app > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. (If you turned on Find my iPhone, you may need to enter your Apple ID and passcode. You may also be asked for your Restrictions passcode.) 

8. Call your carrier to remove your iPhone from your account

Call your carrier and ask them to remove your iPhone from your account. 

Updated on 1/11/2017

[Image credit: iPhone 7 via BigStockPhoto]

Discussion loading


From Barbara McKenzie on October 27, 2014 :: 4:16 pm

Does the last tip (Erase using Find My iPhone) take the place of steps 2-6 or do you need to take those steps first?



It is better to perform

From Suzanne Kantra on October 28, 2014 :: 12:34 am

It is better to perform the reset on your phone. If you erase your phone with Find my Phone, you’ll also need to remove the phone from your Apple account (which is an option that pops up after you erase your phone with Find my Phone). It will then take 24 hours for you to be able to use your iMessage account on a new device.


Top dollar for old phone

From Dave Powers on January 09, 2015 :: 12:20 am

I sold my iPhone 5 for more than I paid for it on They paid my shipping, wiped it for me and I got on PayPal the same day they got my phone. Very fast transaction, highly recommended!



A Most Helpful Post

From EnnisP on February 17, 2015 :: 3:09 am

Thank you for this very useful post. I’m not selling my iPhone but the information did help solve a problem that had frustrated me for hours.



Great Post

From Joe Welch on June 04, 2015 :: 9:28 am

That’s really amazing post about that what are things we need to delete before selling our iPhone. Keep Posting.



In fact, simple deletion and

From Sseasskk on June 17, 2015 :: 11:25 pm

In fact, simple deletion and restore the factory Settings cannot permanently wipe everything from your ios device. When you perform a “deletion” operation to delete personal data from ios device. Though, the data you can’t see .But tt is till be recovered by some professional data recovery program.



It is better to perform

From Perterr on July 29, 2015 :: 11:23 am

It is better to perform the reset on your phone. If you erase your phone with Find my Phone, you’ll also need to remove the phone from your
Apple account (which is an option that pops up after you erase your phone with Find my Phone). It will then take 24 hours for you to be able
to use your iMessage account on a new device.

This is the guide that offers 3 methods to erase data off iOS device:



Great tips. But one thing,

From Nicky on August 31, 2015 :: 3:23 am

Great tips. But one thing, I would like to bring to your kind notice that Erase All Content and Settings is not always safe. Research scientist and security expert Jonathan Zdziarski, have tested and give out a report.  You should serach iPhone security flaw or read this article:


"Test & Check for iPhone"

From Pop Bigbox on September 02, 2015 :: 11:05 am

When you buy iPhone, You can use an app called “Test & Check for iPhone” to test all iPhone’s functional.
video :
download :



delete all the data

From Devean on October 11, 2016 :: 3:40 am

If you need to delete data from your idevices completely, use an ios data eraser tool, I think that is helpful.
You can erase all data with possibility to recover them, but remember to backup them first.



From monkey go happy on January 22, 2017 :: 11:04 pm

I am happy to find this post very useful for me


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