Before you sell your phone, it is important to make sure all of your secure data is totally gone. You never know where your phone might end up. It could eventually be sold to someone who may take advantage of your information. In many cases, you can’t count on a reseller to delete your information for you. The best way to do it is to perform a secure data wipe yourself.
How To Perform A Data Wipe
There are tons of places that data can lurk on your phone. Just because you may have erased or deleted an app, a confidential email or photos from your phone does not mean they are irreversibly gone. We break down everything you need to do to make sure all your data is completely off your phone so that you can go sell it with peace of mind.
Do a Backup
First thing is first: do a backup on your phone before you go erasing anything. You never know what you might need in the future, and it will be much easier to set up your new phone with all your old information. You won’t have to sit there inputting all your contacts and information, instead, you can just use a backup.
- Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
- Go to Settings > [your name], and tap iCloud.
- Tap iCloud backup.
- Tap Back Up Now. Stay connected to your Wi-Fi network until the process completes.
You can also backup your iPhone using iTunes and iCloud. For more ways to backup your iPhone, check out their support page here.
- Go to Settings
- Tap on Personal
- Tap on Backup and Reset
- Tap on both Backup My Data and Automatic Restore
- Go back to Settings
- Tap on Personal
- Tap Accounts & Sync
- Select your Google account
- Select all of the option boxes listed so that all data is synced
You can also back up your Android by plugging it into a computer and manually saving all your photos, videos and files through Android File Transfer.
Erase All Contents
Now that you’ve backed up all your data, you will need to erase all your phone’s contents. Some people skip this step and go straight to the factory reset for their data wipe, which is totally fine. However, if you are looking to be one hundred percent sure of your data wipe, you can take this step as well.
- Go to your Settings app
- Tap on General
- Scroll all the way to the bottom
- Tap on Reset
- Tap on Erase All Content and Settings
- Tap on Erase iPhone
- Tap on Erase iPhone again to confirm
- Enter your Passcode
- Enter your Apple ID password to turn off Activate Lock and remove the device from Find my iPhone
- Go to Android Device Manager page to make sure you have enabled this feature on your phone. If it is, then proceed to step 2. If not, enable it.
- On a computer, go to android.com/find
- Sign in to the Google account associated with your phone
- Click on your device
- Click “Erase”. All the data on the phone will then be permanently deleted, however, it won’t delete files saved on your SD card.
At this point, all your data has been backed up and erased from your phone. Although now your phone is now erased, it does not mean that the content is irretrievable. There are softwares and different means available for people to get it back, and with all the sensitive data we put on our phones, it’s important that we ensure it’s totally gone forever. The only way to make sure of this data erasure is to perform a factory reset on your phone.
- Open iTunes on your Mac or PC. If you can’t access a computer and your device still works, don’t worry, you can still erase and restore your device without a computer.
- Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to your computer with the cable that came with your device.
- If a message asks for your device passcode or to Trust This Computer, follow the onscreen steps.
- Select your iPhone, iPad, or iPod when it appears in iTunes.
In the Summary panel, click Restore [device].
- Click Restore again to confirm. Then iTunes erases your device and installs the latest iOS or iPod software.
- After your device restores to factory settings, it restarts. Now you can set it up as new, or go ahead and sell it on to the next owner.
Depending on your Android phone, the menu may be slightly different. Here’s how most work:
- Go to Settings, then General Management.
- Tap on Reset all the way at the bottom
- Tap Factory Reset
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Reset
As a used phone retailer, you want to make sure that you perform a factory reset on all your phones. This is so that they are all like brand-new, and so that you don’t have to worry about any issues with returns or complaints. Selling phones that have had a data wipe performed on them makes the seller feel more comfortable, and your reputation will flourish.
However, as a used phone retailer, it can take a lot of time and manpower to individually reset every phone that comes through your door. This is especially true if you buy used phones wholesale. You can maximize the profits on your used phones by using a software, such as PhoneCheck, to perform the data erasure on all your phones.
Not only will PhoneCheck perform the data wipe, it will also check 60+ other points of diagnostics on the phone to make sure it is all in working order. It will also let you know what you might need to fix before selling, such as the wifi signal strength or battery health. It will also print out a certificate, so that both you and the buyer are assured that everything is in working order. The best part? All of this is done in under 2 minutes. In an industry that can so easily be taken advantage of, PhoneCheck gives both sides a much-needed peace of mind.