How to Clear Your iPhone Before Trading It?

When you purchase a new iPhone and set it up, it’s easy to forget about your old one. After syncing your images, contacts, and emails, don’t throw away your old phone.

Suppose you intend on selling or trading in your old iPhone, a factory reset will delete your photos, contacts, and messages.

You will also find it convenient if you can transfer the information from your old iPhone to the new one. Discover the steps you must take before selling your iPhone.

What Is a Factory Reset?

A factory reset often called a master reset or hard reset deletes all user information from a device. After a factory reset, the device’s software is restored to its original condition.

If you have an iPhone Xs, you can trade it after resetting the phone. Many users would love to buy used iPhone Xs. Why? It’s because used iPhone XS models are very desirable among consumers since they provide them with an iPhone X-like experience for less than $1,000.

Reasons to Restore Factory Settings

No one wants their information to fall into the wrong hands, obviously. If you activate Apple’s Find My service, certain stores may refuse your trade-in, costing you money.

Wiping your phone is a simple and quick process that will not take more than a few minutes of your time.

Before wiping your old iPhone, there are three things you really must do.

1. Disconnect Your Apple Watch From Your iPhone

If you want to reset either your iPhone or your Apple Watch, you must first unpair the two devices. That will turn off Activation Lock and make the Apple Watch compatible with any iPhone.

  • Choose All Watches from the “My Watch” option in the Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Select your Apple Watch and then tap the info icon.
  • If prompted, choose Unpair [Name] Apple Watch after tapping Unpair Apple Watch.
  • Then, at the upper right, choose Unpair and enter your Apple ID password.

It will disable the ‘Activation Lock’, erase ‘Find My Watch,’ and disconnect your watch from your account.

2. Disable Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime

Before deleting your old iPhone, deactivate iMessage. Your new (Android) phone may not receive SMS or MMS messages from iOS devices utilizing Messages.

Make sure the SIM card for your iMessage phone number is inserted into your iPhone first. Connect your iPhone to a cellular network, then go to the device’s Settings > Messages menu and turn off iMessage.

To disable FaceTime, you must go back to the Settings menu and pick FaceTime. You may disable iMessage and FaceTime on your iPhone from any computer.

Use a mobile or desktop web browser to visit Apple’s Self-Help Center. Input the phone number you want to delete from iMessage and FaceTime. To continue, choose Send Code.

Enter the SMS verification code, then click Submit. If everything checks out, Apple will disable the iMessage app on your phone remotely.

3. Iphone’s Find My Iphone’s Activation Lock Must Be Deactivated

To sell or trade in your iPhone, you must first disable the Activation Lock. The new owner may then use the iPhone without their Apple ID.

Open Settings, press your Apple ID, pick Find My, and hit Off. Then, after tapping Turn Off, enter your Apple ID password.

How Can I Completely Erase My iPhone To Sell It?

1. Get an iPhone Backup

You must first create a complete backup to remove everything from your iPhone. You may store data and settings and eliminate specific time-consuming iPhone setup steps.

Using iCloud on your iPhone is the most hassle-free method of data backup. Nonetheless, if you own a Mac, you may use it to create a backup of your iPhone.

Using iCloud to save an iPhone backup:

  • Open Settings.
  • Go ahead and click on your name up there.
  • Tap iCloud
  • Find and choose iCloud Backup from the menu that appears.
  • To back up your iPhone, you must ensure that both the first and second toggles are turned on (green).
  • After that, tap back up now

Once you switch the toggle to the “on” position, your data will be backed up to iCloud routinely. If you want to back up your data to iCloud, you will need sufficient storage space. You will see this when you try to use Back Up Now if you do not have enough storage space.

2. Change Your iPhone’s Settings to Factory Defaults

It’s possible to lose data when you manually reset your iPhone. You can’t go wrong with the iOS 15 factory reset tool, which walks you through every step. Before resetting your iPhone, the application removes the Activation Lock and makes a backup.

How to Clear Your iPhone Before Trading It?

Image source: Pexels

This is how to wipe your iPhone using iOS 15 or later safely:

  • To transfer or reset your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Transfer
  • Erase All Content and Settings
  • Select Clear Current Settings and Content. This tool will erase your iPhone apps, personal data, accounts, and services.
  • After hitting Continue on your iPhone, you will be prompted to enter your passcode.
  • Wait for the device to complete an iCloud backup once you have connected your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network. If you’d rather not have your iPhone’s data uploaded to iCloud before wiping it, choose Skip Backup.
  • Follow on-screen prompts after entering your Apple ID password and choosing Turn Off.

3. Non-iOS 15 iPhone Factory Reset

On an iPhone, tap Settings > General > Reset if you’re on iOS 14 or before. Put in your Apple ID password and the passcode for your iPhone, then hit Erase All Content and Settings.

4. Using a Mac to Do a Factory Reset on an iPhone

  • Connect your iPhone via USB to a computer running macOS. Unlock your iPhone if prompted and provide the computer with your details and preferences.
  • Select your iPhone from the Finder’s sidebar.
  • Make a copy of all of your iPhone’s data, including applications, on your computer. Continue on to the following section to learn how to make an archive of your previous iPhone. If you don’t wish to back up the iPhone, you may go on to step #6.
  • Select All Content and Settings and tap Back Up Now under the General menu on your iPhone.
  • Choose whether or not you wish to add a password to the backup.
  • Choose to encrypt the backup by entering a password and clicking Set Password on the next screen.
  • A backup cannot begin until you enter your iPhone’s passcode.
  • Once the backup is finished, go to the “Software” section and click the “Restore iPhone” button.
  • Simply choose Back Up to have a duplicate of all of your iPhone’s configurations saved to your computer. Don’t Back Up allows you to skip saving your preferences.

5. Remove Data From Your iPhone Using a Computer

You will need a Mac or PC if you can’t reset your iPhone using Settings. At least version 10.15 of macOS Catalina is required in the Mac PC being used.

Using Windows to Perform a Factory Reset on an iPhone:

  • Connect your iPhone to Windows, run iTunes, and click the iPhone icon in the top left corner.
  • Before erasing your iPhone, choose Summary, then Back Up Now.
  • Tap the Restore iPhone option to return your iPhone to its original configuration.
  • Before restoring your iPhone, you may choose to generate a backup of its settings in iTunes.

6. Erase all iPhone data with Recovery Mode

If you have forgotten the password on your iPhone, you may wipe it from a Mac or PC by entering Recovery Mode. Recovery Mode may wipe data from a non-starting iPhone.

Connect your iPhone to your computer using Finder or iTunes, then follow the steps below:

  • Face ID-enabled iPhones, including the iPhone 8 and SE 2nd gen: Hold the button to increase volume. Then, depress the button labelled “Volume Down” and let go. When you are ready to enter recovery mode, release the Side button.
  • Hold the Side (or Top) button and Volume Down on your iPhone 7 or iPod touch seven until the recovery mode screen shows.
  • To enter recovery mode on an older iPhone or iPod touch, press and hold the Home button and the Side (or Top) button.
  • A pop-up alert from Finder or iTunes should appear when your iPhone boots into recovery. If you want to continue, click the Restore button.
  • After thoroughly cleaning, you may install iOS using Finder or iTunes if your computer is online. To continue, click on Restore and Update.

7. iPhone Reselling Options

If you are thinking about where you can sell your iPhone, there are several approaches to take. Take into account the following possibilities, given the correct data:

  • Swappa and Gazelle are fantastic resale platforms for smartphones and other electronics.
  • If your iPhone is in pristine condition, selling it locally may net you the most money. Craigslist may be a helpful tool when selling locally, but only if you take precautions against fraud and deal only with cash. Instead of selling it on Craigslist, you may try advertising it in a Facebook buy/sell/trade group in your area.
  • If you want to buy more from Apple, you may trade in your old device for store credit.
  • You may also mail a damaged iPhone to Apple’s Reuse and Recycling program for store credit.
  • You may sell your old iPhone on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, or Amazon Marketplace.


Trying to sell or trade-in an iPhone after remotely wiping it is not advised. Apple will wipe your iPhone, but Activation Lock will stay on.

Always utilize a computer or the iPhone’s settings to do a factory reset. Then, check the iPhone’s Activation Lock status using the Find My option. If difficulties persist after restoring your iPhone to factory settings, contact Apple Support.

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