5 Minute HelpDesk – How To Wipe Your Phone Before You Sell It
A phone or tablet is a very personal device and contains a lot of sensitive information about the user – from social media to banking applications. So, what happens to this data once you decide to sell the phone? The data left in a phone can be used to hack your accounts or perpetrate other cybercrimes. Whether you are selling the phone or handing it down to a family member, it’s crucial to wipe every piece of data in your phone.
Our IT experts at Perth do a quick round-up of how to clear data from internal and external storage spaces and how to wipe your phone or tablet before you sell it.
Create a backup
Removing external storage devices
Most phones have external storage options like a microSD card. Make sure you remove this storage device before you wipe the phone or sell it.
Clear app data
Apps store a lot of information like login ID and password. Go to settings→ Apps, find the individual apps, and clear all data saved in these apps. This will automatically log you out of social media and other apps.
The most important step to wiping your phone or tablet clean before you sell it is the factory reset. Factory reset is an option that clears every bit of data in a phone, restoring it to the state when you first unboxed it. This is an irreversible action, so you need to be sure and prepared before doing a factory reset.
Every phone has a factory reset option. Here is how to do it for Android and iOS phones. Since the phone and tablet function in similar ways, the following instructions apply to both devices.
Since most Android phones have a similar user interface, the following steps are more or less applicable to all Android phones.
Step 1: Go to Settings → Lock screen security → None.
Step 2: Remove user accounts from Google and other service providers.
Step 3: Go to Settings → User Accounts → Remove User accounts
Step 4: Factory Reset to remove all data from the device
Go to Settings →Backup & Reset → Reset Factory Settings
This might require you to do additional verification to make sure it’s not happening by accident. Android phones with version 5.0 Lollipop or higher have a feature called the Factory Reset Protection or FRP. This requires the user to log in with a previously used Google account and password to use the phone after a factory reset. So, if you plan to sell your phone after the wipe, make sure to deactivate this feature to allow the new user to use the phone.
A device running on iOS like the iPhone or iPad can be factory reset using the following steps.
Step 1: Unpair devices like the Apple Watch
Watch App → Choose Watch to unpair → Unpair
Step 2: Sign out from App Store, iMessage, Find My Phone, and iCloud
Settings → iTunes & App Store → Choose Apple ID → Sign Out
Settings → iMessages → Toggle iMessage Option
Settings → iCloud → Find My Phone
Settings → iCloud → Sign Out / Delete Account
Step 3: Factory Reset
Settings → General → Reset → Erase All Content and Settings → Confirm
OS – Operating System, the software which supports the basic functioning of a device
microSD – A small storage device, also called a memory card, used in phones and tablets as an external data storage.
App Data – Small pieces of saved information like your login details and preferences to customise your user experience.