How to Wipe Your Phone or Tablet Before Selling
If you're looking to sell your phone, but you're concerned about the personal information and media that you have stored on it, one way to ensure your privacy and security of your data is to fully wipe the data on the phone.
However, this can be a bit of a complicated process and it can vary from phone to phone. Keep in mind that – short of the destruction of the phone’s hard drive capacity – there is no way to completely wipe your data from a phone with the proper data recovery tools.
However, you can wipe the data so a normal operator will not be able to retrieve this data or have easy access to it.
The purpose of this useful guide is to give you the specific steps you need to follow in order to ensure that your phone will be properly wiped and ready for exchange:
Table of Contents
Things to do before you start
This guide has directions for working with the main operating systems of phones that are in common usage today, but if you have an older phone, it may have an OS that isn’t covered here. The manual of this specific phone may have directions on how to accomplish a successful wipe of the data.
Before starting the process of wiping your data, ensure that you have saved all the data you want to save (such as contacts, pictures, etc) to another device. You should also delete permissions that this device has to access any of your social media or financial accounts, as well as uninstalling the apps involved.
You will also need to remove any removable storage device, such as the SIM card or SD card. You may maintain possession of these components or wipe the data from them separately. It is also advised that you keep a record of the serial number of the device on file, in case you need it at a future date.
How to wipe android phones before selling
There are certain hurdles you will have to overcome in order to wipe the data from your Android device. Some newer Android builds include factory reset protection (FRP) which will render the device inoperative after a reset and require the previous user data and password be entered to reactivate it – if you’ve forgotten your password, check out this guide, it might help you get unstuck at this stage.
This is a well-intentioned anti-theft measure but is also a hindrance for attempting to resell your device. If you want to successfully exchange your phone, you will need to disable the FRP prior to other steps.
Keep in mind that this may take an hour or longer for your phone to accomplish, for resale prices, make sure you bookmark or check out this Android trade-in comparison service
How to wipe iPhones before selling
If you have ever set a passcode on your iPhone or iPad on iOS 5 or later, the encryption key will also be overwritten and make data retrieval more difficult. The difficulty of resetting apple devices may come from them being paired with other devices such as a tablet or apple watch.
Check out our comparison service to learn how to sell your iPhone for more.
How to wipe Windows phones before selling
While this OS is no longer supported, there are still plenty of Windows phones on the market. These phones only offered encryption options for business customers.
In order to complete a factory reset you will also need to load dummy data into the phone to overwrite the original data you no longer wish to be accessible.
Do you need to learn more about how to protect your information when selling or trading your phone? Make sure you bookmark or check out this Windows trade-in comparison service