You’re getting ready to sell or give away your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. But first you want to wipe all traces of yourself and your data.
Fortunately, Apple and Android phones and tablets offer built-in features through which you can erase all your personal information, applications, and other content. The process brings the phone back to factory conditions so a new owner can’t retrieve any leftover information.
The steps for wiping your phone differ between an iPhone or Android phone but are still quite doable with either type of device.
1Wipe Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
Let’s first check out how to do this on your iPhone. The steps for erasing your iPhone also apply to an iPad or iPod touch.
First, you’ll need to sign out of iCloud and turn off Find My iPhone. The process for signing out of iCloud differs slightly depending on which version of iOS you’re running. In iOS 10.3 or later, tap on Settings and then tap on your name at the top of the screen. Swipe down to the bottom of your account screen and tap on the link to Sign Out. In iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap on Settings, swipe down and tap on iCloud, and tap on the Sign Out link. You’re then asked to enter your Apple ID password to sign out and also turn off the Find My iPhone feature.
2Turn Off iMessageFor awhile, iPhone users who ditched their iPhone for another platform without logging out of iMessage were not receiving messages from other iOS users. The problem is now fixable and really only affects those who are ditching iPhone for another platform, like Android, but it’s probably a good idea to disable iMessage before ditching your old iPhone just in case. Sign out via General > Messages > toggle iMessage to off.
3Erase All Content and SettingsNext, to erase your content and settings, return to the Settings screen, and tap on General. Swipe down to the bottom of the General page and tap on the Reset link. At the top of the Reset screen, tap on the link to Erase All Content and Settings. Enter your passcode and your device will then be wiped and restored to factory conditions.
4Wipe Your Android Device
To erase your Android phone or tablet, you’ll first want to encrypt the data on the device just in case someone somehow manages to sneak past the wipe and gain access to your information. In that event, encryption ensures that the information is unreadable.
To do this, open your Settings screen. Tap on the link or icon for Security. Then tap on the link to Encrypt phone or tablet. If your device is not fully charged or plugged in, you’ll see a message telling you that it must be fully charged. Charge your device to 100 percent and tap on the button to Encrypt phone or tablet.
5Backup and ResetReturn to the Settings screen. Tap on the setting for Backup & reset. At the Backup & reset screen, tap on the setting for Factory data reset. The Factory data reset screen explains what data will be erased. Tap on the button to Reset phone or tablet. Your device will then be wiped and restored to factory conditions.