how to wipe your iphone before selling it or trading it in

© Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Whether you’re trading in your old iPhone for a discount on a new one, selling it, giving it away, or recycling it, you’re going to want to erase all of your data first. Not only do you want to keep personal information from falling into the wrong hands, but let’s face it: nobody’s going to want a phone with your old selfies on it.

After you’ve transferred all of your data to a new phone (or, if you’re not getting a new phone, backed your data up), here’s how to wipe your iPhone:

Get rid of a few identifiable features

Disable “Find My iPhone” by going to “Settings” > “Find My” > “Find My Phone” and toggling “Find My Phone” and “Find My Network” to off. Unpair any devices from your phone, including your Apple Watch. Toggle iMessages off (just in case).

Sign out of your Apple ID

Select “Settings” > [your name] top button > “Sign Out” (at the bottom of the page). Enter your Apple ID password. You’ll be asked if you want to keep a copy of your data on this iPhone. Assuming you’ve backed everything up and are about to wipe your phone, you don’t need to toggle anything on. Tap on “Sign Out” in the upper-right corner and then again on the “Are you sure?” pop-up window.

Get ready to erase it

Remove the SIM card from the phone. Go into “Settings” > “General” > “Transfer or Reset iPhone” and select “Erase All Content and Settings.”

how to wipe your iphone before selling it or trading it in

If you’re wiping your phone, you don’t want to keep any data on it.

how to wipe your iphone before selling it or trading it in

You’ll get one last chance to change your mind.

Update September 15th, 2021, 3PM ET: This article was originally published on April 13th, 2020, and has been updated to add more info and account for changes in the OS.

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