How To: Selling Your Old iPhone? Here's Everything You Need to Do

Selling Your Old iPhone? Here's Everything You Need to Do

So, you're going to buy yourself that new iPhone X, but what about that old iPhone you still have? You can keep it in your desk drawer as a backup (because you're clumsy), give it to a friend, family member, or charity (because you're a giving person), or you could sell it (because you're broke, seeing that you just bought a sweet new phone).

If you're considering the latter two options, here is everything you should do before getting rid of your old iPhone, including backing up, wiping, and carrier-unlocking it.

Step 1: Back Up Your iPhone

There are a couple of ways to back up your old iPhone's data, either through iTunes or via iCloud. The safest way to go is via iTunes, but if you don't have enough room on your computer for a backup, iCloud might be better.

Using iTunes

Start off by backing up your device through iTunes—connect it via USB to your computer, then go to Devices and tap on Back Up Now.

Image by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

All of your photos, videos, text messages, and app data will be saved on your computer, allowing you to easily restore your brand new iPhone X, 8 or 8 Plus to everything you left off with.

Using iCloud

If you have enough iCloud storage available, you can back up your device directly to it. Before doing so, you have to make sure this option is turned on. Go to Settings, then tap on your name at the top of the page. From here, go to iCloud -> iCloud Backup and make sure iCloud Backup is enabled.

Images by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

Then, just connect your device to Wi-Fi, connect it to your charger, and make sure that your device's screen is locked. Anytime all three of these criteria are met, your phone will automatically backup to iCloud.

You can also manually back up to iCloud by making sure you're connected to Wi-Fi, then going to Settings -> iCloud -> Backup -> Back Up Now.

Step 2: Turn Off Find My iPhone

Now that all of your stuff is saved onto your computer or in iCloud, it's time to restore your old iPhone and clear everything on it. But there's one important thing that needs to be done prior to doing that.

On your old iPhone, go to Settings, then tap on your name at the top of the page. Go to iCloud -> Find My iPhone, then toggle off Find My iPhone. If you don't do this, you'll be prompted to turn it off during the restore process.

Images by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

Step 3: Wipe Your Old iPhone

Now it's time to restore your iPhone, which will get rid of everything on your device, restoring it to factory-like condition. You can do this by either restoring it through iTunes or directly on your iPhone.

Restoring with iTunes

To do it via iTunes, make sure you're plugged in and on the Summary page for your iPhone, then select Restore iPhone, which will download a new copy of the latest iOS onto your iPhone, erasing everything in the process.

Image by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

Restoring on Your iPhone

To do it on your iPhone, go to Settings -> General -> Reset and selecting Erase All Content and Settings. Unlike the iTunes method, this does not install a new version of the software—just securely erases all of the content and settings.

Bonus: Restoring Removes Jailbreak

Additionally, restoring your phone will remove jailbreak, so you don't have to worry about a voided warranty in case you're selling your device back to a carrier. Just connect your device to your computer, restore your device, and wait for it to boot back up. Jailbreak gone.

Step 4: Remove Your SIM Card

After your old iPhone has been wiped clean, make sure that you remove your SIM card when you're done restoring it, since you'll more than likely need it for your new iPhone X, 8 or 8 Plus.

Image by mypcblewup/YouTube

Now that your device is wiped clean of your data, it's ready to be sold!

Step 5: Carrier Unlock It (Optional)

If you're giving or selling your phone to someone who uses a different carrier than the one your device was originally connected to, you can unlock it by calling your current carrier. Just make sure that you meet the following requirements before you start.

  • You're either a current customer of that carrier, or a former customer that can provide a phone or account number connected to that device.
  • Your device was initially designed for use on that carrier.
  • Your device has been paid off in full.
  • Your device has not been reported stolen or lost.

Each carrier may have different unlocking policies, but you can check them out for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.

Step 6: Sell, Trade, or Give It Away

If you're giving your old iPhone away, rest assured that none of your data is being handed over. If you're selling or trading in your old device, you can get back up to $400 through services like Amazon, Gazelle, eBay, and even Craigslist.

Image by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

Once it's sold, it's time to enjoy your new iPhone. To see all that you can do with iOS 11 on your new iPhone, check out our guide to all the best iOS 11 features.

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