Are you planning to sell or give away your old iPhone? If yes, it is crucial to delete all your personal data from it. This guide will walk you through the necessary steps to safely remove your photos, messages, videos, and completely wipe your iPhone’s memory.
Step 1: Back up Your iPhone’s Content
Before doing anything else, make sure to backup all your personal information. Apple’s data transfer tools have significantly improved in recent years, making it easy to switch iPhones and retrieve all your files in just a few clicks. However, always pay extra attention to avoid potential mistakes or issues during the data migration process.
Here’s how to backup your iPhone:
- Tap on the gear-shaped icon to open your iPhone’s Settings.
- Press your displayed name at the top of the window.
- Choose the iCloud option, then select iCloud Backup.
- Enable the backup feature by flipping the corresponding switch.
- Finally, press Back Up Now.
Wait a few hours before doing anything on your old iPhone. iCloud backups can take several hours, depending on the amount of data and your internet connection speed.
Plus, ensure you have enough storage space on your iPhone. After the backup process, go back to your iPhone’s settings, tap your name, then iCloud, Manage Storage, and finally Backups. Check that your data backup was successful.
Step 2: Back up Your iPhone’s Content on Your Computer
If you’re short on iPhone storage space or encountering slow internet speeds, you can transfer your iPhone’s content directly to your Windows PC’s hard drive. Here’s how to do it:
- Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes on your computer. Download iTunes from Apple’s website if you don’t: Apple iTunes.
- Connect your iPhone to your PC with a compatible USB cable.
- Launch the iTunes app on your computer.
- Click on the iPhone button located at the top left of the iTunes window.
- Select the Summary tab.
- In the Backups section, click Back Up Now.
- If you want to encrypt your backups, check the Encrypt local backup option.
- Click on Set Password and enter your chosen password.
- Keep this password safe.
Check that the backup was successful by typing %appdata% into Windows’ search bar. Open the folder and click on Apple, then Apple Computer, MobileSync, and Backup. You should see all your iTunes backup files.
Step 3: Securely Delete Your Data
When the time comes to part with your old iPhone, make sure not to leave any confidential information in the device’s memory. Doing so is vital for the safety of your data.
Thankfully, deleting an iPhone’s content is particularly easy to accomplish. As previously explained, just ensure that your iPhone’s backup is complete and fully usable.
Once this step is validated, all that’s left is to disconnect your iCloud account from the device and start the complete reset of your iPhone. You can do this directly from your iPhone’s interface in just a few minutes.
Disconnect Your iPhone from Your iCloud Account
Before selling or giving away your phone, you absolutely must disconnect your device from your Apple ID. Here’s how:
- Open the Settings of your Apple device.
- Tap on your name and scroll down the window.
- Press the Disconnect button.
- Enter your Apple account credentials to confirm the operation.
For older versions of iOS (iOS 10.2 and below), the process is slightly different. In the iCloud menu, click on Disconnect twice, then click Remove from my [device name].
Remember, failing to dissociate your Apple account from your device can hinder the new owner’s ability to fully enjoy their new smartphone. However, rest assured, the data stored in iCloud (on Apple’s servers) will not be deleted.
Step 4: Complete Reset of the iPhone
Before initiating your smartphone’s complete reset, make sure your mobile device’s battery is adequately charged. For safety, keep the phone connected to the charger during the entire operation.
Here’s how to reset your iPhone:
- Go to your iPhone’s settings.
- Tap on the General tab.
- Scroll down the window.
- Press Transfer or Reset [your iPhone’s name].
- Click on Erase All Content and Settings.
- A warning message will notify you that all data stored in the device’s memory will be erased.
- The system will then ask you to enter your Apple account credentials.
- Press the Erase button.
The next window will present a detailed summary of all data that will be erased during the process. Once the reset is complete, your old iPhone will display the familiar “Hello” screen. Now, your iPhone is ready to be safely sold or given away without risking your personal data.