Preparing your iPhone for Selling

If you’re upgrading to the latest iPhone, the chances are, you’ll still be able to get a bit of cash for your outgoing model. Here’s what you need to make sure you do before selling it.

Generally, smartphones – and that includes iPhones – are worth more if they have been unlocked from their original network first. If you’ve already got an unlocked iPhone, you can skip this step. But if your iPhone was bought on a contract or from one of the carriers’ stores, the chances are, it will be locked into that particular network. If you bought your iPhone from one of the carriers, you’ll need to get in touch with them and enquire about the process of unlocking your smartphone. Every network has different rules, typically pertaining to what type of contract your iPhone was purchased on. O2, for example, will unlock any smartphone or tablet that’s on a pay monthly tariff for free. However, the carrier points out that you’ll still have to carry out the remainder of your contract. To unlock your iPhone, use the My O2 App, and they’ll send you a text once it’s done. Pay as You Go customers can simply unlock their iPhone at any point and they’re free. Other carriers in the UK have similar policies regarding unlocking your smartphone, so it’s worth checking out their respective websites.

The next step (or first if your iPhone is already unlocked) is to back up the contents of your iPhone. Making an up-to-date backup of your iPhone ensures a smooth transition to your new smartphone. If you use iCloud to back up the data on your iPhone, a back will be triggered automatically as soon as your iPhone is plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi. If you want to trigger a manual back up at any time, simply open the “Settings” app on your iPhone, click on your Apple ID at the top of the screen, followed by “iCloud”. Then, click “iCloud Backup”, followed by “Back Up Now”. If you don’t use iCloud and prefer to back up the old-fashioned way via iTunes, you’ll also want to run a final back up before you sell your iPhone. Connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac, launch iTunes, and click the iPhone icon when it appears in the menu bar. You can encrypt your backup if you wish, but if not, just go straight ahead and click the “Back Up Now” button; you can back up your apps when asked to as well if you want.

You’ll want to take a number of steps to make sure your personal data isn’t accessible by the new owner of your iPhone. To ensure your iCloud will be inaccessible, make sure you click the “Sign Out” button within the Apple ID section of the Settings app. If you use a separate account for the App Store, make sure to log out of that too via the “iTunes and App Store” button. If you have an Apple Watch, you should unpair it before selling your iPhone, mostly for your benefit. To do this, launch the Watch app on your iPhone, click “My Watch”, and then tap your Watch. Press the “Info” button, then. Tap “Unpair Apple Watch”. Once you’ve entered your Apple ID and password, your Watch will be unpaired.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to erase all the data on your iPhone so it behaves as if it’s brand new out of the box for its new owner. Launch Settings, then click “General”, followed by “Reset” at the bottom of the list of options. Click “Erase All Content and Settings”, and follow the instructions on-screen; you’ll need to enter your passcode and Apple ID.

Data Recovery