A brand-new phone is an exciting occasion. This is, after all, your new window on the world. But that doesn’t mean you should move on straight away: whether you’re planning to sell, gift, recycle, return or donate your old phone, you’ll need to ensure all of your personal data has been securely erased and the phone reset to factory conditions.
FIRST, however, ensure that all of your personal data is transferred to your new phone or backed up (or both!). Once your old phone is reset, there’s no going back, and the last thing you want is your new-phone excitement ruined by the loss of your contact details or your photos of that incredible, never-to-be-repeated holiday.
Factory resetting your Android phone
Factory Reset Protection (FRP)
Newer Android phones have an anti-theft measure known as Factory Reset Protection (FRP). For a new user (buyer, giftee or donatee) to be able to access the phone, you’ll need to disable FRP. To do this, go to Settings > Security > Screen Lock and set it to None. It is now also a good idea to delete your Google account (and any other accounts while you’re at it): go to Settings > Accounts, then select each account in turn and Remove Account).
If your device is relatively new, the phone’s local storage should already be automatically encrypted (meaning that even if your data is somehow recovered post-reset, it will still be virtually unreadable). If you have an older device, search for ‘encrypt’ in your settings menu to check encryption is in place – or follow the prompts to encrypt your data, if necessary. Note that encryption can be time-consuming – don’t start this if you’re waiting for a call in five minutes!
Now – once you’ve removed your SIM card and any MicroSD cards – you can wipe your Android phone. Different devices may have slightly different steps, but generally, you can go to Settings > System > Advanced > Reset Options > Erase All Data (Factory Reset) > Reset Phone. (An alternative pathway may involve tapping Settings > General Management > Reset > Factory Data Reset > Reset.) And you’re done!
You can further divorce yourself from your old device by also removing your phone from your Google account by visiting Security > Your Devices > Manage Devices via your web-based Google account manager.
Factory resetting your iPhone
As with an Android phone, the first steps should be to backup your data, then unpair any devices (such as an Apple Watch) and remove your SIM card. You should also turn off ‘Find My iPhone’ (via, depending on the age of your device, either Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone or Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Find My iPhone) and sign out of other services such as iMessage and the App Store – then sign out of iCloud completely.
Once you’re out of your accounts, you’re good to go with the iPhone factory reset. Click to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings and confirm the selection.
Need assistance? Talk to the Geelong IT professionals and iPhone experts
If you’re having trouble with any of the above – particularly if you’re not sure your backup has worked properly – don’t hesitate to stop by the Geelong Technology Group showroom and we can give you a hand. We’re also a Geelong Apple Authorised iPhone and Macbook repairer, meaning if it’s just a repair you need, not a whole new device – we’re your team!
Give us a call on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or come and see us in person at 166 Francis Street, Belmont.