Mobile Monday: What to Do Before Selling Your iPhone

Whether you’re the kind of person who has to have the latest model iPhone, or the kind who prefers to stick with the same phone for a few years at a time, eventually there will come a time when you want or need to part company with your iPhone. At Phone Medics + PC, we want to help you make that transition as smoothly as possible. With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to getting your iPhone ready to sell.

Unpair Your Apple Watch

If you own an Apple Watch, then the first thing you need to do is unpair it from your phone. To do that, open up the Watch app on your iPhone. If the app doesn’t open to the My Watch screen, tap the tab at the bottom. From the My Watch screen, tap your Apple Watch, then tap the orange letter i in a circle next to your watch’s name. At the bottom of the screen you should see “Unpair Apple Watch” in red letters. Tap that to unpair your iPhone and Apple Watch. If your watch is an Apple Watch Series 3, you’ll also need to decide whether you want to keep your watch’s cellular plan. If you’re planning to pair the same watch with a new iPhone, then you’ll probably want to keep the plan. If you’re also selling the watch, then you’ll want to remove the cellular plan from the watch.

Backup Your Data

The next thing to do is make sure the data on your phone is backed up. You can do that through iTunes, iCloud, or both. For iTunes, plug your phone into your computer and click on the icon for your device in the corner (right next to the drop-down menu where you navigate to your music and video libraries). On the device summary screen, scroll down until you see the button that says “Back Up Now,” then click it. For iCloud, open your phone’s Settings app and tap your name, then tap iCloud, scroll down and tap iCloud Backup, then tap Back Up Now.

Sign Out of iCloud

Once your backup is complete, you’ll need to sign out of your iCloud account. If your phone is running iOS 10.2 or earlier, you have to sign out of your iCloud account and your iTunes and App Store account separately. For iCloud, open up the Settings app, then tap iCloud, Sign Out, Sign Out again, and Delete from My iPhone, then enter your Apple ID password. For iTunes and the App Store, open settings, then tap iTunes & App Store, tap Apple ID, then tap Sign Out. Beginning with iOS 10.3, Apple streamlined the process considerably, so if you’re using iOS 10.3 or newer, open the Settings app, tap your name at the top of the screen, scroll down to Sign Out and tap it, then enter your Apple ID password. When the alert pops up that you need to turn off Find My iPhone, tap Turn Off.

Deregister iMessage

If you’re replacing your iPhone with another iPhone, then you’re ready to move on to the factory reset. If you’re making the jump to an Android phone (and are keeping the same phone number), then there’s one more step you need to complete: you have to deregister iMessage, otherwise text messages sent to your phone number won’t make it to your new phone. To do this, open up Settings, tap Messages, then tap the slider switch next to iMessage.

Reset Your iPhone

Now you’re ready to reset your phone. In the Settings app tap General, then scroll down and tap Reset, then tap Erase All Content and Settings. If you have a restrictions passcode set, you’ll be prompted for it now. You might also be prompted for your Apple ID password. If so, enter it. All the data on your phone will be erased, and the phone will reset to its original factory settings.

Time To Sell

After you reset your phone, it’s a good idea to gather everything you’re planning to send with the phone when you sell it – charge cable and outlet adapter, the original box if you still have it, etc. It’s also probably a good idea to clean it up as best you can, especially if you’re going to be posting pictures of it on a site like Craigslist or eBay. Once all that’s done, your phone is ready to be sold (or donated).