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How to Prepare iPhone for Sale or Trade-In

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It's no surprise to anyone that Apple releases a new iPhone every year. Many existing iPhone owners will be looking to upgrade to Apple's latest phone, so we've created a handy guide showing you how to backup your phone's data, wipe/reset your phone, and transfer service from your cell phone provider.

Backup iPhone Data to iCloud or iTunes

Backing up your iPhone's data ensures your pictures, videos, apps, settings, and everything else will be there waiting for you when you migrate everything to your new phone. Your data can be backed up to either iCloud or iTunes. You might be wondering which destination makes the most sense for your backup data.

Option 1: iCloud Backup

  1. On your phone, connect to a wi-fi network.
  2. Open the Settings app, scroll down and tap iCloud. Scroll down and tap Backup, verify that iCloud Backup is turned on.
  3. Tap Back Up Now and stay connected to wi-fi until the backup completes.

Option 2: iTunes Backup

  1. On your computer, open iTunes and connect your iPhone via USB.
  2. You may get a message asking for you to Trust This Computer or enter your passcode. Follow the onscreen steps to continue.
  3. Select your iPhone under Devices in iTunes.
  4. Click the Back Up Now button and wait until the process ends.

To be on the safe side, you might want to consider backing up to both iCloud and iTunes. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Remove SIM Card

To remove your SIM card, you'll need to locate the hole next to your SIM card tray on the side of your phone. Insert a paper clip or SIM-eject tool to pop open the tray, remove the SIM card, and re-insert the empty SIM card tray.

Your phone's SIM card stores data about your account including phone number, security data, and more. Removing your SIM card makes it unable for your old phone's new owner to make calls from your phone number or use your data plan.

Wipe Data from iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app, scroll down and tap General. Scroll down and tap Reset, and then tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  2. If your phone has a passcode enabled, you will need to enter it now to verify you want to erase all of your phone's data.
  3. Tap Erase iPhone on the next two prompts to fully erase all of the data from your iPhone.

This will not only wipe all data from your phone, it will also remove the Find My iPhone feature and sign you out of iCloud on your old device.

Congratulations! You are now able to sell your iPhone.