promote or donate your cellphone: Backup knowledge, manufacturing unit reset and extra

Earlier than you retire your trusty previous cellphone in favor of one thing shiny and new, suppose twice about tossing it away blindly. Along with all the valuable digital content material and media your cellphone accrued, it holds a wealth of delicate private knowledge that you don’t need disappearing or falling into the flawed palms.

From significant pictures to important emails and textual content messages, failing to prep your cast-off machine correctly earlier than donating or promoting it can imply dropping treasured reminiscences or exposing your self to severe safety and privateness dangers. To keep away from potential points, comply with these steps so you possibly can say good riddance to your seasoned cellphone whereas sustaining some peace of thoughts.

Editors’ observe: This piece was initially printed on Dec. 18, 2013, and has been up to date.  

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What to do earlier than reselling or donating your cellphone


Seize your contacts and go

Due to Apple iOS and Google Android’s use of on-line servers and clouds, storing and backing up primary private data (like contacts and calendar occasions) is a snap. And transferring between like units (iPhone to iPhone ($999.00 at Apple), for instance) is very straightforward. Simply be sure your newest data has been synced lately together with your Apple ID or Google account. After that, migrating knowledge is so simple as punching in your explicit account particulars into your new cellphone.


Again dat (knowledge) up on iOS and Android.

Lynn La/CNET

Transitioning between handsets of differing platforms is a bit more difficult, however not terribly so. Shifting to an Android cellphone is straightforward when you use a Gmail account as your main repository for contacts and calendar particulars. If Apple’s iCloud is the place your data lives, you will must port your contacts and calendar both manually or by means of using apps like SmoothSync for Cloud Calendar and SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts, respectively. 

Pivoting from an Android machine to an iPhone and porting over your contacts and calendar is much less difficult. Simply signal into your Google account in your machine and your cellphone will do the work. As well as, when you’re switching to Apple iOS 9 or later, the corporate launched the Transfer to iOS Android app to assist switch pictures and messages.  

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Change from Android to iOS


Again up your apps and knowledge

Porting over all of your beloved apps and their linked data used to require a number of steps. Lately, nonetheless, Apple and Google are making it simpler. For those who’re utilizing Android Marshmallow or later, you possibly can backup particular person app data, and never simply the apps themselves, onto your Google Drive account. You possibly can entry this feature in the identical menu as your contacts and calendar backup.

Older variations of Android might require stronger medication, sadly. That is as a result of these programs’ built-in backup characteristic solely saves the apps you’ve got put in, not the total snapshot of all the knowledge they’ve accrued. There are some software program options that may sort out this activity, nonetheless, like Helium for Google Android.

On the iOS aspect of the home, creating a whole picture of your iPhone’s software program is a bit of cake. Simply use iTunes’ inherent talents, plus your pc and iTunes, to carry out the duty. This is all the things you must know to get it finished.


Backing up iPhones is straightforward in iTunes.

Lynn La/CNET

Switch your media (music, pictures and video)

Apple ID and Google Pictures and Music providers supply choices to push the pictures, movies and music that reside in your cellphone onto on-line servers. That mentioned, typically the old-school guide method is greatest. For those who’re unsure if all of your multimedia information made the flight as much as the Internet, simply drag and drop them your self.

On an Android cellphone, do that by connecting to a USB port in your PC. As soon as the cellphone seems as a drive within the file explorer, drill right down to the digital camera (seemingly referred to as DCIM for Android units) and music folders to seize what you want and place them the place you need in your pc. You probably have a Mac and an Android cellphone, obtain Android File Switch to maneuver content material. All iPhones use an identical technique, however by means of the iTunes desktop software program as a substitute.


Snip snap: In case your SIM card must be a special measurement, a fast trim can do the trick.

Sharon Profis/CNET

Know your SIM card

All GSM telephones require SIM playing cards to perform, and when you’re sticking with the identical GSM service (AT&T, T-Cell within the US) then swapping telephones is just a matter of switching SIMs. One key bit of information regularly neglected is what kind of SIM playing cards you are working with. Particularly, what measurement your present SIM card is and what measurement your new cellphone accepts. For instance, older telephones use micro-SIM playing cards, however most present telephones now use smaller nano-SIM playing cards.

For those who’re migrating from a micro-SIM to nano-SIM, you possibly can lower the cardboard down — that’s, when you personal the appropriate instruments and are very, very cautious. In fact, the best method is to get a brand new SIM out of your service, which are sometimes offered totally free, however can value about $10.


Need to eliminate final yr’s telephones? Make sure you erase your knowledge first.

Josh Miller/CNET

Wipe it nicely

Each cellphone, whether or not or not it’s an iPhone or Android machine, permits you to carry out a manufacturing unit reset. It is a solution to wipe the machine’s reminiscence clear of put in apps, pictures, movies, e mail accounts, private accounts — all the things. You even have the choice to scour any knowledge dwelling on an put in microSD card, although I counsel you bodily take away it and take it with you.

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Wipe your iPhone or iPad the appropriate method


For individuals who wish to be additional cautious, you possibly can take the extra step of linking the wiped cellphone to a dummy account, then conduct one other manufacturing unit reset. This will increase the chance that would-be miscreants would possibly solely have entry to the latest software program and your decoy picture, not your actual knowledge.

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