How to prepare your iPhone for trade-in

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By Peter Cruickshank
14 Mar 2018

If you’ve got an old iPhone lying around, selling or trading it in can get some value out of it – but there are a few things you'll need to do before waving your phone goodbye.

The most important thing is to remove all the data on your mobile. This means your security features, email accounts, photos, saved contacts and much more. Follow the steps in this guide to wipe your iPhone and when you’re done, check out Team Knowhow’s trade-in service to get an instant online quote for your old iPhone.

Back up your iPhone to iCloud

Before trading in your iPhone, make sure you have all the personal information you want to keep – pictures, messages, contacts and so on – safely backed up to your computer or to iCloud. Apple's iCloud Backup service gives you up to 5GB of free space to store data from your phone, and the option to buy more storage space if you eventually run out.

iCloud Backup happens automatically every day – as long as your handset is plugged in and charging, connected to Wi-Fi and the screen is locked. Make sure iCloud Backup is turned on by following the steps below.

1. From your Home screen, find and press the Settings icon.

2. Tap on your Apple ID to view your personal settings.

3. Tap on iCloud to see the iCloud settings menu.

4. Once you're in iCloud settings, you can see how much iCloud storage is already being used. Scroll down to the bottom of the menu to see more options.

5. Tap on iCloud Backup to make sure it's turned on, and to start a manual backup.

6. On this final page, you can see the date of the last backup of your iPhone. Press Back Up Now to start a new backup. A progress bar will appear, showing you how far through the backup you are.

If you'd rather manage backups yourself, or your backup size has outgrown your iCloud account, using iTunes on your PC or Mac will let you back up your iPhone to your computer. You'll need to remember to connect it in order to back up your phone – but you'll know your data is safely stored and accessible whenever you want to restore it to a new iPhone.

If you need any more information on backing up, we've put together a full guide to backing up your phone to your computer. Once your data is safely backed up, you're ready to reset your iPhone.

Unpair your Apple Watch

If you've paired your iPhone to an Apple Watch, you must make sure to remove it before reseting your phone. These steps will help you unpair your Apple Watch.

1. From your Home screen, find and open the Watch app, then tap on the name of your watch at the top of the screen.

2. Scroll down to the bottom of the General menu and tap Reset.

3. To make sure all your data is removed, tap on Erase All Content and Settings.

4. If you've already followed the steps to back up your iPhone, tap Erase Now to continue.

Turn off Find My iPhone

If you've backed up your iPhone, the next step is to remove your iCloud account and disable Find My iPhone. Without this, your iPhone still thinks it belongs to you, and it can't be set up by anyone else.

1. In your iPhone's Settings Menu, tap on your Apple ID.

2. On the next page, tap on iCloud.

3. Scroll to the bottom of the iCloud settings menu and tap on Find My iPhone.

4. Finally, tap the switch to turn off Find My iPhone.

Remove your iCloud account

The next step in resetting your iPhone before trade-in is removing your iCloud account, as nobody else will be able to use the phone until you've done so.

1. Open your Settings menu and tap on your Apple ID.

2. You can now see your Apple ID settings. Scroll down the menu.

3. Tap on Sign Out. You're now ready to factory restore your iPhone.

Wipe all your personal data from an iPhone

After backing up your phone, removing any security features and unpairing any Apple Watches, you're now ready to reset the phone and remove your data. Follow the steps below to reset your phone to its factory settings, ready to sell or trade in.

1. Open the Settings app and tap on General.

2. Scroll down to the bottom of the General menu and tap Reset.

3. To make sure all your data is removed, tap on Erase All Content and Settings.

4. If you've already followed the steps to back up your iPhone, tap Erase Now to continue.

5. If prompted, enter your iPhone's unlock code to confirm you want to erase all your data.

6. Tap Erase iPhone to finish the process. Your iPhone will restart, and when it turns back on you will be asked to set it up as if it were new.

You've successfully wiped your iPhone, ready for trade-in – and for a great price on your old iPhone, why not take a look at Team Knowhow's trade-in service?