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Buying New Smartphones? Here's What You Should Do Before Selling Your Old Device

Buying New Smartphones? Here's What You Should Do Before Selling Your Old Device

by Stephanie Faris on Monday, September 18, 2017 12:15

Both Apple and Samsung have new phones hitting the market this fall, leading professionals across all industries to consider upgrading. As with any upgrade, though, device owners are left with an old smartphone they no longer need. Some choose to give it to a friend or family member, while others opt to sell it on eBay or through a service like Gazelle. The extra money can offset the cost of purchasing a new device. Still others decide to simply recycle their device or donate it to charity, saving the time they'd put into trying to make a small amount of cash.

Once you've figured out a way to offload your old device, you have to ensure all data on it is wiped clean. Even if you've reset it as directed by its manufacturer, some data may still be retrievable. If you use your phone for business, this could put your company in jeopardy. Here are some steps to follow specific to either Android or iOS operating systems.


An Android factory reset has been proven insufficient to erase everything on a device. Even if you're handing your phone over to someone you know, it could later end up in someone else's possession, where they find a way to access data you thought was long gone. These steps can make the reset process more efficient:

  1. Disable Factory Reset Protection (FRP). This lock is put in place to prevent someone else from resetting your device if it's stolen.
  2. Remove your Google account.
  3. Encrypt your phone. When you run encryption on your phone, it scrambles the data that resides on it. Even if someone can find the data you thought you erased, it won't be readable.
  4. Conduct a factory reset. This will back up and erase your device.


The biggest problem with Apple's factory reset is that the phone can still connect to its former owner's accounts. This is especially true of apps that use your device's unique ID to sign you in. Follow these steps to prepare your iPhone for its next owner.

  1. Back up your iPhone.
  2. Remove all photos from your camera roll.
  3. Disable Facetime, iMessage, and your iCloud account. These can all be toggled to off under Settings.
  4. Turn off Find My iPhone.
  5. Sign out of iCloud, iTunes, and the App Store.
  6. Erase data and settings. This is under General, Reset, and Erase All Content and Settings.

Although these steps have been recommended by experts, there is never any guarantee that some data won't remain. For businesses, the best way to guarantee all data is wiped off any piece of electronic equipment is to turn the process over to a professional service.

NCWS provides mobile hard drive shredding and erasure processes to meet all of a company's needs. We can work with your team to come up with a plan to recycle your electronics without putting your sensitive data at risk. Contact us today to find out what we can do for your team.

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