How to Prepare iPhone for Trade In

This post highlights a few recommendations on what to do before selling or trading your iPhone in. Here’s a quick guide to prepare an iPhone for trade in.

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Different Ways to Let Go of Old iPhones

Apple releases a new iPhone model once or twice every year. And every new release is considered as an upgrade. This therefore prompts many iPhone owners to change or upgrade devices every year. 

In order to make full use of the old iPhone, many iPhone owners would opt to sell or trade it in. This is by far a practical approach except for those who discern to have a massive iPhone collection.

If you are among those who opted to sell or trade old iPhones in, there are plenty of reliable platforms with reputable buy-back or trade-in offers. 

Aside from the top-tier buy-back sites, you can also sell or trade old iPhones in any of the leading carriers. Apple and Amazon also have their very own dedicated trade-in centers for those who seek for more trusty entities.

There are also some alternative sites where you can auction your old iPhone. While these sites typically cut your earnings, they still can be a better alternative to getting as close to market value as possible. But the main downside of auction sites is the fact that there is no guaranteed money as you’ll have to wait and hope that someone will be interested in bidding on your old iPhone.

Important Notes to Prepare iPhone for Trade In

One of the first things that you ought to do before using a new iPhone is to set up your email account and other relevant information. That’s the first personal information saved on your newly acquired iOS device. Later on, more important files and documents were added as your iPhone eventually turned into an instant repository of your personal files for easy access. 

That being said, these types of data must be removed from the iPhone system before you sell or trade it in. Thus, the first recommendation is to wipe all your iPhone data.

So here are the guidelines for you to refer to before you in your iOS device to somewhere else as a trade-in.

1. Remove Pairing

If you have multiple Apple devices like an Apple watch, AirPods, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Mac, chances are that all your devices are connected or synced through iCloud with your Apple ID account. Should this be the case, disconnecting your iPhone from any of these devices is necessary before selling or trading it in. The same thing when your iPhone is paired with other third-party Bluetooth devices like headsets and speakers.

prepare iphone for trade in BT

To unpair an iPhone from a Bluetooth device, just head to Settings-> Bluetooth menu then toggle the Bluetooth switch ON. Wait for your iPhone to scan for all Bluetooth devices it’s paired with or connected to. Then, tap the information (i) icon next to the individual device then select Forget This Device. That should disconnect the device from your iPhone.

prepare iphone for trade in DISCONNECT APPLE WATCH

If your iPhone is currently paired with your Apple Watch, just get your Apple Watch and hold it near your iPhone. When both devices are nearby, launch the Watch app on your iPhone and then tap the My  Watch tab. Select All Watches then tap the information (i) icon next to the watch that you’d like to unpair. Finally, select Unpair Apple Watch to confirm.

Do the same to disconnect your iPhone from other paired Bluetooth devices or accessories.

2. Back Up your Data

If you already have your new iPhone with you, then you can back up your data from the old iPhone straight to your new iPhone. Otherwise, back up your data to your iCloud account so you can just access it across all your Apple devices that are logged into the same iCloud/Apple ID account.

prepare iphone for trade in BACKUP

iPhone backups can be created using iCloud, Mac or Windows PC.

Using iCloud Backup

prepare iphone for trade in ICLOUD

To back up iPhone data to iCloud, just head to Settings then tap on your Apple ID Profile (typically your full name). On the succeeding menu, tap iCloud then select iCloud Backup. Finally, tap Back Up Now then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to finish backing up your files. 

Make sure that your iPhone has ample battery life and stable internet connection preferably through a Wi-Fi network to complete the process.

Using Finder Application on Mac

prepare iphone for trade in FINDER

To back up iPhone files with the Finder app, open the Finder window on your Mac computer then connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB cable. If prompted, tap Trust This Computer or enter your device passcode to proceed then follow the onscreen instructions to finish backing up your iPhone files to your Mac computer.

Using iTunes on Windows PC

prepare iphone for trade in ITUNES

If you don’t have a Mac computer but have a Windows PC, you can use iTunes to back up your iPhone files to your computer’s storage directory.

To do this, simply launch the iTunes app on your computer then connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB/lightning cable. If prompted, enter your device passcode or tap Trust This Computer.

When your iPhone is detected in iTunes, select it and then click Summary. On the right-side menu, click the Back Up Now button then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to finish backing up files from your iPhone to your computer using iTunes.

You can also use Quick Start to automatically move or transfer files from your old iPhone to a new one considering that both devices are running on iOS 11 or later versions.

For older iOS versions like iOS 10 or earlier, you can use iCloud, iTunes, or the Finder app to transfer files to your new device instead.

Once all your files are successfully backed up, you can start wiping your old iPhone to delete all your other contents.

3. Wipe your iPhone Data (Factory Reset)

prepare iphone for trade in FACTORY RESET

To wipe everything clear from your iPhone system, you will need to carry out a full system reset or factory reset. 

  • To do this, simply go to Settings-> General-> Transfer or Reset iPhone menu then select Erase All Content and Settings. Read the details on the following screen to learn which type of information will be deleted during the reset. Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to finish wiping your iPhone.
  • If you’ve enabled Find My iPhone, you may be prompted to enter your Apple ID to disable the feature as well as Activation Lock. Just enter all the required details then proceed to delete all your iPhone data.
  • If the iPhone is no longer with you and you haven’t wiped it out, then you can erase it by heading over to the website. Sign into your iCloud account then select your old iPhone from your devices. Find and select the option to Erase iPhone then remove it from your account.

If you’re sending your iPhone for a trade-in, be sure to take a picture of it to serve as proof of your phone’s current condition.

Once the iPhone is finished resetting, all its factory default settings are restored, making it like a whole new system that’s all set for the next owner’s initial setup procedure.

4. Uninstall/remove your SIM card and other iPhone accessories

Don’t forget to remove your SIM card from your old iPhone.

prepare iphone for trade in SIM CARD

Your SIM card is tagged among the most important (external) components of a smartphone that links the device to your carrier or cellular service provider. If you’re on postpaid subscription, your SIM card is provided and provisioned by your carrier so all carrier-based services your account is subscribed to are also connected to your SIM card. That said, you won’t be able to use these services with your SIM card. 

Aside from carrier-related services, your SIM card also contains all your contacts unless you’ve set the storage to your phone or link this information to your cloud account.

You can remove the SIM card before wiping or performing a factory reset on your old iPhone. Just turn the phone off then use the SIM ejector tool to eject the SIM card tray. Remove the SIM card from the tray then keep it in a safe place or install it to your new iPhone right away.

5. Remove your old iPhone from your Trusted Devices

Removing your old iPhone from your list of all trusted devices is also highly recommended.

prepare iphone for trade in REMOVE TRUSTED DEVICES

To view  and manage your trusted devices on your iPhone, just go to Settings-> Your Name then select your old iPhone from the list.

Also remove your old iPhone from your trusted devices on your Mac.

Alternatively, you can access the Apple website through your web browser and then remove your old iPhone from your trusted devices. 

To do this, navigate to the Apple ID account page and then sign in with your Apple ID. Select your old iPhone from the list of trusted devices under the Devices section then follow the onscreen commands to remove it.

Need Help on Transfer of Service?

If you are not using a SIM card with your iPhone, then you can contact your carrier to get help transferring service to the new owner of your device. For further assistance on transferring services, just contact your iPhone’s manufacturer or carrier.

And that’s how you prepare an iPhone for a trade-in.

Please keep posted for more comprehensive iOS tutorials and troubleshooting guides on this site. Or you can check out this YouTube channel to view more comprehensive tutorial and troubleshooting videos including recent iOS devices.

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