How to Prepare iPhone for Trade In

Trading in your old iPhone is a smart way to upgrade to a newer model while saving some money. It also ensures that your old device gets a second life, reducing electronic waste. But before you hand over your device, there are several steps you must take to protect your data and prepare the iPhone for its next user. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to ready your iPhone for trade-in.

1. Back Up Your Data

Before anything else, make sure to back up your data so you won’t lose any important files, photos, or app data. You can back up your iPhone using iCloud or your computer.

iCloud Backup:

  1. Connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi.
  2. Go to Settings, tap on your name, then tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap on iCloud Backup, then tap Back Up Now.

Computer Backup:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
  2. Open Finder (on Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later) or iTunes (on Mac with earlier macOS versions or on PC).
  3. Locate your iPhone on your computer and click Back Up Now.

2. Sign Out of iCloud, iTunes, and App Store

Next, sign out of your Apple ID to ensure the next user won’t have access to your personal data.

  1. Go to Settings, tap on your name.
  2. Scroll down and tap Sign Out.
  3. Enter your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off.

3. Unpair Your Devices

If you have an Apple Watch paired with your iPhone, unpair the devices.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on My Watch, then tap All Watches.
  3. Tap the info button next to the watch you want to unpair, then tap Unpair Apple Watch.

4. Turn Off Find My iPhone

Turning off Find My iPhone is crucial because your iPhone cannot be reset or activated by the next user if this feature is enabled.

  1. Go to Settings, tap on your name, then tap on Find My.
  2. Tap on Find My iPhone, then switch it off.
  3. Enter your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off.

5. Erase All Content and Settings

Now, you’re ready to erase all content and settings. This will reset your iPhone to factory settings.

  1. Go to Settings, then General.
  2. Scroll down and tap Reset.
  3. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  4. If asked, enter your passcode or Apple ID password.
  5. Confirm that you want to erase your device.

6. Remove SIM Card

If your iPhone uses a SIM card, don’t forget to remove it before trading in your device. You might be able to use the SIM card in your new phone, or you might need to destroy it if you’re not planning to use it again.

To remove the SIM card, straighten out a paper clip or use the SIM-eject tool that came with your iPhone. Insert it into the small hole on the SIM tray, push gently, and the tray should pop out.


Trading in your old iPhone is a process that should be approached with care. By following these steps, you’ll ensure that your personal data is secure and that your device is ready for its next owner. Remember to confirm that you’ve successfully backed up all necessary data before you erase your iPhone, as this step cannot be undone.