How to erase data from your smartphone before reselling or recycling it

Android and iOS operating systems offer options in settings that allow you to wipe everything and restore factory settings. This way, you can resell it or give it to a third party.

When the time comes to change your smartphone to a latest generation model, the question inevitably arises as to what to do with the old one. For many mobile users, it is not uncommon for the laptop from before to end up in a drawer. But his career can also end in the dumpster, in anticipation of recycling, or in another pocket, through resale or donation.

This is where another question will arise, that of personal data.

Obviously, no question of reselling or giving away your laptop with all your content on it. So it’s on the side of the delete settings built into Android and iOS – the two main mobile operating systems – that you will have to turn. But first of all, remember to save all your data. Because once the last step is completed, they can no longer be recovered.

Erase your data on Android

This guide has been written based on a OnePlus 6 (10.3.4) smartphone running Android 10. Depending on your smartphone model and operating system version, some points may vary marginally. But in general terms, the user journey will be roughly the same. If you have any doubts, you can always ask a loved one who can help you.

  • Launch first of all the settings from the Android home screen. They are accessible via an icon symbolizing a toothed wheel;
  • Then go to the section “System”, then in the line “Reset options”;
  • Choose the command “Erase all data (restore factory settings)” ;
  • Check the option “Clear internal storage” and then on the button “Erase all data”;
  • Finally, follow the final steps requested until the complete reset of the device.
Android Data Erase
Once in the settings (which is here at the bottom right of the left screen), you will need to go to the system and then to the reset options.

The reset will affect account information, the contact list, user data, but also applications installed from Google Play and all multimedia content: photos, videos, music, games and any other element that is not part of the reset. Android core files. This will also erase network preferences and settings (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or mobile data).

To delete everything, you must opt ​​for the erasure of all data and remember to activate the delete option for the internal storage.

Erase your data on an iPhone

This guide was written based on an iPhone running iOS 14. In the event that you are using a much older model or version of the OS, the user journey may vary slightly. However, the main lines will be the same and you should come across the right settings, even if it means fumbling around a bit.

There are several reset options available on iOS, depending on what level of reset you are aiming for.
  • The first thing to do is go to iPhone settings and find the “General” line, which is a little lower;
  • Then look for the line “Reset” which is at the end of the section;
  • In the new screen, choose “Delete content and settings”.
  • Another warning message is also likely to appear, this time warning you about unsaved content on your smartphone. There again, make a preliminary safeguard;
  • Then click on “Delete now”.
Make sure you have backed up all the data that interests you before erasing everything.

Article originally published on July 28, 2020 and updated on August 12, 2021

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