How to wipe your smartphone

Selling or giving away your old iPhone, iPad or Android is a great idea, but you should first make sure that your personal data has been erased, otherwise your private data might be up for grabs. Here’s how to do it.

iPhone and iPad

If you’re upgrading to a newer device, you should back up all of your data.

on your iPhone or iPad so that you can transfer it, if you haven’t already. If possible, you should wait until your new device is up and running before deleting your data off your old one.

Next, open up Settings on your device then tap iCloud, then tap Sign Out. Now tap Sign Out again and then tap Delete from My iPhone; you will now have to enter your password.

Now go back to Settings and tap General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. You might have to enter your password again during this process.

All of your data will now be cleared from the device and you can safely sell it or give it away.

Read more about wiping your iPhone or iPad on Apple’s website


As Android devices do not encrypt data by default, the first step is to enable encryption on your smartphone or tablet. You can do this by navigating to Settings > Security > Encryption > Encrypt device. When this is finished, open Settings again and head to User and backup > Backup and reset and then tap Factory date reset and follow the prompts.

As different manufacturers have slightly different menus for Android devices, you might have to look for similar sounding settings to find the ones listed in the steps above.

If you’re having trouble, feel free to leave a comment below.

Now you’re free to give your smartphone or tablet away. If you’re interested in selling it, keep an eye on our newsletter for our guide on how to sell your smartphone or tablet next week.

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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