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How to wipe your iPhone safely

Sep 02, 2019 · 3 min read

How to wipe your iPhone safely

We keep tons of private stuff on our phones, so selling yours could be risky. Most of us probably don’t want strangers to discover our personal photos, call logs, Facebook messages, or other data. So, what can you do before selling your iPhone? Here are some tips on how to wipe an iPhone safely.

How to back up an iPhone

Before wiping your phone clean, back up any info you want to keep. Here’s how:

1. Tap Settings;

How to wipe an iPhone

2. Click on your name;

How to wipe an iPhone

3. Choose iCloud. Sign in to your account, if you hadn’t done it before;

How to wipe an iPhone

4. Scroll down to find iCloud Backup and tap it;

How to wipe an iPhone

5. Turn it on by tapping the toggle on the right;

How to wipe an iPhone

6. Click Ok to confirm;

How to wipe an iPhone

7. Tap Back Up Now. Just make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi to start a back-up.

How to wipe an iPhone

For extra security, you can encrypt your backup by:

1. Opening iTunes and connecting your phone to your computer;

2. Clicking on the button with the small phone;

How to wipe an iPhone

3. Going to Summary and clicking on Encrypt iPhone backup;

How to wipe an iPhone

4. Creating a password for the backup;

5. After this iTunes will back up your phone and encrypt your back-up.

You must be signed in to your iCloud account to perform these steps. iCloud synchronizes and stores your data in a virtual drive. You can also choose which apps to use with iCloud in Settings. You can back up text messages, contacts, and emails this way.

If you want to back up your call logs, you can only do so by using third-party software. If you have photos or music that you would like to keep, then sync your phone with iTunes. For a step-by-step guide, visit Apple’s Support page.

How to wipe an iPhone

Before you trade your phone, make sure you remove all the sensitive information from your device. You don’t want a future user to discover your stuff or even financial info, so do the following:

– Delete all saved passwords and retained data from your social media apps, online stores, and browsers;

– Sign out of iTunes, App store and iCloud as well as other stores and accounts;

– Unpair your Apple Watch from your device. Click here to find out how;

– Remove all your cards associated with Wallet & Apple Pay:

1. Go to Settings;

How to wipe an iPhone

2. Choose Wallet & Apple Pay;

How to wipe an iPhone

3. Tap on your card;

How to wipe an iPhone

4. Tap Remove this card.

How to wipe an iPhone

– If you are switching from iMessages to Messages, turn off your iMessage function before you remove your SIM card so that your iMessages won’t show up to the new owner. You can do this by:

1. Going to Settings;

How to wipe an iPhone

2. Tapping Messages;

How to wipe an iPhone

3. Switching off iMessages by clicking on the switch next to it;

How to wipe an iPhone

4. Deregistering your phone number here.

– If you're using Find My iPhone function and no longer have your phone you should:

1. Open the Find My iPhone app on the device you have;

2. Sign in to your Apple ID account;

How to wipe an iPhone

3. Select the device you no longer have by clicking on it;

How to wipe an iPhone

4. Tap Actions;

How to wipe an iPhone

5. Click Erase iPhone;

How to wipe an iPhone

6. After the device has been erased, click Remove from Account.

– Sign out of your Apple ID by:

1. Going to Settings;

How to wipe an iPhone

2. Clicking on your name;

How to wipe an iPhone

3. Tapping Sign Out and entering your password.

How to wipe an iPhone

– Remove your SIM card;

– Remove your device serial number from your Apple account profile:

1. Go to appleid.apple.com;

2. Log in to your account and go to Devices;

How to wipe an iPhone

3. Here you’ll see all the devices linked to your Apple ID. Click on the device you wish to sell and click Remove from account.

How to wipe an iPhone

Here’s how to reset your iPhone. This procedure will wipe out all your data, too:

1. Go to Settings;

How to wipe an iPhone

2. Scroll down to General;

How to wipe an iPhone

3. Tap Reset;

How to wipe an iPhone

4. Press Erase All Content and Settings;

How to wipe an iPhone

5. Click Erase Now. Tap one more time to confirm;

How to wipe an iPhone

6. Enter your passcode;

7. Enter Apple ID password to erase phone.

How can I erase my iPhone without an Apple ID password?

If you forgot your Apple ID password, you can reset it by going to your account page, clicking on Forgot Apple ID or password?, and following the steps indicated. If you cannot retrieve the password, you can still wipe your phone:

1. Connect your iPhone to a computer and open iTunes;

2. Click on the button with the small phone;

How to wipe an iPhone

3. Go to Summary and click on Restore iPhone.

How to wipe an iPhone

Just be aware that erasing your iPhone this way does not delete all your data and settings completely. The deleted info cannot be accessed via the iOS interface, but it stays on your device and could be accessed by an experienced technician or hacker. To erase your data completely, you have to overwrite it using a third-party app. Just make you use a reliable program that respects your privacy.

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Paul Black
Paul Black successVerified author

Paul is a technology and art enthusiast who is always eager to explore the most up-to-date issues in cybersec and internet freedom. He is always in search for new and unexplored angles to share with his readers.


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