Recyclezone Blog
How to wipe your phone before selling

How to wipe your phone before selling

Phones hold your ultimate secrets. From your current crushes to your business secrets, there’s a lot your phone knows about you.

The fear of private information and secrets being spread can be stressful.

Don’t panic! This article teaches you step by step how to wipe your phone before selling it.

Whether you are selling a Huawei device or recycling a iPhone you can follow these steps to make sure your data is safe.

(please note that no method is 100% fool proof).

Before you start:

  • Back up any private information onto an additional file.
  • Ensure the SIM and microSD card are removed.
  • Log out of all social media platforms including emails, before removing data.
  • Take a note of your phone/tablets serial number

We have used the three top operating systems. Find the section that matches your phone below. Different phones require different techniques.  

Let’s begin.

How to wipe your iPhone/iOS device before selling it

Connect your iPhone or iPad to Wi-Fi. (wiping your phone may take several minutes, so it is recommended to put your phone on charge).

Don’t delete personal information such as calendars, contacts and photos from iCloud as this will permanently delete them (removing them from the iCloud servers and any of your devices signed into iCloud).


Ensure all other apple products are disconnected from the phone- including apple watches.

Sign out of iCloud and the iTunes & App Store.

To sign out of iCloud: iOS 13 or late

Launch settings-->click on your name (at the top) --> scroll down and tap sign out. You will be required to enter your Apple ID password and then click turn off.

iOS 10.2 or earlier

Go to settings--> scroll down to iCloud-->tap sign out. Then tap ‘delete from my device’ and enter your Apple ID password.

Then go back to Settings-->click iTunes & App Store --> enter your Apple ID --> tap Sign Out.

Once you have signed out of iTunes, iCloud and App store.

You can now erase your phone.

To do this go to settings-->tap general-->scroll right to the bottom and click reset--> then tap Erase All Content and Settings.

  •  If you have Find My Device turned on you will be required to fill in your current password before being able to tap erase.
  •  If asked for your device passcode or Restrictions passcode, enter it. Then click Erase

If you're switching to a non-Apple phone, it is recommended to deregister from iMessage.

Once you have completed these steps, your device has been wiped and you are ready to sell your iPhone.

How to wipe your Android device before selling it

Deactivate factory reset protection.

Androids devices with 5.0 lollipop or later operating systems, will have to disable the factory reset protection (which is automatically installed in these devices).

If your phone came with an older operating system, you can skip to the next step.

If you are unsure which operating service your phone is on. Go to Settings--> About device-->then tap Software info.

To disable factor reset protection follow these steps:

Samsung Galaxy

Settings--> Lock screen-->Screen lock type and click ‘None’.

Huawei phone

Go to Settings --> scroll to Security & privacy--> tap on ‘Screen lock & passwords’ -->click Disable lock screen password.

Google Pixel phone

Settings-->Security-->Screen lock and tap ‘None’. 

Remember to remove your Google account:

Samsung Galaxy

Settings --> scroll to accounts and backup--> tap on Accounts and click Google-->then choose ‘Remove account’.

You also need to delete your Samsung account here!

To do this, go to Settings--> scroll to Biometrics and security-->tap Find My Mobile. Fill in your mobile password-->then tap on your account (at the top)-->click More--> Remove account

Huawei phone

Settings-->click Users & accounts--> tap Google--> then scroll to the bottom and choose Remove.

Google Pixel

Go to Settings scroll to Accounts--> tap Google and then choose Remove account. If you have more than one Google account registered with your phone, then make sure you remove all of them.

Once you have removed your Google and Samsung accounts, you can reset your phone.  

Encrypt your phone.

Encrypt your android to ensure no one can recover your data.

To do this, go to settings--> Security --> and tap Encrypt phone.

You will also have the option to encrypt the SD card, but as suggested at the beginning, we recommend you remove this.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow devices or above encrypt your data automatically, so you can skip this step.

Reset your phone to its factory settings.

How to reset a Samsung Galaxy

Click on settings-->tap General Management --> scroll down to Reset --> then click Factory data reset and then tap Reset device.

How to reset a Huawei phone

Go to Settings--> tap System --> scroll down to Reset-->click ‘Factory data reset’--> then tap Reset Phone.

How to reset a Google Pixel

Settings-->tap System--> Advanced--> scroll to Reset options--> tap Erase all data (factory reset) --> then click Reset phone.


Your phone will now be reset to its original setting and you are ready to sell your android.

Adding junk data

If you are still concerned about your data getting leaked. You can encrypt your phone by adding junk data. Once your phone has been reset, add some large dummy videos and data. Before resetting your phone again. This will make it impossible to recover any of your old data.

How to wipe your Windows phone before selling it

There are two different types of resets for your Windows Phone. Soft reset or hard reset. Hard reset will reboot your phone to factory settings, whereas soft reset is more like an extended reboot and will not remove anything from your phone.

When selling a Windows phone, make sure you carry out a hard reset.

Below are the steps to hard reset the different type of Windows phone: If you are unsure which Window OS you have. Tap on setting-->About-->Tap ‘More info for OS information.’

If you can't access your Windows Mobile device, following the steps under Lumia device.

Hard reset a Windows Phone 8.1

Tap on settings-->Go to About-->Scroll down and click ‘Reset your phone’

Then tap 'Yes', to confirm you want to wipe your phone.

You will be able to select if you want to restore or wipe the SD card to (we recommend you simply remove your SD card.) This will allow you to keep all your music.

Windows 10 Mobile

On Start, swipe over to the All apps list.

Tap Setting-->then click about-->scroll down and press ‘Reset your phone’

You'll receive two warnings. If you're absolutely sure you want to restore your phone to its factory settings, tap Yes, and then tap Yes again.

As with the Window 8.1, you will also have the option to erase your SD.

Hard reset Lumia

Switch off the phone.

Press and hold the Volume Down button-->connect your charger.

Once an exclamation mark appears--> release the button.

Then press these keys, in the following order:

Volume Up-->Volume Down-->Power-->Volume Down

Your phone will now reset. During the reset, two rotating gears will appear on your screen (this can take a few minutes), after which your display will go blank for about 30 seconds.

Once this is complete, your phone has been reset and is ready to sell. 

Furthermore, it is recommended to log out of your Microsoft account.

If you are still concerned about your data being leaked, add junk data to encrypt you phone (read the section under android phones).


Once your phone is fully wiped, and you are ready to sell your phone. Use Recycle Zone to get the best rate for your unwanted devices. Offering a quick and easy way to sell your phone. Explore our website today!