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Trade In or Hand Over

If you are thinking of buying a new mobile device, you might be considering trading in your current machine, or giving it to someone you know. Here are some suggestions before you do either:

Trading in a Mobile Device

  • Back up your device to a cloud or computer.
  • Copy your pictures to your pictures folder or photo program in your computer if there are any pictures that only exist on your mobile device.
  • In the case of a cell phone, confirm that your phone number and voice mail work on your new phone before you part with your “old” phone.
  • Restore the machine to its factory settings. This will remove all of your personal data and pictures, delete all email accounts and apps, and roll back any upgrades or updates you performed.
  • Turn the device off and then on again to be sure it looks the way it looked when it was new (confirm that there are no traces of anything you added).

Giving your Device to a Friend or Family Member

  • You can take the same steps you would if you were trading in your device, but you may not want to restore the device to its factory settings; this will roll back the system upgrades that the new owner will definitely want. You do need to remove your personal accounts however.
  • Turn off any cloud-sharing settings.
  • Delete your AppleID, Microsoft account, or Google account.
  • Delete your email account(s).
  • Delete your iTunes account.
  • Delete your pictures from the Camera Roll (Photo Gallery).
  • Unlock and turn off your Passcode lock
  • Delete any apps you added (you can leave them on but if they need to be upgraded in the future, the device will be looking for the password of the original owner’s account). The new owner can always download his/her own apps.

If you are replacing your desktop or laptop machines, there is no “return for rebate” option; nor is there a “restore to factory settings” option. You can give the machine to someone else but removing all your personal information — which includes documents — is somewhat trickier.

Of course with any device, you can decide to keep the “old” one as a back up. If you do, keep it somewhere safe and passcode protected.

And … enjoy the new machine!