1. Back Up Your Data – You may already have your phone setup to automatically sync to an online service like iCloud or your Google account. We have learned you can never be too careful with data and think it’s a good idea to make a manual backup of the data on your phone as well. You can create a backup using the tools provided by your phone’s manufacturer, such as Apple’s iTunes, Samsung’s Kies, or theWindows Phone Desktop App.
2. Perform a Factory Reset – The reset will wipe the phone, deleting your personal data and any apps you’ve installed. It will also reset the phone back to its default state. Each operating system handles this a little differently:
- Android – Before resetting your phone, it’s a good idea to encrypt your data if you haven’t already. To do this, go to “Settings,” select “Security,” then “Encrypt phone.” Once the process is complete, go back to “Settings”, select “Backup & Reset,” then “Factory data reset.”
- iPhone – For iOS devices, go to “Settings,” select “General,” then “Reset.” From there, select “Erase All Content and Settings.”
- Windows Phone – Go to the App list and select “Settings.” Next, you will select “About,” then “Reset your phone.” You’ll then select “Yes” in answer to the warnings about data loss (you did back your data up, right?). This will reset your phone to the settings it had when it came from the factory.
3. Change Account Passwords – For extra protection, change important passwords (e.g., your Apple or Google account) that you may have saved to your smartphone. The factory reset of the phone should remove any saved passwords along with your data, but we recommend clients take this extra precaution. You may also want to ensure that your phone is removed from any services, like Find My iPhone via icloud.com, or as part of the two-factor authorization in your Google Account if you set it up.
Once you complete these three steps, your phone will be ready to safely leave your possession.
For more help with this, see the Tech Tip titled>Backing Up Mobile Devices on our main site.