Planning to trade in your iPhone or Android phone? Take these steps first – USA TODAY

The first question most of us ask when we’re contemplating a new smartphone: What do I do with my old one?

You have plenty of options, of course. Among them is trading in your phone.

One big reason many of us might trade in our phone is to save money on a new device. That’s how I got my iPhone 12 Mini, after securing a great deal on a trade-in for my iPhone 7.

But you don’t want to hand over that old phone without taking several steps to protect your privacy and security. Make sure you take these steps before trading in an older smartphone.

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Steps to trade in your iPhone

Your first step should be backing up your iPhone. You can use either your PC, Mac or directly on your phone through the iCloud backup. Also, Apple says if you own an Apple Watch, make sure to unpair it from your phone.

If you’re upgrading to another iPhone, the process is pretty straightforward. Go to settings, and look for your name at the top. Click on that then scroll down to sign out of iCloud and the App Store. You’ll have to enter your password to complete the process.

From there, go to Settings, then General, then Transfer or Reset iPhone. After that you choose Erase all Content and Settings. This will restore the phone to its original state when you first bought it. On your new phone, you’ll go to the Find My app and remove your older phone as a trusted device.

If you’re moving from iPhone to Android, before you erase your device, you’ll need to deregister iMessage to avoid interruptions with text messaging.

Before you trade in your Android phone

The process is similar but will vary depending on the type of Android phone you own.

On Samsung Galaxy devices, the first step is backing up your phone either through Samsung’s cloud services, through Google or using a microSD card.

Once that’s completed, go to Settings, then Factory Data Reset. You may need to enter the credentials for your security lock before moving forward. After tapping Delete All, your phone will power back on to the initial startup screen. 

The steps are similar for Google Pixel smartphones. Back up your phone, log out of your Google accounts, then head to Settings. From there, go to System, Advanced, Reset options, then Erase all data.

If you’re jumping from Android to iPhone, Apple has a Move to iOS app available to transfer your data before resetting your phone.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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