I don’t know about you, but I’m doing more and more important work on my iPhone.

From online shopping to depositing checks into my bank to checking on my retirement accounts, I use my phone as much as my computer for these tasks.

What happens when you decide to buy the new model and it is time to trade in or hand down your old phone? What is the correct way to wipe your old phone before it leaves your possession?

These procedures address only wiping and resetting the phones, not backing up the data or moving it to the new phone.


I’m not an Android expert, so I did a bit of research and found some great instructions from Digital Trends. I’ll summarize the steps, but different Android phone manufacturers name their menus differently. These instructions are for Samsung Galaxy phones.

Go to the Settings, then open Lock Screen and Security/Screen Lock Type and choose None.


Next, remove your Google account under Settings and Cloud & Accounts.

Then remove the Samsung account by going to Settings, Lock Screen and Security, then Find My Mobile. Enter your password, tap on your account, select More and Remove Account.

According to Digital Trends, the Factory Reset doesn’t overwrite the data, it just deletes the internal address of the data. This means your data is still there, but that space is marked as “available for use” and it’s treated like empty space. It is possible someone with the right recovery tools can access the raw data.

You’ll want to make sure your data is encrypted before doing the reset, so that if someone does try to access it, the encryption will keep them from being able to read it.

On the Galaxy, go to Settings, then Lock Screen and Security and then Protect Encrypted Data.

Now that the data is encrypted, you can go to Settings, then General Management, then Reset, then Factory Data Reset.



If your iPhone has a passcode, it is already encrypted, which is good.

If you have enabled Find My iPhone, now is the time to turn it off.

While I know how to wipe an iPhone, I did look up the procedure on iMore.com, which is a great website for all things MacOS and iOS.

You can wipe the phone by launching Settings and choosing General and scrolling all the way down to the bottom to select Reset.

You’ll be given a list of choices, including Erase All Content and Settings.

You’ll be asked for the passcode, then you’ll have to press Erase iPhone on two screens before the wiping occurs.