If you’re going to upgrade, sell, give away, or recycle your phone, follow these steps to remove your personal information from it.
1. Back Up Your Phone
First, back up your phone so you have a copy of your information. You’ll need it when you set up a new phone.
- Apple Support: How to back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
- Android Help: Back up or restore data on your Android device
2. Remove SIM and SD cards
If your phone has a SIM card, it may store your personal information. Remove the SIM card. If you’re going to keep the same phone number, you may be able to transfer your SIM card to your new phone. If you’re not going to reuse the SIM card, destroy it. If your phone has an SD memory card for storage, remove it.
3. Erase Your Personal Information
To erase all the data and information from your phone — including your contacts, text messages, photos, videos, search history, and browsing history — restore or reset it.
- Apple Support: What to do before you sell, give away, or trade in your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Android Help: Reset your Android device to factory settings
If you’re not keeping your phone number, update the number on file with any accounts or services that use it to identify you. If you use an authenticator app to log in to any accounts, you may have to reactivate it.
If you aren’t going to trade in, sell, or give away your phone, recycle it. See the Environmental Protection Agency’s advice about recycling your phone. Or check with the manufacturer, your wireless provider, or a local electronics store.