August 16, 2022

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Brett Molina:

Hey there, listeners. It’s Brett Molina. Welcome back to Talking Tech. This has been sort of a rite of passage anytime you decide you want to upgrade to a new smartphone. It’s probably one of the first questions you ask when you make that decision. What do I do with my old phone? Of course, you have plenty of options, lots of different things you can do, among them is trading in your phone. It doesn’t just have to be to a business either. It’s not just about trading in to, say, Verizon or your carrier or to Apple or Samsung or to just another third party that accepts trade-ins. Or even if it’s just a family member, say it’s a close friend or someone in your family that is looking for a phone and you want to pass it along. Lots of different ways that you can trade it in.

One big reason, though, that many of us consider trading in is because we want to save money on a new device. That worked for me. Last year, I got an iPhone 12 Mini, and I got a great deal on it because I was able to trade in my iPhone 7, which at the time was a … it’s a pretty old phone, but I got a really good deal on it, and I saved a lot of money on my new phone, and it worked out really well. But the important thing is, you don’t want to just hand over that phone as is. There are several steps you need to take to protect your privacy and your security. I write about this in a story that you can read on, on steps to take before you trade-in an older smartphone.

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These steps are pretty common between iPhone and Android. The process itself is going to be a little different because obviously the way they have settings and different things set up on each phone, it’s going to be a different process, but it’s pretty similar in terms of the steps you have to take. First thing you want to do, back up your phone. On the iPhone for example, you can do it through iTunes on your PC or Mac. Probably the easier way to do it is directly on your phone using iCloud, and you can just create an iCloud backup. It saves it right there in the cloud. And then, whenever you’re ready for your new phone, it’ll bring in all that info, like your data, your apps, whatever you need.

The extra step you should take, too, if you own an Apple Watch for example, is make sure you un-pair that from your phone before you get ready to go through the next steps in the process. And again, Android, very similar. You want to go and back up your phone using Samsung’s cloud services. You can do it through Google. There’s also, on some models, you can have a microSD card installed on the phone. You can back it up there as well.

Once you have it backed up, you feel like you have everything good to go, then you’ll go to the actual step of wiping the phone. Oh, in fact, before you do that, there’s another step you got to take as well. Make sure that you are logged out of the services that are linked to your phone. Mostly, it’s related to iCloud and App Store and the Samsung Store and things like that. Log out of those and quit so that you’re completely removed from those services. As far as stuff like social media, you can log out of that stuff too. I don’t necessarily think it’s that important. The really big thing is logging out of iCloud and the App Store. And then again, on Android, Google Play, any Samsung cloud services you might have, log out of those completely. Once that’s done, you’ll go to your settings. You’ll probably go to a general area and then there will be a space where you can reset your phone.

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For iPhone, for example, you’ll go to settings, general, then transfer or reset iPhone. Then you’ll see an option that says erase all content in settings. What that does is it literally wipes the phone clean. It’s as if you just took it out of the box for the first time. There’s nothing on it. Once you’ve done that and your phone’s wiped, you’ll go to your new phone, if you have it with you, you’ll go to the Find My app and remove that older phone as a trusted device, so it’s gone, it’s completely just off the books for you. On an Android phone, again, the process is similar. You’ll go to settings. You might see an option for factory data reset or a reset option. And then once you go in there, it’ll ask you if you want to delete everything or erase all your data and you do the exact same thing.

Now, couple little steps you got to keep in mind if you’re swapping from iPhone to Android or vice versa. iPhone to iPhone is really straightforward. Going from a Galaxy phone to the next Galaxy phone, same thing. It’s pretty simple because you’re not really changing … the model might change, but again, same manufacturer, same kind of guts in the phone in terms of the software, so it’s not going to be that complicated. If you’re going from iPhone to Android, one of the big steps you need to take before you erase your device is de-register iMessage. Because what’ll happen is, if you don’t, you’re going to have issues with text messaging on your new Android phone and that is going to be a big headache. So super important, if you’re going from iPhone to Android, make sure you de-register iMessage. If you go to my story, I have a link there that shows you how to follow that process.

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If you’re jumping from Android to iPhone, Apple has a really cool app called Move to iOS. And what it does is, when you go to that app, it will take all your data from your phone and move it and have it ready for you on your iPhone before you get ready to reset that Android phone. Again, the process itself, if you follow these steps and you kind of take it step by step, it’s not that bad a process. But it’s super important, because again, you don’t want someone getting your phone and having all the access to your data and everything that could be on there. So it’s a super important step, especially if you plan on trading in your phone. And hopefully, this helps.

If you want to learn more about it and learn more about the process, you should read my story on Listeners, let’s hear from you. Do you have any comments, questions or show ideas? Any tech problems you want us to try to address? You can find me on Twitter at brettmolina23. Please don’t forget to subscribe and rate us or leave a review on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere you get your podcast. Don’t forget, do you want tech news delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to the Talking Tech newsletter. Go to to subscribe. You’ve been listening to Talking Tech. We’ll be back tomorrow with another quick hit from the world of tech.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Want to trade in your smartphone? Take these steps first: Talking Tech podcast