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How to prepare phone for trade in

Deleting your data is the most important thing to do before selling your phone. You don’t want anyone going through your selfie outtakes or that weird photoshoot when you dressed your cat up in various outfits, right?

The good news is that wiping data from your phone is pretty easy. However, there are a few steps you should take to make sure your data is completely erased and therefore completely secure.

Prepare your phone for trade in with our easy steps below!

What to do before selling a cell phone

It’s a good idea to factory reset before selling your phone. Read below to find out how to clear a cell phone data before selling, as well as other things to do before selling your phone!

Check the condition of your cell phone

We accept phones in three different conditions. Good, Poor and Faulty. By selecting the right condition, you’ll get a more accurate price.


Below are all the details that denote a cell phone as “Good”:

  • All parts of the device (including system software) are fully functional.
  • Everything works as it should
  • No major damage (i.e. water damage, chips or cracks to the screen or phone)
  • Light wear and tear acceptable
  • Touch, Face ID, NFC work (If applicable).


Below are all the details that denote a cell phone as “Poor”:

  • All parts of the device (including system software) are fully functional.
  • Everything works as it should
  • No major damage (i.e. water damage, chips or cracks to the screen or phone)
  • Heavy wear and tear, such as scuffs, dents and deep scratches
  • Touch, Face ID, NFC work (If applicable)


  • Major software/hardware issues i.e.
  • The phone freezes, crashes regularly, isn’t charging or won’t connect to a computer
  • Touch, Face ID or NFC doesn’t work (if applicable )
  • Phone sensors are not working (i.e. proximity, accelerometer, GPS)
  • Dust under screen and/or under camera
  • Significant physical damage and/or water damage
  • Faulty screen, casing or rear glass (including cracks, discolouration, dead spots, pressure marks and damaged pixels)
  • Decluttr can’t buy phones if it is missing components or is bent, crushed or snapped in half.

Get an instant price on Decluttr

Once you’ve determined the condition of your cell phone, head on over to Decluttr, select your phone, its carrier and condition for an instant price!

Should I remove the SIM card before selling my phone?

It sounds obvious, but a lot of people forget to remove their SD card before selling their device, inadvertently handing a bunch of their personal data to whoever bought the device. Not a great idea!

It’s worth backing up anything that you want to keep on your SD card too, just in case. A lot of devices don’t have SD card support, but uploading your data to the Cloud means you’ll be able to access it regardless.

Do I need to encrypt my phone before selling?

Encryption jumbles up all your data so that it’s unreadable without an encryption key (i.e. a password or PIN number). Anyone who doesn’t have the key can’t access your data, and hackers will have a very hard time accessing it too.

Some devices are encrypted as standard, including iPhones and new Android devices (some higher end 5.0 Lollipop phones and new Android 6.0 devices).

However, the data on older Android devices is not encrypted as standard. It’s pretty easy to encrypt your data though, and it gives you an extra level of security too.

To encrypt your device, go to Settings, then Security, then Encryption (this will vary from phone to phone, but it’ll be a similar path). You’ll need at least 80% battery to carry out the process, and it takes around an hour. You’ll also need to plug in your phone, so you’ll need to find something else to keep you amused for an hour. Read a book or something.

Encrypting your data may seem pointless when you’re about to delete it, but it makes it nigh-on impossible for someone to access your info after wiping your device (which isn’t likely but is possible due to the way phone storage works).

How to reset your phone before selling

Back up the data you want to keep

It’s really important to backup your data (unless you’re starting fresh!). We have an amazing guide on how to transfer data between phones – which includes full instructions on how to backup your cell on either iOS or Android devices!

Unless you’re planning a total reset, you’ll probably want to keep at least some of the data on your phone: photos, videos, music – that kind of thing.

Before you go and delete everything, make sure the stuff you want to keep is backed up. We recommend saving it to a cloud service like iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive so you can easily transfer it to your next device.

Don’t just dump everything on the Cloud though. Selling your phone is a great opportunity to delete your digital clutter, giving you a fresh start on your next smartphone.

How to clear mobile phone before selling

With all of that done, it’s time to completely wipe your phone’s data!

Wipe data on an Android phone

On Android, go to Settings, scroll down to Personal, tap Backup and Reset then tap Factory Data Reset. That’s it!

Wipe data on an iPhone

On an iPhone, open Settings, tap General, scroll down and tap Reset. Then tap Erase All Content and Settings to get rid of everything, including your accounts.

How to clear a Samsung phone before selling

We have a full guide on how to remove your Samsung account before selling, but for quickness, check out these steps below on how to clear a Samsung phone before selling it.

  1. Tap the ‘Apps’ icon.
  2. Open ‘Settings’.
  3. Select ‘Accounts’.
  4. Select ‘Samsung Account’.
  5. Select your email address.
  6. Tap ‘more’ in the top right corner and select ‘Remove Account’.
  7. Tap ‘Remove Account’.
  8. Enter your password and confirm.
  9. Select ‘Remove Account’.
  10. Your Samsung Account will now be removed.

Should I unlock my phone before selling?

We highly recommend unlocking your phone to increase its value. However, you can still sell a locked phone to musicMagpie. We accept phones locked to Vodafone, O2, EE and Three.

What happens when I factory reset my phone?

Your cell phone will revert to manufacturers settings (how it first looked when you received your phone) and remove all of your data.

Selling phones? Trade in an iPhone or trade in a Samsung phone. Get an instant price with Decluttr! We pay on the day after your items arrive and we promise to pay the first price we offer or send your device back for FREE.