How to Completely Wipe Your iPhone, iPad Before Selling It

If you have been using an Apple iPhone or iPad for more than 6 months, there’s a chance that you have tons of private and sensitive data saved on your device. Many people make the mistake of just deleting data or uninstalling applications and then hand over the device to the new owner.

If you are lucky, the buyer might take notice and delete everything for you; that is, if there are some info left. But that’s not always the case.

There have been numerous reports of identity theft and loss/leakage of personal data after people sold their iPhones and iPads. Knowing how to completely wipe or factory reset iPhone or iPad before selling it is of extreme importance and can make the difference in having everything safe and secure or stolen.


Not only are our family pictures and downloaded content important. Many people have lots of saved passwords and even debit/credit card and bank information saved.

That information getting into the wrong hands could spell disaster for your financial life. How to completely wipe your iPhone, iPad before selling it is more important than you can imagine.

If you have already sold off your device and unable to get in touch with the buyer for any reason at all, don’t worry. There is still hope.

In this post, we will go through all of the necessary steps on how to factory reset iPhone or iPad before selling it off. These methods are Apple recommended and advocated by the company itself for dealing with devices you are about to sell off.

How do I wipe my iPhone or iPad Before Selling It?

Giving away your device should be taken with precaution. Make sure you have completely wiped all of your sensitive and personal data from your iPhone or iPad. Here are the steps which can ensure that:

Backup Your iPhone and iPad Data

Before you begin to clean any data on your iPhone or iPad, make sure all the stuff you want to save and keep has been backed up. You can either backup on your iCloud storage or through iTunes.

Unpair Any Apple/Other Devices

Keeping smart watches and other devices paired to your iPhone, iPad can keep some data stored on the device. Most people don’t really assume this to be a sensitive matter, but you could end up having your device paired again with it in the future.

Just to make sure, you should unpair any Apple Watch or other device you may have paired before selling your iPhone or iPad.

Sign Out of iCloud, iTunes and App Store

Restoring factory settings does not sign out of the services you have logged in to. Most of the time, iCloud, iTunes and even App Store passwords will remain saved on the device and logged into.

To completely factory reset iPhone or iPad, all the above services should no longer be active on your device.

For iOS 10.3 or later, head over to settings. Go into your profile where it shows your user name and scroll down to ‘Sign Out’. Tap sign out and enter your Apple ID, followed by tapping on Turn Off to complete.

If you are still on iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to settings and into iCloud. Sign out from iCloud then tap Sign Out again and tap Delete from your device name.

This will need your Apple ID password. You will now have to head back to settings, get into the ‘iTunes & App Store’ option. Tap on Apple ID and finally on Sign Out.

Erase All Content and Settings

After signing out of iCloud, iTunes and App Store, it is important to completely wipe your iPhone, iPad before selling it, as thoroughly as possible.

To do this, you will need to go into Settings, tap on General and Reset. Once in Reset, tap on ‘Erase All Content and Settings’.

Your device may ask you for your Apple ID and Password. Go ahead and enter that to completely wipe your iPhone, iPad before selling it.

Deregister from iMessage

More of a formality to keep all possible loopholes of data breach closed, you should also deregister iMessage on your iPhone. This is especially recommended if you are going to be shifting to a non-Apple device after selling your current iPhone or iPad.

The way to do this is by going into Settings and Messages. Turn off iMessage by toggling the slider. It should be white/grey and not green.

These steps are simple, easy to do and ensure that all of your sensitive data is no longer on your iPhone or iPad. To factory reset iPhone or iPad isn’t that hard to do, but can put you at ease when it comes to keeping your data and personal information safe from getting into the wrong hands.

What do you think about how to factory reset iPhone or iPad before selling? Do you have any suggestions we may have missed out on which are also important? Let us know in the comments section below.


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