Selling your old phone should be simple and straightforward. And indeed, for the most part, it is – if you know all the right steps to take. If you don’t, don’t worry about it.
You may already know that you need to reset the phone to factory settings, but that’s actually the last What you should do before sale. There are a handful of things you need to do first, most of which can’t be done afterwards. So it’s important to get it done before you reset it. Let’s start digging.
Step 1: Back up, back up, back up
First you will want to back up all important data. That means pictures and videos, documents and downloads, even call logs and texts if that’s important to you. Fortunately, there are quite simple ways to do all this.
If you want to back up all your photos and videos, be sure to use Google Photos, which automatically backs up everything in your Google account. You can then access all these things on the Internet. It is worth noting that it does not support everything in its original resolution, unless you pay for a premium plan – it uses a kind of "intelligent" Compression algorithm to make the backed up files look as good as possible (and it is excellent) Job). The only exception to this rule is the Google Pixel, which gets unlimited backups at the original resolution.
RELATED: Check your smartphone’s automatic photo uploads
We already have an excellent primer on getting up and running with Google Photos, so I recommend checking that out. The only other thing worth mentioning here is that very large videos have difficulty uploading to photos, so you can pull them manually with a USB cable.
The same goes for documents and downloads – if you have important files stored on your phone, you can connect your phone to your computer and drag the files via USB to save them to your computer. Alternatively, you can upload these files to Google Drive, Dropbox, or any other cloud storage platform you use. That way, you’ll have access to all of those files, regardless of what platform you’re on.
Finally, let’s talk about call logs and text messages. Some users like to keep this stuff for future reference, which is fine. There are actually a number of options here. Rather than give a full breakdown of each, I’ll just link you to the best ways to do this:
- How to back up text messages on your Gmail account
- To back up text messages to your Dropbox or Google Drive
- How to transfer SMS messages from one Android phone to another
This should cover all the bases.
Step 2: Encrypt your data
This may seem a little odd, but it’s never a bad idea to encrypt the phone before you do a factory reset. Why? Since a reset may not remove 100% of your data, and there are actually ways to retrieve that data with special tools. It is kind of creepy.
CONNECTION: Here’s how to encrypt your Android phone (and why you want to)
To make sure the file fragments left behind are not accessible to anyone, you want to encrypt your data. If anyone tried to see leftover files on storage, they would only find gibberish.
The encryption process is actually quite long – and there are other things to consider before enabling encryption. But again, we have an introduction to the topic that will tell you exactly what you need to know, what things you should be aware of ahead of time, and how to do it. You’re welcome.
Step 3 (optional): Unsubscribe from Android Beta (Nexus and Pixel devices only)
This option only applies to certain people, but if you are one of those people, this step is Crucially. If you have enrolled the device in the Android beta program, you will need to reject it , Before You sell it as this is not tied to your Google account -It is tied to the device itself. If you don’t know what I’m talking about right now, you can probably skip this step.
RELATED: How to get the Android O beta on your Pixel or Nexus device Right Now
The reason you want to unsubscribe is actually twofold:
- If you leave the device enrolled, it will stay on the beta channel for the new owner, and they may not want that.
- When you log off the device after the sale, it will perform a mandatory reset on the device, which is a very big can be problem for the new owner.
So yeah, unroll right now. Just go to the Android beta website and click on the "Sign out device" button Next to the device. Boom, done.
This will apply the latest stable build to the device, which will require a factory reset to be. But since you’re selling it, that’s a good thing – it’s actually the next and final step you want to take before you hand it over.
Step four: Perform a full factory reset
RELATED: How to wipe your Android device and reset it to factory settings
Finally, you want to reset the device to return it to factory settings. This will erase everything on the device – including the contents of the SD card (if applicable) – and restore it to its original state.
Again, this may differ slightly depending on the phone model and model, but this is the basic core. We also have a full post about how you can do this if you are looking for more information.
Step five: Profit
No, really, it is. Go ahead and sell the thing. If you don’t have a buyer yet, I advise you to visit Swappa before you click on eBay or Craigslist. It’s a solid place to buy and sell phones, and unlike eBay, they don’t steal with fees.
I agree that selling things is a big pain, but it is a necessary evil for most people. And if it is something that you need to do, at least make sure you do it right – both for yourself and for the buyer.
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