Selling or Giving Away Your Devices? Here’s What to Do Before

It’s that time of the year. The new iPhone is almost out, and it’s time to replace your old device with a new one. If you aren’t in the mood for a new Apple product, you might find yourself in a situation where you want to sell or donate an old computer, laptop, phone, or printer.

But there are some things you should do beforehand.

You never know where the device will end up. It might even land in the hands of a cybercriminal. Hackers are always on the lookout for old tech that someone hasn’t wiped out properly.

Even something as simple as a printer can reveal sensitive information about your home network, and criminals will get access to it. Apart from thinking about the security of the devices you’re selling or donating, you should always take preventive steps and implement additional security for your home. Use an antivirus, install a VPN on your router, or set up MAC address filtering to ensure you’re safe.

Back-up Your Data

Your photos, documents, chats, music, movies, contacts, and videos can get lost if you don’t back them up properly.

Surely, you wouldn’t want a stranger to have access to your personal information, and you’ll wipe out the device before you sell it. But losing your chats, photos, and contacts is painful, and you won’t be able to recover them if you don’t back them up.

If you’re getting a replacement device for the one you’re giving away, don’t sell the old one immediately. Instead, copy or move all of your personal files to your computer or hard drive. Double-check to see whether you haven’t forgotten anything. Only when you’re sure everything is taken care of should you proceed to selling the old device.

Remove All of Your Accounts and Passwords

When you back up all the important files, it’s time to log out of every account on the device. This is heavily oriented toward laptops, computers, and phones.

Check your browser, and check all the apps. Uninstall apps for remote access to your smart home. Log out and delete the login info for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Google, Microsoft, and everything else you’ve been using.

For smartphones, remove the Google account before you perform a factory reset. If you don’t, the next owner will have a problem. The device will wait for your login info and won’t accept the new account.

Last but not least, disconnect and unpair Bluetooth devices like your speakers, smartwatch, headphones, and car system. Remove all biometric data like your face ID and fingerprints, and delete the patterns and PIN codes.

Factory Reset

After the first two steps are complete, it’s time to factory reset the device. Phones have a built-in function that allows you to do that, and you can go through the process easily. Laptops and computers need a bit of extra work and tech knowledge to configure a device format.

If you don’t want to waste your time experimenting with formatting the device, bring it to the nearest tech store, and they’ll take care of it.

This step is crucial because you don’t want the next owner to find traces of your personal information. The device will also become faster because you’ll have deleted everything except the operating system.

When it comes to a phone factory reset, once it’s completed, the phone will still remember your logins for apps like Gmail and Google Drive. Ensure you’ve logged out beforehand.

Remove SIM Cards

You don’t want the next phone owner to walk away with your phone number and data plan, right?

Many people forget to remove their SIM cards when donating and selling their devices.

If you’ve got a microSD card, you can remove that too or decide to bundle it along with the phone. That will raise the selling price.

When doing a factory reset, all the data on the microSD will get deleted, so make sure it’s in the device when wiping out your personal data.

Gather Accessories

Computers usually don’t come with many accessories, but users tend to accumulate them over time. You’ve got the monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, case, joysticks, and cables. You probably won’t have the original boxes for everything, but it makes sense to create a large bundle rather than selling everything individually.

The same thing goes for phones. Keep the original box, charger, and headset that came with the device. The market value increases if you have the accessories that come with the device.

However, if your new phone doesn’t come with a new charger, it makes sense to keep the old one. Of course, that’s valid if the charger is compatible with the new device. If not, or if the charger is slow, feel free to sell the old one and get a new one.

Clean the Device

Everything up until this point was related to the inside of the device. Formatting, deleting accounts, and backing up data have no visual impact on the phone. But the outside matters, too.

Turn the device off, unplug any accessories, and remove the case if it has one. Don’t use alcohol for cleaning. Instead, use a damp tissue or tech wipes for that.

This will make the device look mint and presentable. No one likes negotiating for a dirty car. The same rule applies to tech gadgets.

Research the Market

Researching the market is the last step you need to take before selling your devices. Don’t expect to get a great deal because most of them lose their value fast. There’s a new phone, laptop, or headset coming out every year.

Research places like Amazon, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace and see what the average prices are. Then, post your ad and wait for someone to message you and negotiate a deal.

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