BY Fast Company 3 MINUTE READ

The season’s new smartphones are here, and with them a slight to moderate twinge of gadget envy for some of us.

I, myself, am rocking a perfectly usable Google Pixel 3 that still has five payments left. Logic dictates I should keep using it until it’s paid off, enjoy a cheaper monthly bill for a while, and then upgrade when I really, truly need a new phone.

Aw, to hell with logic—the new phones are here!

If you’re getting ready to sell your phone or give it away to a lucky someone, here are some steps to follow before you take the plunge.

If you’re upgrading to a new phone, the best course of action is to get the new phone in hand first and ensure everything that you want to transfer to it gets transferred.

There are also several methods you can use—here are Apple’s official instructions, and here’s the Android way.

There’s a lot to unpack there, but if you’re moving from one iPhone to another, all you really need to do is place the two phones next to each other while you’re setting up the new one. Read more about Apple’s Quick Start feature here. And if you’ve got an Apple Watch, it’s easier to get it moved to the new iPhone while you still have your old iPhone: Check out the how-to here.

Android-to-Android methods vary by device, but one universal method is to back up your stuff to Google Drive and then download it onto your new Android phone. Head into the System menu on your old phone and peruse the Backup section to select what to back up.

If you’re switching from an Android phone to an iPhone, there’s a handy app for that.

If you’re switching from an iPhone to an Android phone, check with your Android device maker. Samsung, for instance, has an app called Smart Switch. Also: Make sure to deregister iMessage (instructions here) if you’re leaving Apple for good.

Once you’ve got your backup and transfer business sorted out, the rest is reasonably smooth sailing.

From your iPhone, head into the Settings menu and click your name right at the top. Then, in the next menu, scroll all the way down to the bottom and click the red “Sign Out” button.


It’ll vary slightly by device for Android, but the general flow is to get into your Settings menu, select the Accounts option, select your Google account, and then tap the “Remove account” button.

So far, so good. We’re now signed out.

This is the most important step, since you’re turning your phone over to someone else.

From your iPhone, go into Settings, then General. Scroll down toward the bottom and select Reset, and then the “Erase All Content and Settings” option.

Android will again depend on your device manufacturer, but for Google’s Pixel line of phones, for instance, the flow is Settings > System > Advanced > Reset Options, and then the “Erase all data (factory reset)” selection.

That’s it! You now have a clean, factory-reset phone that’s ready to be sold or given to a family member.


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