How To Get Your Android Phone Ready For Sale
(Pocket Ribbon) – You just bought the latest Android super-powered flagship, so there are two things you need to take care of: first, you need to free your content and data from your old Android handset, and second, and then your must sell or trade it in.
There are many ways to skin a cat, probably according to an old proverb. In this particular case, that means that Android – by its open nature – gives you access to a myriad of different ways to back up and restore your content. You will find special tools that only take photos, others for messages, and some that allow you to transfer everything at once. In this guide, we’ll go over the things to do before getting a new phone, wiping your old one, and reselling it.
Backup, backup, backup
Before you erase your old phone, make sure to back it up. Many manufacturers now offer the option to use your own account associated with that manufacturer, which is great if you’re moving from Samsung to another Samsung, but not so great if you’re moving to a new manufacturer.
The easiest is to use Android’s proprietary backup system, powered by Google Drive. Go to your own phone’s settings and there should be a backup and reset option in the menu.
The exact path may vary depending on the manufacturer and software version you have, but see the below as a separate guide.
Samsung: Settings > Accounts and backup, now select ‘Backup data’ under ‘Google Drive’ Oppo: Settings > Additional settings > Backup and reset, now tap on ‘Backup accounts’ OnePlus: Settings > System > Backup, now tap ‘Back up now’ Sony Xperia: Settings > System > Backup, now tap ‘Back up now’ Google Pixel: Settings > System > Backup, now tap ‘Now make backup’
You get the jist. If in doubt, go to Settings > System and you may find a ‘Backup’ option there. Or just search for “Backup” at the top of the main settings menu in the search field.
Make sure this is turned on and your phone is backed up to your Google account which means many of your settings and apps can be restored to your new phone when you sign in for the first time.
Another option is the Google One app. If you are a Google One subscriber, you can easily download the app from the Play Store and manually back it up at any time. It’s convenient and doesn’t cost that much to subscribe. Here you can choose to backup device data, multimedia messages, photos and videos.
Back up your photos and video
In many cases, your photos and videos are the most important. Again, there is a wealth of options to ensure these are not lost. The easiest way by far is to use Google Photos, which automatically backs up photos to the cloud when you install it and set it up on your phone.
Download the app, install it, sign in with your Google account, choose whether you want to keep the original images or a high-resolution compressed version and that’s it. Download the app on your new phone, log in and all the old images should be there. Easy.
Better still, you can choose the folder you want to back up – if you don’t want all those WhatsApp or Instagram photos, you don’t need to sync that folder.
You can also use services like Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive to back up your photos so that you can access them again through the respective apps on your new phone. Dropbox even has a tool to automatically back up photos automatically, but it usually costs more than Google’s service.
Using Device Transfer Tools
Android has a built-in content transfer tool, which makes it easy to move from an old phone to a new one. If you backed up using Google Drive, you can sign in and select your most recent backup to restore it to your new phone.
Many manufacturers also have their own data transfer tools and can be downloaded from the Play Store. That means if you still have your old phone handy when you get your new phone, you can download an app and start the transfer process as soon as your new phone is up and running.
This usually involves scanning a QR code and transferring files wirelessly, and usually you’re allowed to keep just about anything: messages, files, music, photos, video, contacts, calendar, and apps.
Here’s a list of apps depending on the manufacturer phone you’re moving to:
You can also try an app like SMS backup if you want to move messages from your old phone to a new one.
Transfer your music
If you’ve bought digital music and downloaded it to your phone, it’s often easy enough to download it again from the service you were previously using on your new device. However, if you have transferred it to your device, you can transfer it using the third-party transfer tools mentioned above.
Alternatively, you can upload music files to cloud storage services such as Google Drive or Dropbox and download them to your new device. If you’re moving large music collections, the easiest option is to put them on a microSD card, assuming both devices support external storage cards.
Wipe your handset
Once you’re happy that you have all the contents of your old phone (and make sure to fully set up your new phone to check), make sure your old phone is wiped clean.
Remove the microSD card first – if you have one – as you want to keep it and also remove the old SIM card. Second, use the full reset option on your phone.
Some devices offer an option to reset the settings without deleting the content. You don’t want that, you want to completely erase the contents of your phone. In the Android settings you will find the option to reset and you often have to confirm that you also delete the content.
You will normally find this if you go to ‘Settings > System > Reset options’ where you should find ‘Delete all data’ as an option. Or something similar.
Make sure it’s cleared properly
You might just stop there, but it’s often worth trying to access your phone again to make sure it’s actually wiped. Open your phone’s file manager app and make sure there are no more files hidden anywhere. You can plug it into a PC or Mac via USB and examine the files and folders to make sure things like photo folders are empty to make sure.
Or you can reset your phone as a new device and use a wipe app like shred. This will again write over the empty space on your phone to make it more difficult to recover data from it.
If you’re really excited, you can set up a new Google account just to wipe data. Sign in with this account on your old device, so your normal data won’t all be re-synced from your main account.
Sell your phone to get the money back
Just because you’re done with an Android phone doesn’t mean it’s worthless. You can sell it quickly and easily to get some cash back in your pocket.
Services like eBay, Craigslist, Gumtree, or even Facebook Marketplace can be easily won if you don’t mind putting in a little effort, taking pictures and writing down descriptions. Or, if you haven’t bought your new phone yet, you can trade in your old phone through your chosen reseller’s trade-in service (if they have one), it’s always worth asking. This way you can immediately withdraw money from your new phone.
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You usually won’t get as much for your old device as if you sold it privately, but it’s a lot less hassle.
Written by Cam Bunton.