If it’s time to say Goodbye to one of your Apple devices because you are impressed by an innovative new model and cannot wait to order, here is what you should know and what you should do with your old device if you plan to sell it.
In my example I talk about an iPhone 5 running on iOS 7 and temporarily used by my wife. This version of Apple’s mobile operating system turns ‘Find my iPhone’ and ‘Activation Lock’ automatically on. Additionally the Apple ID is secured with 2-Step-Verification.
Loosing a device with sensitive data may compromise your identity in the digital world followed by severe problems with law. At WWDC 2013, Apple unveiled Activation Lock, a new feature in iOS 7 that locks stolen phones even after thieves wipe them.
Apple’s Craig Federighi …
“We think this is going to be a really powerful theft deterrent.”
The company on its website …
“Losing your iPhone feels lousy. Thankfully, Find My iPhone can help you get it back. But if it looks like that’s not going to happen, new security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. Now turning off Find My iPhone or erasing your device requires your Apple ID and password. Find My iPhone can also continue to display a custom message, even after your device is erased. And your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it. Which means your iPhone is still your iPhone. No matter where it is.”
If activated, 2-Step-Verification needs a SMS capable device. Every time you want to have access to your Apple account you need a verification code Apple will send to one of your trusted device. So, selling a device should always be followed by removing the device from the list of trusted devices. But don’t worry, if you didn’t go the recommended way you can manually remove a device from this list.
Your Apple account …
Apple’s mobile devices are connected with the Apple ID you used during setup. If you go to your support profile you will see all devices connected to this ID.
Sold devices or devices you do not own any longer (giveaway or theft) must be removed from your account to avoid abuse.
Backup your device …
If you want to purchase a new iPhone or iPad backup your old device to iCloud (and/or iTunes) to use this backup for configuring to predecessor. Keep in mind that account and other personal data are only included in an iOS backup if you use an Unlock Key on your device. If you later run through the setup process of your new device you can restore the backup from iCloud and there is nothing more to do.
You can use an iOS backup of an iPhone to configure an iPad and vice versa.
The only thing you have to do is to install apps that are designed for just one of the two devices.
Two cases …
Distinguish between these two cases:
If you still have access to your iOS device …
Follow these steps to protect your data and get your device to its factory default state for the new owner:
Go to Settings – General – Reset, then tap
Erase All Content and Settings.
This will completely erase your device and turn off iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, Game Center, and other services.
If you’re using iOS 7 and have Find My iPhone turned on, your Apple ID and password will be required. After you provide your password, the device will be erased and removed from your account so that the next owner can activate it. If you don’t remove you device from your account, Activation Lock will prevent other users to activate the device.
When the device is turned on for the first time by the new owner, Setup Assistant will guide them through the setup process.
Do not manually delete contacts, calendars, reminders, documents, photo streams, or any other iCloud data while signed in to your iCloud account.
The content would also be deleted from the iCloud servers and all of your other iCloud devices.
Apple will send you an E-Mail which confirms that you erased your device and that it’s removed from your device list and the list of trusted devices defined for an account with 2-Step-Verification. You now can say Goodbye and sell it or shed love and give it to your wife or your child.
If you no longer have access to your iOS device …
If you didn’t follow the steps above before selling or giving away your iOS device:
Ask the new owner to erase all content and settings as described above.
If you’re using iCloud and Find My iPhone on the device, you can erase the device remotely and remove it from your account by signing in to icloud.com/find, selecting the device, and clicking Erase.
Erasing a device remotely is only possible if it’s still connected to the internet (via cellular network or WiFi and turned on). If this is not the case then the device will be erased when it connects to the internet again.
When the device has been erased, click Remove from Account.
If you’re unable to complete either of the above steps, you should change your Apple ID password. Changing your password won’t remove any personal information that is cached on the device, but it will make sure that the new owner can’t delete your information from iCloud.
I removed the SIM card from the iPhone to simulate a SIM, deactivated by the carrier and turned the phone off. On my iPhone 4S I opened ‘Find my iPhone’, signed in with the Apple ID used on the iPhone 5 and started the process of erasing the device.
Because the iPhone 5 was turned off, it couldn’t receive anything and so ‘Erase’ couldn’t be executed. After turning the device on it connected to the internet via my WLAN which basically simulates the insert of a new SIM card with which the device can connect to the internet via cellular connection.
It’s over now.
A new liaison is waiting. What should be said is that the whole procedure is incapable for being used in human relations.
After erasing the iPhone and removing it from the account via the app ‘Find my iPhone’ something went wrong. The device couldn’t be activated any longer. The iOS setup procedure stopped with the message ‘… activation server temporarily unavailable …’. Several further attempts to activate the device weren’t successful.
It turned out that there is just one way to fix the problem, doing a RECOVERY. It needs a computer with an installation of the latest version of iTunes. There is no need to do more than just a recovery. Follow these steps to make your device ready for a new activation:
- Turn off your device.
If you can’t turn it off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time and wait a few seconds for it to turn off.
- Plug the device’s USB cable into your computer only.
- Hold down the device’s Home button as you connect the USB cable to it.
- When you see the ‘Connect to iTunes’ screen, release the Home button.
- Follow the instructions in iTunes after clicking on ‘Recover’.
This concept map (created with the app INSPIRATION for the iPad) summarizes the steps to sell an iOS device.
If you have to say Goodbye, do not cry. I’m quite sure that each iteration of an iOS device and the operating system will let you forget your former darling in a jiffy.
Related links …
Thanks for surfing by.