How to Remove your Personal Data from your iPhone

Every year, there are tons of functional Apple Devices that become “iCloud Locked”, meaning that they were signed in with an Apple ID, but never signed out. The reasons for iCloud locking was to protect user data, and to dissuade would-be thieves from stealing your phone. This is an excellent security feature of iOS, however it does come with a significant downside. The result is millions of unusable iPhones and iPads, that end up in drawers, sold for parts, and in landfills. This is a guide to removing that iCloud lock when you’re ready to move to a new phone!

  1. Turn your iPhone on and open the settings app.

2. Scroll down and click on the “General” tab.

3. Next, locate and click the “Reset” tab. Depending on what version of iOS your phone is on, this will either be the last tab or the second-to-last tab.

4. From here, we want to click the second option “Erase All Content and Settings”. Now you will be prompted to either “Backup Then Erase”, which you should do if you haven’t already, or “Erase Now”.

5. Lastly, your iPhone will ask you for your Apple ID password twice. This is to verify that it is you erasing the phone, and that you are sure you want to. If you don’t remember your password, it can be reset here: iforgot.apple.com

What do you do if you no longer have the phone? Not to worry, there’s a solution for that as well!

  1. On your computer or phone, open your favorite browser and navigate to icloud.com

2. Now you will need to sign in with your Apple ID. After doing so, you will be greeted with two rows of icons. Locate and click on “Find iPhone” on the bottom row.

3. At the top of the screen in the middle, there is a drop-down menu labeled “All Devices”. Click on that, then click on the device you are wanting to remove from your account.

4. Select the device you wish to remove from your account.

5. Tap “Erase iPhone” or “Erase iPad”, and a request will be sent to that device. Within 24 hours all your data will be erased.

That’s it!

In just 5 simple steps, you can clear all your personal data from your old phone and have it ready for its next life!