How to Prep Your Apple Devices to Sell Them

How to Prep Your Apple Devices to Sell Them
Image: Apple

Apple devices tend to retain their value more so than gadgets from other consumer technology companies, for a variety of reasons: software support (so your older device still gains new features year after year), brand recognition, and so on. If you decide to upgrade to an iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, or iPad Mini this year and want to sell your older phone, watch, or iPad rather than go the trade-in route, you might be able to make a decent amount. Of course, this depends on just how old your device is, what condition it’s in, and whether you kept the original packaging and accessories. While we can’t actually help you sell your Apple gadgets — good luck! — we can help you prep your devices before you sell them.

The key here is completely wiping them so buyers won’t have access to your data. This is pretty straightforward, though if you’re selling an Apple Watch or an iPhone paired to an Apple Watch, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to unpair a watch from a phone.

Open the Watch app on your iPhone, then tap on My Watch, then All Watches. Tap the i icon next to the Apple Watch you want to unpair, then tap unpair Apple Watch. Your iPhone might ask you to enter your Apple ID password to disable Activation Lock. Confirm the unpairing at the bottom of the screen. Unpairing your Apple Watch will save you some hassle when you go to sell it, and will erase your watch for you.

If you need to erase your Apple Watch but don’t have the iPhone it’s paired to, you can do so locally on the device. On the watch, tap through Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

To prep your iPhone or iPad to sell, first sign out of your iCloud account. Open Settings, then tap your name at the top of the screen. Scroll down and tap Sign out. Then erase your device by opening Settings, then tapping through General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. If you set up your device with Apple’s Find My app, you’ll be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password to disable Find My.

And, of course, make sure to back up your devices before you wipe them.