If you’re listening to this right after it went live on Jan 3rd 2019, Happy New Year!
All the best to you, your family and your entrepreneurial journey in 2019.
For those of you who celebrated Christmas, Hannukah or Pancha Ganapati in December, a new Apple device might have entered your life.
So, in today’s show, I’ll share with you what to do before selling or giving away your old Apple device.
And if you’re listening to this months after the episode was released, this might still be helpful if you intend to replace one of your devices in the near future.
Believe it or not, but merely signing out of iCloud is not enough if you plan to sell or pass down your Apple device.
I’ve witnessed countless issues when it’s not done properly, so the goal of this episode is to give you the right process to keep your data safe and private, and give the next owner the best start possible.
Before diving in, I just wanted to thank you for listening to the show.
I truly appreciate you fitting the Macpreneur podcast in your busy life.
If it’s your first time, welcome to the Macpreneur tribe, you’re joining listeners located all around the world.
And I’ve prepared something special for you: it’s a free e-mail course delivering, right in your inbox, 30 tips to help you make the most of your Apple devices
Among other things, you’ll learn how to operate your device faster and tame notifications which will make you more productive on the long run.
So now, let’s dive into today’s topic.
Here’s the process in case you want to sell or give away your old iPhone.
Step 0: If you have an Apple Watch, you have to unpair it from your iPhone
Make sure that both the Apple Watch and the iPhone are close to each other and are running the latest version of watchOS and iOS.
To unpair the Apple Watch, you’ll use the Watch app on your iPhone. Doing so will create a last backup of your Apple Watch on your iPhone then reset the Watch to factory settings.
If you have a cellular plan tied to your Apple Watch, choose the right option, either keep it if you plan to pair your Apple Watch with your new iPhone or remove the cellular plan if you’re not using your Apple Watch anymore.
Step 1: Perform at least 1 backup of your iPhone:
- either through iCloud (via Settings then your Apple ID then iCloud)
- or via iTunes on a computer, and in that case please encrypt the backup otherwise you’ll lose your health and activity data from your iPhone & Apple Watch
My advice and standard procedure is to do both an iCloud and an iTunes backup, the reason is that with an app like iMazing, you can easily extract information from an iTunes backup, which you can’t do from an iCloud backup.
Once the backup is completed, turn off Find My iPhone via Settings, your Apple ID, iCloud then Find My iPhone
Doing so will turn off Activation Lock which is important because otherwise the new owner will not be able to setup the device
Step 3: Fully sign out of iCloud and iTunes on your device
It will ask you whether you want to keep data on your iPhone or remove it, it doesn’t really matter since later on we’ll completely erase the device anyway
Step 4: Turn off iMessage via Settings > Messages
This is especially important if you switch from iPhone to Android as you might have issues receiving SMS and MMS messages if iMessage is not properly deregistered.
In case you didn’t know and the iPhone is already erased, you can deregister iMessage online via Apple’s website
Step 5: Turn off FaceTime via Settings as well
Step 6: Finally, you can completely erase the iPhone
- Open Settings > General > Reset and choose the option “Erase All Content and Settings”
- Enter your device passcode then tap “Erase iPhone”
It will take a couple of minutes and your old iPhone will reboot, ready to be setup by the new owner
Here you might think that erasing the iPhone is overkill, especially if you plan to pass it down to your spouse, your child or another family member.
Please understand that it’s justified to do so as it prevents privacy issues as well as problems linked with your Apple account.
For iTunes and the App store, there’s a limit of 5 mobile devices for apps, music and movies.
And each app is linked to your Apple account, meaning that if you don’t erase the device, keep the apps intact and someone else signs into their own iTunes and App Store account, only the new downloads will be linked to their Apple account. To update the existing apps, they’ll be asked to enter your Apple ID password all the time, which is not what you want.
And talking specifically about kids, the best is to activate Family Sharing and create dedicated Apple IDs for your children.
I’ve seen so many problems when parents don’t do that and end up with mixed contacts, missed phone calls and SMS messages.
For the iPad, it’s like for the iPhone except that there’s no Apple Watch to unpair.
All the rest is the same.
For the Apple Watch, just follow the unpairing process using the Watch app on your iPhone.
Make sure that both the Apple Watch and iPhone are up to date and close to each other.
You will need to enter your Apple ID password to turn off Activation Lock.
Once the Apple Watch is reset to factory settings it can be sold or given away.
Next up, the Mac and here’s the overall process:
Step 1: Make at least one last backup, preferably two
Perform a last Time Machine backup. It’s not required but it can be useful to clone the hard drive with a tool like SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner. For this, you’ll need an external hard drive with at least the same capacity as the internal one. Please note that this process can take a long time, if there are multiple hundreds of gigabytes to copy and the drive is connected over the old USB 2 standard.
Step 2: Sign out of iCloud and in particular, turn off Find My Mac
For this, launch System Preferences, then visit iCloud
Step 3: Sign out of the App Store
Launch the App Store, click on the Store menu then click on “Sign out”
Step 4: Deauthorize your computer from iTunes
- Launch iTunes then click on the Account menu
- Select “Authorisation” and click on “De-authorise this computer”
- if you have an Audible account, click also on “De-authorise Audible Account”
This is important because of the 5 device limit for iTunes purchases
Step 5: Sign out of iMessage
- Launch the Messages app
- Click on the Messages menu then open its preferences pane
- Click on the Accounts” or iMessage tab
- Then click on sign out
Step 6: Repeat step 2 through 5 for other user accounts if necessary
Step 7: Unpair Bluetooth devices if your computer will stay in your house or in your office
- If you’ve got the latest generation of wireless Apple keyboard and trackpad, plug them to your Mac using a Lightning to USB cable
- Launch System Preferences
- Click on Bluetooth
- Select the desired peripheral and click on the small x to unpair the device
- Repeat with all the desired peripherals
Step 8: Reset the computer to factory settings
This is the really scary bit as it means you’ll erase the hard drive and reinstall macOS fresh. To do so:
- Shut down your Mac
- Unplug every external storage connected to your Mac
- If you have a MacBook, plug it into power
- Turn your Mac on but press both the Command and the R key pressed. This will boot the computer into the recovery partition
- When you see a macOS Utilities menu, click on Disk Utility
- Select the internal hard drive usually named “Macintosh HD”
- Click on the “Erase” button
- Enter a name, I’d recommend to use Macintosh HD again
- For the format, choose either APFS or Mac OS Extended Journaled
- For the scheme, choose GUID Partition Map
- Click on “Erase”
- Quit “Disk Utility” when the internal hard drive is erased
- Then, on the Utilities window, click on “Reinstall macOS”
- Click on “Continue”
- Choose the internal hard drive (named Macintosh HD)
- Follow the onscreen instructions and let it finish. Keep the lid open if you have a laptop. Don’t worry as the computer will reboot by itself and the screen might be blank for some time
- Your Mac will finally restart into Setup Assistant
- Press Command Q to quit the assistant
- Then click on “Shut down”
Your Mac is ready for the next owner.
Apple TV & HomePod
Finally, for the Apple TV and the HomePod, you just need to reset them to factory settings.
For the Apple TV 3rd generation
Go to Settings > General > Reset
- Either choose “Reset All Settings” if it’s fully up to date
- Or choose “Restore” to install the latest software updates at the same time (you’ll need Internet connectivity for this option)
For the Apple TV 4th generation
Go to Settings > System > Reset then:
- either choose “Reset” if it’s fully up to date
- or choose “Reset and Update” to install the latest software updates at the same time (similarly, Internet connectivity is required with this option)
For the HomePod, you can reset it from 3 places
- either from the Home app on your iPhone
- or the Home app on a Mac running at least macOS 10.14 Mojave
- or directly from the HomePod itself
On your iPhone:
- Press and hold on the HomePod then tap “Settings”
- Scroll down and tap on “Remove Accessory”
On a Mac running at least macOS 10.14 Mojave:
- Double-click on HomePod then click on Settings
- Scroll down and click on “Remove Accessory”
Directly from the HomePod
- Unplug the HomePod and wait for 5 seconds before plugging it back in
- Wait 5 seconds then touch the top of the HomePod and keep your finger until Siri says that it’s about to reset the HomePod
- After the three beeps, lift your finger
And you, are you planning to sell or give away one of your Apple devices in the near future?
If so, has this episode been helpful to you?
Please let me know by leaving a comment below.
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