How to Securely Wipe Your Data from Any Phone on Any Platform

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It's phone upgrading season, and if you're industrious, you might be looking to sell your phone on eBay or craigslist or pass it on to your snot-mouthed little brother. Whatever, it's going; it's gone; fare thee well, you old piece of junk!

But please oh please oh please don't forget to wipe your data before your phone changes hands. Here's a quick guide for anyone who might need it, so you're not fumbling through options and settings for half the day.



  • First, you should probably back up your phone using iTunes
  • Go to Settings
  • From there, go to General
  • Now go to Reset
  • Select Erase All Content and Settings
  • You'll be prompted to enter your passcode at this point
  • It will take a few minutes, unless you've got a fairly ancient iOS device


  • Backing up for Android is relatively straightforward; just connect your phone to your computer via USB and drag all of your files into a new folder.
  • Pull down your Menu and go to Settings
  • Scroll to Privacy
  • Click Factory data reset

Windows Phone 7 and 7.5

  • Back up with Zune software if you're on Windows, but there's currently no way to totally back up your SMS texts for Windows Phone, so keep that in mind if you like to keep hang onto your messages.
  • Go to Settings
  • Tap About
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap "reset your phone"
  • Press "yes" when the warning prompt appears
  • Warning: You won't be asked to confirm your password

BlackBerry OS 6

  • Use BlackBerry Desktop Manager to back up your phone
  • Go to Options
  • Scroll to Security
  • Now scroll to Security Wipe
  • Select all options (Email & Contacts, Applications, Media card)
  • Type the word "blackberry" into the box and hit confirm