With technology perpetually advancing, it’s becoming harder and harder to maintain privacy. That’s why it’s important for us know how to erase private data from our devices completely – so that this information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

There are many situations in which a full erase of your smartphone will be necessary. For one, you can get some of your money back by selling an old smartphone. But before you hand over your smartphone to a stranger, it’s imperative that the device no longer contains any private or personal information. You don’t want a complete stranger finding your bank details, or flicking through private photos of your children or grandchildren!

To permanently clear out all data on your smartphone, follow the steps below.

For iPhone users;

  1. Open up your iPhone to the menu screen
  2. Open “Settings”
  3. Scroll down until you see “iCloud” and select it.
  4. Scroll down to the very bottom, and select “Sign Out”.
  5. Go back to “Settings”.
  6. Scroll down until you find “General” and select it.
  7. Scroll down to the very bottom, and select “Reset”.
  8. Click “Erase All Content and Settings”.
  9. This will reset your iPhone, so that it will appear brand-new – as if you’d never even used it.


For Android users;

  1. Open up your smartphone and go to the Apps Menu.
  2. Find and select “Settings”.
  3. Select “Backup & reset”.
  4. Select “Factory data reset”.
  5. Select “Reset phone”.
  6. Enter your pattern, PIN, or password if prompted.
  7. Select “Erase everything”.


Remember, this erasure is permanent. This means that whatever data you have on your phone will no longer be accessible or recoverable after the reset unless you backed it up on a computer. This is useful if you wish to transfer all of your data to a new phone.

Had any trouble backing up and erasing your phone? Let us know below!

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  • Hopefully I never have to worry about this.


  • I have never had to erase all my phone information but this is useful information to have.


  • Very useful tips.Thank you for sharing.


  • Thank you, this is good to know.


  • This is very handy information as I keep all my old phones so no-one can get any of my information. Thanks for sharing this knowledge


  • This is wonderful information for me – my husband does everything on my phone – adds aps, etc. and I don’t know how to use them or erase them. This info will be kept.


  • We needed this a couple of months ago! My husband changed jobs and had to hand his iPhone back in. He then took over an old iPhone we had in the house for the interim, then was given a new Android phone for his new job. That didn’t last long, and now he’s in a different job with a new iPhone 6. My head is spinning at the constant changeovers and reverted to different phones. I’m keeping these tips for the future. Thanks.


  • Great info, thanks !


  • this is great, thanks i am planning on getting a new iphone and giving my old one to my 12 year old daughter and didnt really want the possibility of my personal details being on a phone belonging to a preteen who may not have the same attention to detail in the phone safekeeping department as an adult, it will only be for her to call us if she needs anything when not home.


  • This is a lot of help but what if you don’t have an iPhone? I have kept all of my other phones so no-one can get any private info. At least I know what to do when I want a new iPhone.

    • Hi Tessie, the above article contains instructions for Android phones, too! Is your phone an Android?


  • Lots of useful information in this article. I hope I can remember it when I need to use it


  • Thank you for the article. It’s so helpful, in particular if you are going to sell your old phone or pass it to someone else.


  • Its actually quite scary how easy it is to get private information about you. This was a great article about our phones but we need to think about this all the time …


  • Thanks for the information,l would like any-one having my personal details!


  • Great advice Lisa. Even though i don’t have a mobile phone, I still like knowing this information.


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