How to safely prepare your Android phone for sale

Samsung’s recent announcement of the almost £900 selling price of the new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is not a one-off. It is emblematic of the pricing strategy of most mobile phone companies - squeeze every penny you can from the Android base. The prices of new phones are spiralling beyond reason. Incremental technological improvements over previous models do not justify doubling the selling price of a phone. Alas, we are powerless to say no. Every one of us will eventually get the latest smartphone model, one way or another.


To soften the blow, some will sell their old phone for cash or even do a trade-in. However, many are unaware of the basic housekeeping steps required before handing over our phone to someone else. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a basic checklist that every Android owner who wants to sell their phone must read.



1. Back Up


There are two reasons why you should back up all the data on your device. The first reason is to prevent you from accidentally losing an important file, image or video which can’t be retrieved after the phone is sold. The second reason is to reduce the setup time on the new phone. With a backup in place, you will not have to spend a whole day installing 100 apps found in your old phone or manually typing in your contacts.


To save time, don’t back up your files using individual apps. Instead, use Google’s backup function which can found in Settings>System.


2. Log out from all accounts


This is really important. Log out from all your online accounts, especially Gmail (or other email account), brand account (certain brands like Xiaomi, Redmi and Samsung require users to create an account), social media accounts, and other websites you regularly frequent.


Remember to remove your Google account as an option on Google’s log in Window.


3. Erase all data


Smartphones capture a huge amount of the users’ personal data. When we factor in the apps installed, your phone knows practically everything about your life, ranging from your bank account, daily schedule, shopping pattern, etc. A semi competent hacker can literally extract all this data from your phone and make your life a living hell!


As such, don’t take any chances. Erase all the data from your phone by resetting it back to factory condition. It’s probably a good idea to encrypt the data on your phone first before doing the reset - it will create a second layer of protection against hackers.


All three steps shouldn’t take your more than an hour, so there is zero excuse for not doing this. Unless of course, you actually want to deal with stolen identity, fraudulent purchases, phantom credit card accounts, etc. You know, things that can ruin your life.