How to rip personal data off iPhone so I can give it to a friend?
March 4, 2019 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Will you help me strip this iPhone 5SE of all my personal data so that I can give it to someone who can really use it?

So a year ago I was given a previously owned iPhone 5SE which I could not use because it reeked of cigarette smoke. Despite all the best ideas you came up with (see prior Ask) it still reeked and I gave up.

After a few days of use during which I connected it to my WiFi, loaded all my info, received emails and messages, etc., I packed it away -- but now I have the opportunity to give it to someone who needs it who is … a smoker! Yes, it still reeks.

I charged it yesterday; and, it fired up! It's telling me it needs a Sim. They have that in their dying iPhone.

Smoky phone is connected to my WiFi. Is that a problem? I'm afraid that is a problem, and will mess with my current phone, the same model. I put the smoky phone on airplane mode and turned it off.

I need to rip all my personal data (messages, emails, etc.) off this phone before I can pack it up and give it away. Also what do I do about changing the name on the phone (so their name comes up when they call someone, rather than my name) and changing the password? I am okay with them having my password if that's a hassle.

I am shipping this out of state.

tldr: Will you help me strip this phone of all my personal data? Many thanks!
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff to Technology (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

It is stunning but effectively all you have to do is the mega reset and pull the sim. I applaud Apple for making it this easy to secure a device.
posted by wnissen at 8:52 AM on March 4, 2019 [4 favorites]

Be sure to sign out of iCloud with the device or it the other person might not be able to use it. If you forget I'm pretty sure you can do it later online but it is a little easier with the phone in hand.
posted by exogenous at 9:06 AM on March 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also what do I do about changing the name on the phone (so their name comes up when they call someone, rather than my name) and changing the password? I am okay with them having my password if that's a hassle.

Caller ID is based on the phone number and not the phone, so when they put their sim in your phone, their name will come up. When you reset the phone, they will have to go through all the steps to set it up again, including signing in with their Apple ID and setting up a new password.
posted by soelo at 9:19 AM on March 4, 2019

So what exogenous said is correct. If you don't sign out of the icloud, when you factory reset it will want a login for that email associated w/ the icloud. This is a theft prevention device and almost impossible to get around. So sign out of icloud. You CAN do it online through your iTunes account and unassociated the device I think (been a bit since I was handling corporate iphones and I had to reset them a lot).

But once you factory reset it, you'll be good on removing all your personal data and such. They make it very easy. You don't even have to change the SIM card unless you want a new number on it (which I'm assuming you do).

If you had any specific questions, I did this all the time from 2015-2017 as one of my job duties.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:14 AM on March 4, 2019

Thanks for all of your answers, each one helped me understand what I was doing. I signed out of iCloud, and then I followed the instructions that zamboni linked to.

I was extremely nervous about doing this, afraid it would somehow affect my current phone (especially the iCloud stuff -- I backed up my current phone, not the smoky one). I was going to ask some additional questions, then I just took a deep breath and followed the instructions, figuring if I lost everything on the Cloud or the new phone I would just toss both phones out the window and go back to the landline. lol

But, so far, it appears that all is well. And the smoky phone, sans Sim, is flashing "hello" in several languages and is ready to be packed securely in a box for shipping. This is a good thing.

If you're wondering, yes, I am an "old" by most of your standards. But you should know that I was an "early adopter" of all things tech -- and it is only in the last very few years that I feel as if tech-y things are conspiring against me at an alarming rate. lol

Thanks again for your instructions above. You have made someone happy (me) and helped someone out (them).
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 2:03 PM on March 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

You don't erase your icloud backup or other phone. Glad it worked out for you.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:09 AM on March 8, 2019

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