How To Video
Prepare your Android phone for resaleDid you just upgrade to the latest, greatest Android phone? Here's how to get your old Android phone ready to sell.
Upgrading to the latest and greatest Android phone is always exciting. But what do you do with your old Android phone? You don't have to trade it in with your carrier. You may wanna try reselling it. I'm Donald Bell and today I'm gonna show you the steps involved in getting your old Android phone ready for resale. Before you put your old phone up on eBay or Craiglist, we're gonna move all of your important and personal data off of this thing and then reformat it like it just came out of the box. I'm gonna use the Samsung Galaxy S III as my example. Let's start with what you don't need to worry about. You don't have to worry about your apps. Google has a record of all of the Android apps you've purchased so as long as you go into another Android device, you can download them all to your new phone at no charge. You also really shouldn't have to worry about your e-mail. Aren't a lot of situations where an e-mail would land on your phone and that also will be to be backed up to your e-mail host especially common ones like Gmail or Yahoo? Now if you're not certain about it, it's an easy problem to task. Just find an important e-mail on your phone and then use your computer to look up that same e-mail. Go back and forth until you feel satisfied and then you can move on. Really the most important thing you should back up before you hand over your phone is your contacts. Fortunately, Android makes this really easy to backup. My best advice is to back up everything to Google Contacts. Especially if you're sticking with Android, Google Contacts will follow you everywhere. Now to sync everything up, open up contacts on your phone, tap the menu key, and hit merge with Google. Tap okay and all of your contacts will be sucked into your Google account. To check to make sure they all made the trip all right, find a computer and log on to contacts.google.com with your Google account. Everything should be there and if you see some doubles, check out my howto on how to get rid of duplicates. Once your contacts are merged, they're just waiting for your new phone to pull them back down. But to be extra cautious, you can use that same contacts menu to export the list to your SD card or a sim card. Another piece of precious data you may want a backup are your photos and videos. There's a couple of ways to do this, but the fastest and most effective is to connect your phone to your computer using the USB cable that came to your phone. On a PC, you should pop right up as a USB drive. Mac users may need it and so a small Google app called Android file transfer to get the same result. All of your phones, photos and videos should be located in a folder called DCIM. You can just copy that folder over to your computer or, if you have the room, why not just copy the entire contents of your phone over to a backup folder just in case. Now what about the stuff you're probably not thinking of, your text messages, call logs, alarms, dictionaries, music playlist, browser bookmarks? To transfer these in this one last sweep of your data, I recommended installing a backup app. For $5 an app like My Back Pro, we'll gather up all this stuff, back it up to the cloud or to your memory card and allow you to sync it back over to your phone. It's a money well spent. So now that you back everything up, the next step is to delete all of your personal stuff from this phone. But before you do that, you wanna remove the memory card and the sim card so that they don't get erased and so that you don't accidentally send them to the next person. Now first let's get the memory card out, which is probably either on the side of this phone or on the battery compartment. On the S3, you find a micro SD memory card and the same card back here under the cover. Some phones may not have a memory card slot or they won't have memory cards installed. But if you do find a memory card, make sure the phone is powered down and then take the memory card out. If you have wifi access, you can take out the sim card too, otherwise, you'll need it for one last step and then you can remove it at the very end. So here's the moment we get to feel like a secret agent or maybe get to experience panic attack, but we're going to erase the phone full factory reset. We're gonna boot it backup, go into settings, and then backup and reset. Some Android devices will have this under security or storage so look around if you don't see it right away. At the top, we will see some options for backing up some Android data and settings to your Google account. Make sure they're checked on and that you have a backup account selected. It may trigger a brief backup, but chances are if these settings are already on the Android has been backing up these settings in the background all along. After that, the final stop is this button down here for factory data reset. This will reset the phone back to its original state and delete all of the data on the device. Tap it and you'll see a warning of some kind, but just remember it's not deleting your accounts. It's just deleting any trace of you from the phone. You really don't want the next person you give this phone to, to have access to your personal accounts and information. When you feel confident, hit reset device. The phone will now reformat itself and restart. When it turns on again, you should see that same welcome to Android screen that was there the first time you got the phone. All right, it's finally time to say goodbye so go ahead and shoot it down one last time. Remove the sim card if you have one already. Clean the phone with a nice dry cloth. Gather up any cables or charges that came with the phone. And if you still have the original box that can help the resale value if you're selling this thing online. So there you go that's my best advice for preparing your old Android phone before switching over to a new one [unk] S III. More tips like this head over to howto.cnet.com. I'm Donald Bell. Thanks for watching.