6 Things To Do Before Recycling an Old Phone


3 of 3

2. Remove SIM and Memory Cards

Sim Card

Once you have backed up your phone, signed out of all accounts, and unpaired from Bluetooth devices, it is then safe to remove your SIM card. Android users will need to remove the memory card.

These hold personal data you probably don’t want to lose. You also may need to reuse the SIM card in your new phone. If you don’t need your SIM card anymore, you can cut it in half as if it is an old credit card.

1. Factory Reset

Factory ResetDoing a factory reset on your phone is a MUST. It is the easiest way to wipe your phone clean. Your personal data and all of the apps you have installed while using the phone will be deleted. The reset will put your phone back to the default state that it was at when you first bought it.  

If you’re an iPhones or Windows user, you will press “reset” in your settings. Doing a factory reset on an Androids will not remove important data, including email addresses and texts. With that said, don’t forget to encrypt your data before the reset.

Apple users don’t have to worry about encrypting their phones because it automatically does that for you. However, Android phones need to be encrypted by the user. 

Steps to encrypt an Android:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Security
  3. Tap Encrypt phone

Once that process is complete, you can reset your Android easily in Settings.

Where To Donate or Recycle Old Cellphones

Recycling Phone

When you finally have an upgrade and are ready to get a new high-tech phone, you may be confused about what to do with your old phone.

Simply throwing away your phone only contributes to the e-waste crisis. Recycling your cellphone is the way to go! Not only will recycling keep toxins out of the waste stream, but it allows recyclers to collect valuable materials for other uses.

Search Earth911 or Call2Recycle to find an e-waste drop-off site in your neighborhood!

Other recycling options:

  • Gifting it to a friend or family member.
  • Donating it to charity.
  • Order a prepaid box and mail it to Republic Services.

Best Buy has a great recycling and trade-in program for old tech. And many local charities can make good use of working devices. Cell Phones for Soldiers, Big Sky Recycling and 1Million Project repurpose your old device to help others!

However, before you go ahead and give that phone away, there are some crucial steps you should take to ensure the protection of your personal data.

Share