How Do I Set Up An Already Used iPhone?

Ideally, the person who owned your iPhone before you thoughtfully prepared it for you by wiping out all their data and removing all their personal information. That is ideal because it means your used iPhone is ready for you to customize with all your favorite music, apps, games, and other fun things when it arrives. Just in case your used phone wasn’t correctly configured for a new user, let’s walk through a thorough checklist of everything you need to do to get this system working for you and delete all the personal data from previous users.

Step1: Check To See If Find My iPhone, Photos, And iCloud Are All Off

The Apple ID must be removed or be able to be removed when we receive a used iPhone, iPad, or other device.

By selecting Settings > Apple ID Profile > iCloud and ensuring that no one’s name is listed, you can ensure there isn’t an Apple ID.

You may need the previous owner to delete this device from their account if iCloud, Photos, or Find My iPhone is enabled. They can do this remotely, which is good news.

Step 2: Update The iPhone To The Most Recent iOS Version

Before performing a complete erase, it’s a good idea to update the operating software on your new iPhone. Many people have these older iDevices collecting dust as one model replaces another. So, there’s a good chance your used iPhone is running an out-of-date version of iOS. You have nothing to lose at this point, and there is no risk of losing your data, so please upgrade your used iPhone to the most recent version of iOS.

Apple makes upgrading very simple, and we can all do it right on the iDevice, with no computer connection required. If you want to connect to your computer, you can use iTunes to perform any of these iOS upgrades. Make sure your iOS device is connected to Wi-Fi and plugged in. 

How To Upgrade iOS On An iPhone

  • How to Upgrade iOS on an iPhone
  • Navigate to Software Update.
  • Install any updates that are listed.
  • Turn on Automatic Updates if you want iOS to install updates automatically rather than manually.

As a precaution, perform Spring Cleaning on the iPhone, iPad, or another iDevice to ensure that all previous owner information is cleared out.

Step 3: Turn Off iMessage And Facetime

Before performing a complete erase, we will need to turn off the iMessage and iCloud services manually, and we will also want to ensure that this used iPhone is disconnected from the previous owner and all their texts, private information, and so on:

  • Navigate to Settings > MessagesSlide to the LEFT to turn off iMessage (slider goes from green to grayed out)
  • Back in Settings, select FaceTime.
  • FaceTime can be turned off by sliding to the left (slider goes from green to grayed out)

Step 4: Erase All Content and Settings Using The Device  

  • Go to Settings > Apple ID Profile.
  • Scroll down past all your connected devices (with the same Apple ID) and tap Sign Out.
  • If you receive a message instructing you to disable, Find My, enter your Apple ID password, and select Turn Off.
  • Tap Delete Account if you’re using iOS 7 or earlier.
  • Erase All Content and Settings by going to Settings > General > Reset.
  • If your iDevice has a passcode or Screen Time (Restrictions), you must enter it before you can tap Erase.
  • Wait for the process to complete.

Step 5: Erase All Content and Settings Using iTunes

  • Connect your iPhone or iPad to a computer.
  • Launch iTunes.
  • When your device is connected, restart it manually.
  • When you see the Apple logo, don’t let it go.
  • Continue to hold until you see the recovery mode screen.
  • Choose Restore when you see the option to Restore or Update. iTunes will download software for your device.
  • If this process takes longer than 15 minutes, your device will exit recovery mode.
  • Steps 2 and 3 should be repeated.
  • Wait for the process to complete. When the iPhone has completed the factory reset, it will reboot as if it was brand new.

Finally, if anything is left that connects the previous owner to you, let’s take a few final steps.

Step 6: Remove The iPhone From The Apple Account

Whoever the previous owner was, you should probably unlink it from the former Apple Account and Support Profile.

If you didn’t follow the steps above to disable iCloud and Find My iPhone/iPad, make sure you do so now. It’s easy.

Keep in mind that you will need the previous owner’s assistance here:

  • Sign in to the Apple ID website.
  • Access their account (need Apple ID and Password)
  • Find the device they’re giving (selling) you.
  • Select Remove. 

You may decide not to do this if you’re giving the iPhone to a family member, particularly one who is part of your family group, but keep in mind that they will have access to your Apple Account, Support, and apps.

Step 7: Remove The Sim Card For iPhones 

Taking out the previous owner’s SIM card is crucial because it also contains data. You also want the iPhone to function on your network, not another person. Therefore, if the prior owner did not remove the SIM Card, take the following actions:

  • Grab the SIM Card Eject Pin or a paper clip.
  • Flip the iPhone over to the side.
  • Through the SIM hole, insert the pin.
  • Remove the OLD SIM.
  • Slide your SIM card into the reader.
  • Insert your SIM card into the phone.

Final Thoughts 

Now that the used iPhone is ready to be your own. Install apps, send texts and emails, take pictures and videos, make phone calls, and use FaceTime to examine your device. Keeping track of all those calories, steps, and other personal information is also important. And remember to backup; it’s an essential component of being a responsible used phone user.


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