ExpressBasics: How to Backup, Reset Android Phone Before Selling


Whether you’re giving your old Android smartphone to a friend, selling it to someone at OLX, or trading it in for a newer phone, there are a few steps involved. This is how you can backup all your data on the phone, erase it completely, and then give it away.

In today’s edition of ExpressBasics, we’ll look at how you can do each of these things, starting with backing up your data.

Backup apps

There are plenty of ways to back up your data, and even tools that automate much of the process for you. However, we will show you the easiest way to do it between two Android phones, regardless of the brands.

Start by syncing everything to your Google account. To do this, go to Settings / Accounts / your Gmail email ID / Account synchronization. Here, click on the three-dot menu at the top and click on “sync now”. This will ensure that your data from Google apps such as Keep, Calendar, Contacts and others is synced.

Next, you want to back up data from the individual apps that support them. For apps like Facebook and Instagram, all your chats and other data is stored in the cloud, so that’s fine. However, for end-to-end encrypted platforms like WhatsApp, you will need to make manual backups which will be stored in the cloud.

In WhatsApp, for example, you can do this by going to Settings/Chats/Chat Backup. Here, make sure the “Backup to Google Drive” drop-down list is set to something other than “Never”. You can also just choose the second option “Only when I press save” and press the main save button. This will start backing up all your WhatsApp images, chats and groups and storing them on Gdrive, which you can then import to your next phone while setting it up there.

For games and other applications, check if there is a setting that allows you to save files offline or online. Otherwise, these apps will just need to be installed on your next phone.

Once all of this is done, it’s time to back up your files.

Back up files

The easiest way to do this is to simply connect your Android phone to a PC, choose USB File Transfer mode, and copy all the contents of the internal storage folder to a new folder on your PC. These will include folders like DCIM, Documents, Downloads, Movies, Music, Pictures, etc.

These can then be moved to your new phone when you set it up and merged with folders that already exist in the new phone.

Now that you’ve backed everything up, it’s time to reset everything and remove your SIM card(s) and MicroSD card, if applicable.

Reset phone

To reset your phone, just go to Settings and in the search bar at the top search for “reset”. Click on the result that says something like reset or factory reset. This should take you directly to the page that allows you to reset your phone.

Follow the on-screen instructions and if you see options or a drop-down asking if you want to keep the files or reset everything, choose to reset/delete everything. Remember that your phone goes to someone else after this step and any remaining data could be misused in the wrong hands. So make sure to choose Delete All option.

Once the reset is complete, your phone will reboot and land on the setup screen where you will likely be prompted to choose a language. Instead of continuing with the setup, simply turn off the phone and remove your SIM card(s) and MicroSD card (if applicable). Your old Android phone is now ready to go.


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