New school year, new phone: how to wipe the old one

We recently upgraded all of our phones. I knew it was time to divorce my G1 when my friends were making fun of me. Now, we are trying to figure out what to do with the old phones. Before moving them along, we need to remove all of our information such as emails, contacts, pictures, videos etc.

I thought simply removing the SIM card would remove most of this information. This may work on older phones, but not on smartphones. When I removed the SIM card from my G1, my email was gone but not my contact list, my pictures or my videos. The only real change was an initial alert “no sim card”.

I found out smartphones store information in two places: on a SIM card and the phone’s internal memory. I needed to remove the SIM card as well as erase the internal memory. Erasing the memory required resetting the phone back to its original fresh out the box factory settings.


Removing all internal information from an Android phone, such as a G1, is a two-step process. First, I went to Settings and chose “SD Card and Phone Storage”. Then, I selected “unmount SD card”, followed by, “format SD card”. For the next step I went back to the main settings menu and this time after I selected “SD Card and Phone Storage”, I chose “factory data reset”.  For other Android phones, the factory data reset is in the “Settings” menu under “Privacy”. Android phones vary slightly but the factory reset is usually somewhere in “Settings”.


My kids are usually willing to help me with this blog. This time, I had no volunteers for letting mommy erase and restore their iPods. According to Apple, it is quite easy. To restore factory settings on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to the settings menu, select General then select Reset and choose “Erase All Content and Settings”.  That’s it. This may take a while so Apple recommends fully charging the device before starting.

REMEMBER: Before wiping the memory transfer all information you want to keep such as pictures and videos to your computer.