How to Wipe an iPhone Clean (Erase iPhone) Before Selling

There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to remove all data from your iPhone permanently, without any way of recovering it whatsoever. For instance, you may want to sell the device and you’re worried about private data falling in the wrong hands, and it’s not like that never happened before.

Fortunately, all modern devices have this feature built-in, although its effectiveness may vary from one device to another. However, when it comes to iPhones, you can rest assured that once your data has been wiped, there’s no way to recover it once the process comes to an end.

How to wipe an iPhone clean

How to Wipe an iPhone Clean

iPhones have been known for their intuitive user interface for a long time, and they’re still rocking the same style years after the release of the first model. Therefore, wiping your device should be just as easy as sending a message to your mom or checking your emails, right?

Well, sort of. If you’re 100% sure you want to get rid of all your data, you just head to the appropriate section, hit that button, and enjoy your data going down a black hole. However, if you’re switching to a different device, you might want to perform a few extra steps first, to make sure that you won’t lose precious information forever.

With that in mind, let’s see how you can wipe your iPhone safely and without significant effort, while also making sure you’re not messing up the process and saving anything that’s worth saving beforehand.

How to erase iPhone before selling?

1. Run preparatory steps

First and foremost, you must decide whether you’re going to keep the device you’re wiping or you’re upgrading to a different one. If you’re keeping it, then there’s no need to run these operations, as you’ll still be in charge of the device.

2. Disable iMessage

You only want to disable iMessage and FaceTime on your iPhone if you plan on switching to a non-Apple phone (Android, for instance). The reason why you should definitely disable iMessage before you move to a different device is that you might not be able to receive SMS or MMS messages on your new phone if you don’t.

That being said, make sure you didn’t remove your SIM card from your iPhone, then perform the following steps:

Using your iPhone:

  1. Unlock your iPhone
  2. Open the Settings app
  3. Go to the Messages section
  4. Tap the green iMessage switch
  5. Go back to the Settings app
  6. Head to the FaceTime section
  7. Turn FaceTime off

That’s it, you just disabled iMessage and FaceTime on your iPhone and shouldn’t experience any issues after moving your SIM card to your new device. However, just so you know, it’s possible to deactivate iMessage if you don’t have access to your iPhone any longer. Here’s what you need to do:

Without using your iPhone:

How to erase iPhone - Deregister iMessage using Apple's website

  1. Launch your web browser of choice
  2. Go to Apple’s Deregister iMessage web page
  3. Type your phone number in the first field
  4. Click the Send Code button
  5. Wait for the message to arrive on your phone
  6. Type the confirmation code in the second field

Note that you’ll have to type a phone number associated with iMessage, and you’ll have to own that phone number in order to disable the service centrally. Once you type in the code, your phone number will no longer be linked to iMessage, and SMS/MMS messages will work as usual.

3. Unpair your Apple Watch

Again, this applies to those of you who plan on getting rid of their iPhone, so if you’re just wiping data on it for any other reason, you might as well skip this step. If you’re selling your iPhone, a good idea is to unpair your Apple Watch.

  1. Bring your iPhone and Apple Watch close together
  2. Unlock your iPhone
  3. Launch the Apple Watch app
  4. Head to the My Watch tab
  5. Select your device (somewhere at the top of the screen)
  6. Tap the “i” button next to your Apple Watch
  7. Select the Unpair Apple Watch option
  8. Type your Apple ID password
  9. Tap the Unpair button again to confirm your action

Note that if you own a GPS + Cellular Apple Watch, you may need to remove your cellular plan. If you’re going to pair your Apple Watch with an iPhone, you should keep the plan, but if you’re about to start using a non-Apple device, you should definitely remove the plan. Additionally, you may want to contact your carrier and ask them to cancel your cellular subscription, if needed.

If you’re also planning to get rid of your Apple Watch, you’ll probably want to wipe your data from it, as well. Here’s how you can safely erase all data from your Apple Watch without significant effort.

Erasing your Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Settings section
  2. Head to the General category
  3. Go to the Reset section
  4. Select the Erase All Content and Settings option
  5. If prompted, type your password
  6. As before, keep or remove your cellular plan
  7. Tap the Erase All button to confirm your action

Note that erasing your Apple Watch only removes all data, media, and settings from your device, but doesn’t affect the Activation Lock feature, which prevents others from using the watch if you’ve lost it or it’s been stolen.

Therefore, you’ll need to also unpair the Apple Watch to remove the Activation Lock, which we already explained in the section above. Note that Apple automatically performs a backup of your watch’s contents before it erases data on it and saves it on your iPhone.

4. Perform a backup of your data

We shouldn’t have to explain why backing up your data in any given situation is a smart thing to do, especially if you’re performing an operation that can’t be easily (or at all) reversed or engaging in activities you’ve never done before.

So, if it’s your first time wiping an iPhone or feel like you still need some of the data that’s saved on it, just go ahead and back it up somewhere. You’ll most likely end up thanking your lucky stars you did it, so why not save yourself the hassle?

This goes especially if you plan on upgrading to a newer model of iPhone and moving your old data to it might be something you’ll like to do. Fortunately, Apple thought of everything and made it quite easy to backup data on your iPhone, as you can go two ways about it.

You can either backup your data online by using Apple’s iCloud, or you can be more traditional-like and opt for the standard iTunes + cable method. Whichever way you decide to go, at the end you’ll have all data on your iPhone copied someplace safe for you to use later, if needed.

Using iCloud:

  1. Unlock your iPhone
  2. Make sure your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network
  3. Open the Settings app
  4. Tap your name in the list
  5. Select iCloud and go to iCloud Backup
  6. Make sure iCloud Backup is turned on
  7. Tap the Back Up Now button
  8. Wait for the backup process to finish and don’t disconnect your iPhone from Wi-Fi
  9. Check under the Back Up Now button if the process finished successfully

The great part about iCloud backups is that they only require an Internet connection to save your priceless data or restore it to a new device. Anything ranging from Apple Pay details to Face ID information, settings, documents, and accounts is saved during an iCloud backup.

Using the iTunes + cable method:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your PC (or Mac)
  2. Launch iTunes (it usually launches automatically)
  3. Click on your iPhones icon in iTunes
  4. Go to the Summary section
  5. Look for the This computer option under the Backups category
  6. Click the Backup Now button
  7. Optional: select Encrypt local backup, type a password and click the Set Password button

If everything is done right, iTunes should start backing up data on your iPhone, including your text messages, app data, photos, videos, documents, and music. After the process is done, you can unplug your iPhone and continue with the data wiping process.

5. Remove additional data (optional)

You probably encountered iPhone listings on eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist that mentioned the device isn’t iCloud-locked and wondered what was that all about. To put it shortly, you can (and probably did) lock your device on iCloud, so as to prevent others from messing around with it if you lose it or it gets stolen.

Therefore, if you plan on selling your device or giving it away, the right thing to do would be to break all of its virtual chains. This may sound somewhat complicated, but don’t worry, that’s why we’re here for.

Sign out of iCloud:

  1. Unlock your iPhone
  2. Open the Settings app
  3. Tap the Sign Out button
  4. Type your Apple ID password
  5. Tap the Turn Off button

Note that these steps only work for iPhones running on iOS 10.3 or later. Therefore, if you have a device that’s running on iOS 10.2 or earlier, you might want to take a look at the steps below.

  1. Unlock your iPhone
  2. Open the Settings app
  3. Head to the iCloud section
  4. Tap the Sign out button, then do it again to confirm
  5. Tap the Delete button under the My [your iPhone name] section
  6. Type your Apple ID password when prompted
  7. Go back to the Settings main menu
  8. Select iTunes & App Store
  9. Go to Apple ID
  10. Tap the Sign Out button

Although unlinking your iPhone from older versions of iOS may be a bit more complicated, it’s still quite manageable if you took a bit of time to get familiarized with your device. However, we’re still not done.

Again, these last steps only apply if you’re planning on parting ways with your device. That being said, you should disable the Find My iPhone feature, so that whoever ends up owning your device will be able to use it. Apple installed a failsafe in their iPhones so that if you wipe a device, this feature will remain active so that the original owner of the device can easily locate it.

Disable the Find My iPhone feature:

  1. Unlock your iPhone
  2. Open the Settings app
  3. Select your name from the list
  4. Go to the iCloud section
  5. Select Find My iPhone
  6. Turn the feature off

Now that you’ve unpaired devices, disabled its security services, unlinked your iPhone from iCloud, and backed up your data, we can start the wiping process that will remove all data from your iPhone.

One last thing: just as a precautionary step, you may want to remove the SIM card from your iPhone if you plan on selling it or giving it away to someone else.

6. How to wipe iPhone clean?

The iPhone wiping process is actually called a factory reset, and it means bringing the device back in the state it was when it left the factory where it was assembled (aka brand new).

If you have a jailbroken iPhone and need to wipe data on it without losing the jailbreak, it’s possible to do so, but keep in mind that the process is not exactly simple, as it’s aimed at advanced iPhone users. Fortunately, we’ve explained the process in our comprehensive guide.

The process is quite intuitive and can be performed by following these steps:

  1. As usual, unlock your iPhone
  2. Open the Settings app
  3. Go to the General section
  4. Scroll down and tap the Reset button
  5. Tap the Erase All Content and Settings button
  6. Type your Apple ID password when prompted and confirm your decision
  7. Wait for the wiping process to come to an end

That’s it, after the wiping process completes, your iPhone should restart all brand-new and without any of your old data on it. It’s worth mentioning that you can also trigger the wiping process remotely from a desktop computer. 

If you’re worried about third-party tools being able to recover data you wiped, rest assured; data on iOS devices is inherently protected using 256-bit encryption, and the keys are destroyed once your data is wiped from your device.

Therefore, even if someone were to be able to recover your old iPhone data, it would be inaccessible thanks to the encryption used to protect it.

Erase iPhone Guide – CONCLUSION

To sum it up, although wiping your iPhone is itself a quick, intuitive operation, there are many things you’ll need to take into consideration based on what you’re planning to do with the device you’re trying to wipe.

If you plan on selling the device or just giving it away, you’re going to want to remove all personal data that ties you to the device, disable any security components such as the device locator and iCloud, as well as unpair any additional devices you’ve connected to it.

On the other hand, if you plan on wiping your device just because you want a fresh start and don’t really care about the data you’re about to throw into oblivion, you can just go ahead and perform the factory reset without any additional process we’ve described in our guide.

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How to send Disappearing Messages in WhatsApp

Whatsapp is quite a feature-rich messaging app. It offers end-to-end encryption which few mainstream messaging apps do, and it allows users to forward messages, make audio and video calls, send files, and send voice messages, among other many impressive things.

Whatsapp even has business accounts and because it is so popular all over the world, you will find many companies integrate a Whatsapp business account into their on-site customer support.

Disappearing Messages in WhatsApp

If you use Whatsapp a lot, chances are you have quite a few active threads with hundreds, if not thousands of messages. The messages and media sent over a single conversation thread or over all threads can be cleared easily enough but it has to be done manually.

If you’re not interested in hanging on to messages in a particular thread, you can enable disappearing messages to delete them automatically.

Enable disappearing messages in Whatsapp

Disappearing messages is a somewhat new feature. It is available on both iOS and Android. Make sure you’re running the latest version of the app.

  1. Open Whatsapp on your phone.
  2. Select the conversation thread that you want to enable disappearing messages for.
  3. Tap the contact’s name at the top.
  4. Select Disappearing messages.
  5. Select the ‘On’ option.
  6. Disappearing messages will be enabled.


  • Disappearing messages cannot be enabled for a group chat. It is exclusive to one-on-one conversation threads.
  • When you enable disappearing messages for a conversation, the other person is informed that it has been enabled. They know the messages sent over the thread will be gone.
  • The messages disappear after 7 days. Disappearing messages are NOT the same as archived messages. Once a message disappears, you won’t be able to get it back
  • 7 days is plenty of time for anyone to take a screenshot of a message so while a message may be gone, proof that it was sent may still exist. 
  • A message sent over a thread with disappearing messages enabled can be forwarded. The original message will disappear but the forwarded message will not.
  • Any media that has been saved from a message cannot be purged from the device. As long as media hasn’t been saved, it will be removed but Whatsapp cannot delete a video, audio, file, or image that has been saved to a phone’s storage.
  • Messages sent before disappearing messages is enabled will not be removed. The feature works only on messages that have been sent after it has been enabled.


Disappearing messages in Whatsapp are a good way to keep the app from bloating with messages. If you’re not in the habit of cleaning the app regularly, this is a good way to automate it. Of course, you will have to enable the feature for chats one-by-one. It’s a shame that it doesn’t work for group chats since that’s where files and messages tend to build up the most.

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How to set custom wallpapers for chat in Whatsapp

Whatsapp is an exceptionally popular messaging app. In some countries, it is the go-to messaging app for a large chunk of the population and many carriers offer specialized data plans that cater to its use.

Whatsapp normally is used for both work and for personal messaging and calls. Unfortunately, you cannot run more than one Whatsapp account on a phone since it is linked to a phone number. Having a dual SIM phone doesn’t help the situation since the feature to add two accounts isn’t there in the app.

To keep work and personal messaging threads separate, you can use wallpapers as visual indicators that will give away what sort of chat thread you’ve selected if you happen to miss the name.

Custom wallpapers for Whatsapp chat 

Whatsapp has always allowed users to change the chat background i.e. chat wallpaper but the change applies uniformly i.e., everyone used to get the same wallpaper. Not anymore though. 

Whatsapp now allows users to set a custom wallpaper for each chat thread. This feature has rolled out to all users via the last app update and it is available on both iOS and Android versions.

Change Whatsapp chat wallpaper

To change the chat wallpaper for a particular chat thread on Whatsapp, follow these steps.

  1. Open Whatsapp.
  2. Select the chat thread you want to change the wallpaper for.
  3. Tap the contact or group name at the top to go to the chat thread’s settings.
  4. Tap Wallpaper & Sound.
  5. Tap Choose a New Wallpaper.
  6. Select an image from your device’s storage.
  7. Use the slider below the preview to make it brighter or darker.
  8. The wallpaper will be set. 

Change default wallpaper for chat

If you’d like to change the default wallpaper for all chats on Whatsapp, you can still do that. You do not have to change the wallpaper one chat thread at a time.

  1. Open Whatsapp.
  2. Go to the Settings tab.
  3. Tap Chats.
  4. Tap Chat Wallpaper>Choose dark/light mode Wallpaper.
  5. Select a wallpaper and it will be applied to all chats except the ones that have a custom wallpaper set.


Whatsapp allows users to set a different wallpaper for the dark and the light theme. You will have to change the theme on your device and then access the default wallpaper settings to set a wallpaper for that theme. If your device is running an OS version that doesn’t have light and dark themes, Whatsapp will appear only in the light/default theme and there is only one default wallpaper for you to set.

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How to automatically change the wallpaper for dark/light mode on iOS

iOS has a dark and a light mode. The dark mode on iOS is pretty great but a lot of apps need to add support for it. With iOS, Apple has been smart and it’s taken ideas from what users have done with the light/dark mode that was implemented on macOS one year earlier.

On macOS, users have created scripts or used apps for automatically changing the wallpaper based on their theme. On iOS, you can do this out of the box, with limitations.

Wallpaper for dark/light mode on iOS

This will work for both iOS and for iPadOS, both of which have a light and dark mode.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Wallpaper
  3. Select the ‘Stills’ option or the ‘Live’ option. No other option will do.
  4. Select a wallpaper with the light/dark globe icon.
  5. Select what you want to set the wallpaper for; home screen, lock screen, or both.
  6. The wallpaper will change based on the theme that is in use.


There is one huge limitation with this is that only Apple’s specific wallpapers can be used. As of yet, users cannot save third-party wallpapers that will change based on the theme that is applied.

At present, users have six Live wallpapers, and twenty-one still images to choose from. They do provide a reasonable color range from dark grey/blue to bright orange/red. There are also a few photos that you can choose.

It’s not clear if Apple is going allow users to create their own images. The philosophy of the Apple wallpapers is basically to change the hue of a wallpaper to lighter or darker tones but users may be fine with having two completely different wallpapers for the light and the dark them as long as the wallpaper doesn’t blind at night or dim everything too much in the day. 

If you find wallpapers that claim they can change with the theme of iOS, you should be somewhat skeptical. Always go for a try-before-you-buy option in this case.


Apple has retained control over which wallpapers can change automatically. It has limited the feature terribly. The only way to work around it is to maybe jailbreak a device but wallpapers aren’t really worth jailbreaking a device over. 

The wallpaper will change when you manually change the theme of your device and it will also change if you’ve set the theme to change automatically based on time of day.

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How to open multiple Chrome windows on iPad

The iPad, ever since it transitioned away from iOS and began running iPadOS has moved towards supporting better multitasking on the device. If you look at how the device behaved in its early years and compare it to its present features, it’s obvious that the device’s features have been built around how users use it.

Among the many multitasking features that were added in iPadOS, there is a feature to pin two apps side-by-side. A third app can be used via Slide Over. iPadOS has removed many restrictions that apps were subject to in older versions of iOS.

Multiple Chrome windows on iPad

Chrome has only recently added multiple-window support for its iPad version. That means, in order to open multiple Chrome windows on the iPad, you must update the app to version 87.

Once you’ve updated Chrome, follow the steps below to open multiple Chrome windows.

  1. Open Chrome on your iPad.
  2. Tap the more options button at the top right.
  3. Tap New Window.
  4. The new window will open and it will be pinned next to the current one.
  5. Repeat for as many windows as you’d like to open.

Open links in new a new window

If you’re using Chrome and want to open a link in a new window, you can do so without going through the Chrome menu.

  1. Navigate to a webpage with a link.
  2. Press and hold on the link.
  3. From the menu, select Open in New Window.
  4. If you do not have another window, the link will open in a new window that will be pinned next to the current one.
  5. If you already have two Chrome windows open, the newly created window will open separately.

Close a Chrome window

Chrome windows don’t have a close button and unlike the desktop version of the app, closing all tabs in a Chrome window will not close the window itself.

To close a Chrome window, follow these steps.

  1. On your iPad, swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen and stop at the center.
  2. You will see the app switcher.
  3. The app switcher will show each Chrome window that is open.
  4. Flick away the window you want to close.

Note: if you have two Chrome windows pinned side by side, remove one window and then close it from the app switcher.

If your iPad model is one that has a home button, you can double-press it to view the app switcher. 

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