If you decide that it’s time to get rid of your old smartphone, tablet or PC, then it’s important to prepare the device before handing it over to its new owner. Making a few small preparations will prevent anyone from gaining access to your personal data and save you having any issues with authorizing DRM’d purchases.

 

1. Take A Backup

This may sound really obvious but is essential if you want to transfer your personal files to your new device. You will likely already have backups saved and nowadays, thanks to cloud services, it is easier than ever to store all your important data, which can be accessed on your current PC, tablet or smartphone. However, it may be that you still have some local files saved on your PC for example, so make sure you don’t forget to back those up too.

Backing up and Android smartphone

Most smartphones and tablets are backed up automatically so you don’t need to worry too much but it is worth checking Android data is automatically backed up if you are using an Android device, as things like photos are not saved online unless you configure the settings. Photos are automatically saved to the iCloud if you are using an Apple device and you have Photo Stream enabled.

2. DRM Purchases

Sometimes when you purchase content it is subject to Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology and therefore locks itself into your PC. An example of this is content purchased through the iTunes Store, where your computer needs to be ‘authorized’ before being allowed to play the content. You are allowed to authorize up to five machines at any one time but if you sell your PC, then that’s one authorization lost.

To stop this from happening you will need to deauthorize your computer. Using iTunes as example, you simply go to the iTunes Store menu and select ‘Deauthorize This Computer’.

If you are getting rid of  a smartphone or tablet, then revoking authorization isn’t really an issue so you can just skip this step.

3. Factory Reset

If you are running Windows 8, then the Reset Your PC feature will restore Windows to its factory default settings. Your entire device will be wiped, along with all of your personal files.

Windows 8 reset

For smartphones and tablets you can use the Factory Reset option. For iOS devices then go to Settings>General>Reset and then tap Erase All Content and Settings. For Android, navigate to the Settings screen and then select Back up and reset, followed by Erase All Content and Settings.

If you follow these simple steps then your old device will be ready to pass on to its new owner, without the risk of them recovering your personal files.

[Images via Episerver]