How do I erase my private information before donating/recycling my mobile phone?

Just like donating or recycling a computer, it is best to remove your personal data from your mobile phone before giving it up.  Depending on your phone manufacturer, there are different ways and methods to do this.

  1. Backup any important phone numbers or information stored on the phone before continuing.  You will not be able to access this information after deleting it from the phone.
  2. Use the instructions at this website ( for information on how to remove data from your specific phone.
  3. If your phone is not listed in that website, or you don't feel comfortable performing this step, go to your mobile phone provider for help.
  4. Remove your SIM card if you have a GSM phone (almost any non-Verizon or Sprint phone).  This card may contain your address book and your account information.  It is important that you don't accidently donate this information along with your phone.

 There are many good charities for use mobile phones out there.  Anyone from battered wives to overseas soldiers could use an old mobile phone.  If you do decide to donate or recycle your phone, make sure to protect yourself first.