How to prepare your iPhone or Apple Watch for trade-in

Added a trade-in when you bought a new device? Here’s everything you need to know about preparing and packing it. 

Before you ship your iPhone

  1. Back up your iPhone.
  2. You must remove your device from Find my iPhone before you ship it.
  3. If you need to send in an iPhone that's paired with an Apple Watch, unpair your Apple Watch. When you unpair, your iPhone will create a new backup of your Apple Watch. You can use the backup to restore your Apple Watch with your new iPhone.
  4. Go to Settings > Messages and turn off iMessage.
  5. To protect your data, erase your iPhone.
  6. Charge your iPhone fully and turn it off.
  7. Remove the SIM card from your iPhone if it uses one and keep it in a safe place.
  8. Remove all screen protectors and/or phone cases. If these items are included in the box, they will be recycled and cannot be returned to you. 

Before you ship your Apple Watch

  1. Unpair and erase your Apple Watch.  When you unpair, your iPhone will create a backup of your Apple Watch.
  2. Remove the band from your Apple Watch. If it is included in the box, it will be recycled and cannot be returned to you.

Pack it up using the included packaging materials

1. Remove the cardboard insert from the box. Unfold right and left flaps to loosen the plastic sleeve attached to the cardboard insert. Place your device into the sleeve with the screen facing down. This reduces the possibility of transit damage to the screen.


2. Center your device inside the plastic sleeve. Re-fold both flaps to tighten the plastic sleeve around your device. Fold the first-half of the end panels down and second-half back up.

3. Place the folded insert into the box. Any additional items included in the box will be recycled and cannot be returned to you. Finish by sealing the box with tape.

4. Tape the box closed.

5. Cover the entire original shipping label on the box with the return shipping label provided.

Ship your iPhone or Apple Watch to Apple

  1. Find the name of the courier on the return shipping label.
  2. Visit the courier’s website to schedule a pickup or find a drop-off location.*
  3. Get a receipt from the courrier.
  4. Check your new device shipment email for a link to check the status of your trade-in.

*Apple is not responsible for any damage during shipping if the package is not properly sealed or is delivered to the courier in poor condition.

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