The iPhone 12 has arrived. If you’re coming from an older device but want to update to the newest model, it’s clear that the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max are great devices. But what should you do about that aging phone now that you’re planning to upgrade? Here’s how to trade in and recycle your old iPhone for the latest-and-greatest…

Back up your old iPhone

The first thing you want to do is make sure your iPhone is wholly backed up so that you don’t lose any data. You might already have iCloud backups happening automatically, which generally occurs if your device is connected to power, connected to Wi-Fi, locked, and there’s enough space.

Regardless, it’s a good idea to go in and perform one manually before you trade in your old iPhone just for good measure. To do this, head to Settings on your iPhone tap your name, and then tap iCloud. Tap iCloud Backup and then tap “Back Up Now.”

If you don’t have enough space to perform your backup via iCloud or you’d prefer to back up with iTunes, our Michael Potuck did a comprehensive guide on this process earlier this year. In short, though, it’s just a matter of connecting your device, navigating to it in iTunes, and clicking “Back Up Now.” If you need more help, Michael’s guide is great.

Factory reset your old iPhone

After your device is fully backed up, the next step for trading it in (or recycling it), is to wipe it completely. Once you’re sure that your device and all its data is fully backed up to your iCloud account (or iTunes), head to Settings > General > Reset. There, you’ll find an option to Erase All Content and Settings. You may have to enter your Apple ID and/or device passcode. After that, your device will erase completely.

Should you trade in or sell your old iPhone?

Now that your device is ready, it’s time to decide whether it’s best for you to trade in or sell your old iPhone.

Trading in your device through one of the many services below will be the easiest and quickest, and the amount you’ll get generally won’t be too shabby. With sites like MyPhones Unlimited (which is 9to5Mac‘s partner for device trade-ins), Gazelle, and Apple Trade-In, you’ll generally fill out a form, get a box in the mail, and ship your device. Within a matter of days, you’ll get a check or gift card for the amount owed, and that will be the end of it.

Alternatively, you can put in the work of actually selling the device on an online marketplace like eBay, Craigslist, Swappa, and other sites. We explained in more detail the advantages and disadvantages of these various sites in our full iPhone trade-in guide, so be sure to check that out if you want to go this route. Selling your device yourself will mean slightly more risk and a bit more work, but will certainly pay more.

How much is your old iPhone worth as of November 2020?

If you decide to go the trade-in route, you’re probably wondering what your device is worth. We take a closer look at all the latest trade-in values every month, and here’s a quick sampling of the newly updated latest iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and iPhone X  trade-in deals from this month:

Best iPhone trade-in deals for November 2020

Top iPhone 7 trade in values

Top iPhone 8 trade in values

Top iPhone X trade in values

Top iPhone XS trade in values

  • MyPhones via 9to5Mac: $240 cash (64GB, unlocked, good)
  • MyPhones via 9to5Mac $275 cash (256GB, unlocked, good)
  • Apple Trade-In: $300 Apple Gift Card (any capacity, unlocked, good)
  • Gazelle: $201 cash (64GB, unlocked, good)
  • Best Buy: $215 (64GB, carrier model, good)
  • Decluttr: $255 cash (64GB, unlocked, good)
  • Decluttr: $275 cash (256GB, unlocked, good)

Top iPhone XR trade in values

Top iPhone 11 trade in values

Top iPhone 11 Pro trade-in values

Top iPhone 11 Pro Max trade-in values

Don’t see your iPhone model here? Check out our trade-in site!

Learn more

You can read about your various options for trading in and selling your old iPhone in our full ultimate guide. There, you’ll also find even more options for trading in your device to get the max value possible.

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About the Author

Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.