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How to Prepare Your iPhone for Recycling

Image of Apple iPhone with home screen reading "Hello"

Whirl Recycling ensures that your data is protected before recycling.


Unfortunately, if your phone or tablet is not disconnected from iCloud, the device can’t be reused. It can only be recycled fully - shredded for metals and plastics. This is still recycling of course. It's just more efficient and has less impact on the environment if it can be reused.

How to Fully Erase Your iPhone

If the iPhone is in your possession and you can turn it on.

  1. On your phone, go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase all content and settings > Erase this iPhone. Click continue.

  2. Follow the prompts. Back up your content if necessary.

  3. Enter your password and click the button on the top right that says "Turn Off".

  4. It will ask you if you want to erase the phone. Click Yes.

  5. Once it's erased, it will take you back to the home screen.

  6. Your device is now fully erased and all data deleted.

  7. There is no way of recovering your data from this device. 

If you cannot access your iPhone or if it doesn't turn on.

You can remove your data remotely using a web browser on another mobile, laptop or desktop.

  1. Go to and log in with your Apple ID credentials.

  2. Click on to your name to bring up the dashboard showing your list of devices. Click Find My Devices. It will ask you to sign in again.

  3. Select the device you want to remove from your list of devices and click erase. It will remotely erase your device.

  4. Then remove that device from your list of devices.

  5. This will completely remove all data from your device and ensure no one can access it.


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