Ask LH: How Should I Store My Old Phone?

Ask LH: How Should I Store My Old Phone?

Dear Lifehacker, I recently got a new phone but I don’t want to just get rid of my old one in case I need it. What’s the best way to store my mobile phone so that it will still work if and when I decide to use it? Thanks, Happy To Hoard

Picture by CannedTuna

Dear HTH,

Keeping a spare phone is always a sensible idea: if your current model gets lost or stolen or needs repairs, going back to a familiar model is a good emergency tactic. Follow these steps to maximise your chances of using the phone again:

  • If you’re storing a smart phone, you might want to wipe your personal information from it first.
  • Remove the SIM (which you’ll presumably want for your new phone).
  • Remove the battery if you can. This obviously isn’t an option if the phone has an integrated battery (like the iPhone), but it’s a good idea if you can, as it means you don’t risk chemicals leaking from the battery.
  • Gather together the phone, the charger, and any other accessories. If you’ve got the manual, then it also makes sense to store that; if not, however, chances are you’ll be able to Google and find the information you need.
  • If you’re the packaging-keeping type, you can put the phone back in its original box. If not, store it in a sealed plastic bag and label it with the phone name. Keeping everything in one place makes it easier to get the phone working if you need it again; otherwise you’ll be rifling through cabling trying to find the relevant bits.
  • Store it in a cool, dry place — not an overheated garage or near a water heater.

If you decide it’s not worth keeping the old phone, remember to dispose of it in a responsible fashion so that its components are properly recycled.

Cheers Lifehacker

Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our contact tab on the right.


Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!