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

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    I guess if you've got an iPhone 4/S then any 'old' phone you're keeping as a back up would be useless because of the micro-sim?

      You can get micro-sim adapters, or you can get a regular-sized sim from your telco.

    Simply throw it in your man-drawer.

    thoughts on battery charge state? leaving these types of batteries flat kills them quickly.

    Lithium-ion must be stored in a charged state, ideally 40 percent. This assures that the battery will not drop below 2.50V/cell with self-discharge and fall asleep.

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