October 23, 2019

Hand-me-down phones: Benefits & Getting Started

Written by erin

Tips & Tricks

Pre-owned, used, refurbished, hand-me-down. Whatever you want to call it there are many benefits to getting, or giving, a previously owned mobile phone.

The obvious benefit is saving money. If a friend or family member is willing to give you a phone that they no longer use you can not only save hundreds of dollars by avoiding the cost to buy brand new, but you can also avoid any contract payments that many carriers require you agree to when buying a new phone from them.

Another big bonus to getting a used phone is to reduce your environmental impact. The Balance Small Business reported that in North America over 7 million metric ton of e-waste was disposed of in 2016, and the amount of e-waste globally is expected to increase by 8% annually. With all of the perfectly good used phone options available, it may be worth considering keeping one out of the landfill a little longer.

Now that you know just a couple of the major benefits of a pre-owned phone, here are some tips to get you set up!


  1. You’ll want to Factory Reset the phone if the previous owner hasn’t already done that before giving it to you. However, before you do that, make sure that the previous owner has deactivated the FRP prior to the reset so you don’t need their Google account and password to complete the rest of the setup.

  2. Now that you have a clean slate you can go ahead and add your own Google account to the phone. This is required for you to download apps, access your email, and back up your phone contents.

  3. If you want to save some data, make sure you go into your Google Play Store Settings and select Auto-update apps. From here select the Over Wi-Fi only option. This will ensure that you don’t waste data updating apps if a new update is released while you’re away from Wi-Fi.

  4. Set your Settings preferences. Within your Settings application you can setup your Wi-Fi network, ringtone, display preferences, and much more!

  5. Download some apps! Through the Play Store application you can download your favorite apps, as long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi of course.

Hand over black phone


  1. Like with a pre-owned Android phone, you’ll want to factory reset your iPhone to make it truly yours. If the previous owner did not already do that, make sure you do the following before resetting it:

2. Once that’s done you’ll want to add, or create, your own Apple ID on the phone. This will be required for you to download apps, back up the contents of your phone and more.

3. I’d recommend setting up the Find my iPhone app next. If you ever lose your phone you’ll be happy you did this step.

4. iPhones come with quite a few built-in apps, like Garage Band, iBooks, Stocks, Numbers, etc. Many of these apps aren’t regularly used and they can take up valuable space on your phone. If you don’t use it, lose it!

After you’ve done all of this you can continue to play around with your new (used) phone. There are so many things you can do to personalize your phone, you’ll quickly forget that it ever belonged to anyone else.

Don’t know anyone who’s ready to pass down their phone? That’s okay! Check out TextNow’s refurbished phone options here.