Why Does My Old Cell Phone Still Have Service?

August 20, 2023
David Sunnyside

There is likely a drawer or box somewhere in your house filled with at least one old cellphone you can’t seem to get rid of. Cellphones aren’t cheap, and they have a lot of sentimental value associated with years of correspondence, memes, and mobile gaming. But even if your phone is no longer eligible to work on the cellular network, there’s a good chance it still has plenty of life left in it for other uses.

If you haven’t wiped your phone correctly or aren’t logged out of your iCloud or iTunes account, it’s possible that messages can still be sent to the old device. The easiest way to fix this is to sign out of your iCloud or iTunes account. To do this, go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive and tap your Apple ID. Next, tap Sign Out. This will prevent your iPhone from receiving text messages and can also stop other devices from receiving texts from your number.

If you don’t want to give up your old smartphone completely, there are a lot of great charities that will take it and use it for good. Cell Phones for Soldiers, for example, takes donated phones and refurbishes them to give to service people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a new phone. There are also programs that will take your old smartphone and recycle it. Alternatively, you can donate it to your local recycling center or buy a SIM card reader to turn it into a smart USB charger for your laptop.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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