Got a new phone? Look what you can do with the old one!

Whether you just got a cellphone as a holiday gift from someone else or for yourself, there are some important steps for a smooth transition from the old to new. And, there are some fantastic new ways you can use that old phone.

Getting a new phone can be a thrill, but there’s an important first step. Once you’ve transferred all your data from your old phone, always back it up! Begin by saving all contacts to your SIM card, or be sure they are synced to your Google or Apple account. Also back up any photos, videos and music to an SD card or computer. Then, be sure to erase all the personal information from your old device by performing a master reset of the phone to remove all its data.

After that, you get to decide what to do with your old cell phone! What’s the point in letting it sit around to collect dust? No worries, there are several great options. Many customers simply recycle theirs at stores like Target where free phone recycling is offered. You can also visit this site to source many other options.

Another popular option is to donate your phone to a charity or you may, of course, re-gift it to a friend or family member who wants one. Our SIM card makes it easy for someone to get started using your old phone with our service. Visit our SIM card page to see how.

You can also use your old phone in a new way. As long as it’s connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can surf the web or play games on it. And, while using your new phone to talk or message, your old one can become your music player. Start your day listening to favorite tunes while using that phone’s battery — so you can conserve your new one for calls and messages.

Maybe you’d prefer to keep the old phone handy in your car just to snap photos or to use during an emergency—many people aren’t aware that old phones can still be used to dial 9-1-1, even if they’ve been deactivated. Just be sure to keep it charged, just in case you suddenly need it.

You see, the options are endless in repurposing your old device. It may even add more fun or efficiency to your day.

36 Thoughts on "Got a new phone? Look what you can do with the old one!"

  1. Effie Huddleston says

    do y’all have a galaxy edge 6

    reply to Effie

  2. Kathy says

    I have a flip phone with the larger size sim card.
    My brother has bought a new smart phone and given me his old smart phone. We are both Consumer Cellular customers.
    After spending time on hold and getting a Con. Cell. agent on the line recently, I could not order a micro sim card because the account is in my husband’s name and he was not here to speak to the rep.
    Today my husband and I drove to a Sears store one hour from our home and purchased the new sim card. I am going to activate it, but first I would like to know how can I keep my contacts from my old dumb phone and transfer them to my smart phone?
    Please let me know because I am new to this Moto G phone and am lost.

    reply to Kathy

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re happy to help you with that, Kathy! We even have a video showing you how to do it! Just check out the video here for your previous phone, the Doro 618. And of course, we can help you at 888-345-5509 if you prefer that as well. You’ll enjoy that new phone and the peace of mind of keeping your contacts safe. Thank you for posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  3. James Woodard says

    Galaxy S-4 acquired 2years ago on Verizon 2yr. contract. Would like to consider retaining S-4 if compatible with new network. Please advise closest local source of service, etc. Thank you.

    reply to James

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, James. In some cases, recent phones used previously with Verizon can be used with our service, especially if they have a SIM card. The only way to know for sure is to try one of our SIM cards with your phone. You can find them at your local Target or Sears store, or here on our site. Best of all, we’ll give you a $10 credit so the SIM card is free. We’re happy to answer any of your questions at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting today, and we hope to speak to you soon!

      reply to Ashley

  4. Gerald says

    Are your phones and plans bluetooth capable?

    reply to Gerald

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Gerald. Our phones and plans do work with most Bluetooth devices and systems. You can compare our phones to see what other features would work best for you here. And of course, if you have any questions, we’re happy to answer them at 888-345-5509. Thank you for reaching out to us!

      reply to Ashley

  5. Gerald says

    Can I keep my own number?

    reply to Gerald

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      In most cases, the answer is “yes”, Gerald! Just be sure to keep your previous provider’s account open until we complete the transfer. We can help you get started if you give us a call at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we hope to see you as a customer soon!

      reply to Ashley

  6. Clare says

    I am looking for a good quality flip phone that I can use with Consumer Cellular. I love my Doro but it keeps dropping calls in my house. I live in a poor reception area. My son’s smart phone works great but I don’t want one of them. I’m 82 and find them hard to see and confusing. I would appreciate any suggestions.

    reply to Clare

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for reaching out to us, Clare. Have you tried our Envoy flip phone? It’s an affordable option that is easy to use. You can learn more about it here, or we’re happy to talk about it with you at 888-345-5509. I look forward to seeing the recommendations of others as well. We appreciate you taking the time to post today, and hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  7. Susan says

    How do I know when my phone is ready to use? It has been activated and my current number is being ported from Verizon. Will I get an email or other notification? And does it matter if I have messed with the internet and settings on the phone and it’s not ready yet? Help? :}

    reply to Susan

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re happy to help, Susan! I took a look at your account, and it looks like Mary was able to email you and confirm that the port is in progress. You should receive a text message when it is complete. As for the settings on your new phone, it shouldn’t have any impact on the port as long as you haven’t changed any APN settings. When the port is complete, you should be able to use your phone without any issues. If we can answer any questions or if you experience any problems, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 888-345-5509. We’ll help you get your new phone up and running! Thank you for taking the time to post, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  8. Sam Ventura says

    I moved from a Windows phone to an Android phone. I moved the sim card and voice is working and the 4G symbol is on but I cant get to the web. Do I need to call or just wait awhile.

    reply to Sam

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for reaching out to us, Sam. First, once your SIM card is in the new Android phone, please turn your phone off, then turn it back on again. This will allow your phone to connect to the tower nearest you that has a strong signal. I’ve verified that data is active on your account, so if that doesn’t restore your web access, we may need to update the APN settings in your new phone. We’re happy to walk you through that at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you taking the time to post, and we look forward to speaking with you!

      reply to Ashley

  9. Mary Jo Boucher says

    I now have a Samsung Galaxy 6, but my old phone is in good working order, a Samsung Galaxy S-3. Question: What is procedure for giving my old phone to my cousin? I’m in Alaska, she’s in AZ

    reply to Mary

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s a great option for a device you no longer need, Mary Jo! First, you’ll want to double check that your phone is unlocked so that your cousin can use it with her carrier of choice. Next, you’ll want to make sure you remove all your photos, and sync your contacts to your Google account, or export them to your SIM card. If you need help with that, just give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we can walk you through it. Lastly, you’ll want to go to Settings, then choose the Backup/Reset option. From there, you will want to perform a factory reset (but only after you’ve removed everything you want from your phone). This will return your phone to the “out-of-box” software so that your cousin can add her own Google account. That’s it! Thank you for reaching out to us today, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  10. Valerie mckinstry says

    How can I get my contact list from my old phone to my consumer cellular

    reply to Valerie

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great news, Valerie! There are a few ways you can go about it. I took a look at your account, and I see that you are using the Samsung J3. If you’ve had an Android device previously, your contacts may be connected to your Google account. If you login with your existing Gmail account, those contacts will transfer automatically. If that’s not the case, you can transfer them by using the SIM card from your old phone. We even have a video that walks you through the process here. And as always, we’re happy to help you over the phone if you run in to any problems at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we hope you’re enjoying your new smartphone!

      reply to Ashley

  11. Edith Gilliam says

    I can’t use my consumer cellular phone inside my house to call my house or anywhere else. I can use it away from home

    reply to Edith

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for reaching out to us, Edith. I reviewed your account, and I see that we recently sent some updates to your phone to help remedy this issue. Since it sounds like you are still having some trouble with making calls inside your home, please call us at 888-345-5509 and we will be happy to troubleshoot further. We appreciate you posting today, and look forward to assisting you!

      reply to Ashley

  12. Cathy says

    I recently took my iPhone 6 into the apple store to get the $29.00 battery replacement. Well they said the battery was swelling so they replaced the whole phone for that price. They also transferred all my info to the new phone for me. My question is that how do I know if they wiped all the info off the old phone since I didn’t get it back?

    reply to Cathy

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Cathy. We would recommend calling the store and asking about their procedure in these cases. That way, you’ll know for sure that your personal information has been removed. If we can answer any other questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you reaching out to us, and we hope you have a lovely day!

      reply to Ashley

  13. Melanie D Veal says

    My current employer upgrades our phones every two years. The old phones are then taken to a donation site. Recently I came upon one of the phones that was not donated and was told I could acquire it. Just so happens my daughter’s IPhone died. The donated/given phone is a Galaxy S7 from Sprint. My daughter wants the old phone but she is under TMobile. First is it possible to unlock a donated/given phone and second how does she go from IPhone to Galaxy?

    reply to Melanie

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for asking, Melanie! First, a phone can only be unlocked by the original carrier, so you would need to reach out to them first to see if that can be done. To be used with our service, it would need to be fully unlocked and use GSM technology, such as a device used previously with T-Mobile or AT&T. While we can’t guarantee a device sold elsewhere will work with our service, we’re certainly happy to give it a try! Finally, your daughter would need to create a Google account and transfer her contacts, music, apps and more over to the Android system. It’s easy to do, and we’re here to help her along the way if needed. If we can answer any other questions you may have, please give us a call at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we hope you have a lovely day!

      reply to Ashley

  14. Debbie Cleveland says

    I recently brought my Verizon Samsung galaxy 6s to Consumer Cellular. Even with tech help i am unable to send or receive text pics. Does Consumer Cellular offer trade in on a Verizon phone?

    reply to Debbie

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Debbie. We do not have a trade-in program available for phones. If your Samsung Galaxy S6 isn’t working for picture messaging, you can try checking your network mode, if this hasn’t been done already. On your phone, the steps should be as follows: Apps > Settings > Mobile Networks > Network Mode > LTE/GSM/UMTS.

      reply to Nicole

  15. Tyler says

    So I got a new phone Samsung Galaxy 8 and I can’t figure out how to make it so i can call and text off of this phone with my number i have all of my contacts and apps transferred over but I need the phone activated

    reply to Tyler

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re happy to help you with that, Tyler! Just give us a call at 888-345-5509, and we can walk you through that process and get your new phone up and running. Thank you for posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  16. Gary Ragsdale says

    Thanks, PAT BOYLE, I have a bunch of “older” smart phones. I will sell some phones to Recell Cellular and also want to donate some out of these. But, I can’t find such a place for charity? I find this platform right to ask. Please suggest me if there is any way to check for places for the donation, that will be considered as a “charity” and therefore one might be able to count it as a charitable gift for taxes? 

    reply to Gary

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Gary. You can donate your devices to an organization such as Cellphones for Soldiers, or similar groups that reuse the cellphones. We can’t speak to whether or not it is tax deductible. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out!

      reply to Ashley

  17. Kayla says

    Hi, I was wondering. If I already have a phone on Consumer Cellular and wanted to switch to a new phone that I just bought from the Apple website, do I still use the same SIM card from my current phone for my new phone or do I just order a new SIM card?

    reply to Kayla

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Kayla, as long as the SIM card in your current Consumer Cellular phone is the right size, you can insert it into the new Apple iPhone. Please keep in mind that we can’t guarantee compatibility, but iPhones generally work on our service if they’re unlocked. If you have any trouble initially, I recommend calling us at 888-345-5509.

      reply to Nicole

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