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Getting devices ‘recipient ready’

Once your devices have been restored, it’s time to get them ‘recipient ready’. This involves setting up the necessary apps and accounts and ensuring each device has the accessories needed to make it functional. 

By the end of this step, you’ll have identified who you want to do this. You can do it yourself, but organisations which already set up devices on a small scale will be better placed to do this, especially if they already have existing relationships with your recipients. Examples include:  

  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Libraries
  • Community groups

In essence, whoever has the strongest relationship with your potential recipients should take responsibility for this step. If you worked with a community partner to identify potential recipients, you should ask them for help readying devices prior to donation.


Key insights

  • Sites/apps

    You need to understand which sites and apps recipients will need. Setting them up in advance will improve the user experience and reduce the demand for support. We've included a list of key sites and apps, such as those with educational, health and cyber safety content, in the resources section.

  • Community partners

    A partner may be better placed to help if the recipient requires multiple features/functions on their device, for example, a school’s IT department may have access to software which only they can install.

  • Accessories

    If the donor didn’t provide accessories, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve sourced ones which are compatible.

  • User set-up

    We recommend that new recipients set up any accounts which require email addresses and passwords, such as the Gmail account needed to install the CloudReady OS. If that’s not possible, consider using a temporary account password. This must be reset by the recipient when they receive their device. Some smartphones and tablets can require user identity for set-up, e.g. facial recognition or thumbprints. COVID-19 will make this more challenging! Don’t forget that all data should be stored in compliance with UK data regulations. You’ll find more information about this in the Terms of Engagement.

Making devices accessible and user friendly

Option 1. Asking the community for help (partners)

Using skills within the local community will help you set up devices more quickly. Now’s the time to ask your existing community partners - the ones who helped you identify your potential recipients - to help you with the exciting final stages. 

Don’t forget, if recipients aren’t able to set up their own accounts, partners may need to set ones up with temporary passwords. You’ll need to hold this data securely (see the Terms of Engagement). A new Gmail account will be needed for each installation of CloudReady on laptops. 

One of our community partners incentivised its volunteers with the promise that devices would be prioritised for volunteers’ home areas.

Another used template accounts to set up devices before distribution by a partner.

A third community partner was able to tap into a telco’s expertise so they could restore smartphones in bulk.


  • They’ll already understand your recipients and their needs
  • They may already have access to specialist software and experience of installing it
  • They’ll be able to set up devices more quickly


  • You’ll lose some control over what’s installed 

Option 2. Managing the process yourself

Doing it yourself will give you more control over what’s on each device, but you need to understand what software and apps your recipients need and can access the skills needed to install them. Don’t forget, you may need to set up accounts on a new recipient’s behalf and talk them through resetting passwords. Again, make sure that you’re familiar with the Terms of Engagement.


  • You’ll have more control over what’s installed


  • You may lack relationships with recipients and an understanding of their needs
  • You may not have the skills needed to set up the right software

Things to think about

  • Pre-loading sites/apps

    Some of your users may have never used a device. Can you preload sites or apps to make their first tentative steps easier?

  • Data privacy

    The process of setting up accounts, such as emails, should comply with UK data protection legal requirements and security best practice. Please ensure anyone setting up accounts has agreed to your Terms of Engagement.

Next Step

Delivering devices

This is the most exciting step of the process as you’ll soon see what a difference your hard work has made. Delivering restored devices to recipients will be a moment to remember...


Ready to get started?

If you’re interested in setting up a Reboot project, why not download the full Reboot playbook? Regardless of your budget and IT skills, it will help you develop a well-structured Reboot process and maximise your donations!