How To Wipe A Laptop To Sell Or Donate
Buying a new laptop computer can be a lot of fun. After all, you get to shop around for the latest features you’ve been wanting, take advantage of faster processors, and just enjoy the thrill of having a brand new toy.
But you’ll need to get rid of your old machine. No matter if you plan to sell it, donate it to charity, or simply trash it or recycle the parts, it’s important to wipe the hard drive first.
This article takes a look at how to wipe a laptop to sell. Keep reading to discover important tips for how to clear memory on Windows 10 or macOS machines.
Remove A Device From Microsoft Account
To make sure that there is no trace of your personal information on your computer, you are advised to remove a device from your Microsoft account. Follow the steps to remove the computer from your Microsoft account.
Step 1. Go to , sign in, and find the device you want to remove.
Step 2. Select “Show details” to see info for that device.
Step 3. Under your device’s name, select “Manage > Remove PC”.
Step 4. Review your device details, select the box for “I’m ready to remove this device”, then select “Remove”.
Step 5. Click “Remove it from your Store account” after removing it from Microsoft.
Step 6. Find the device you want to remove and select “Unlink”.
Step 7. Review your device details and select “Unlink”.
You have removed everything from your PC or laptop. Then, you can sell or gift the old PC.
How To Wipe A Mac
Wiping a Mac has broadly similar principles but is, in fact, a lot easier to do, no matter what version of macOS you’re running – from Mountain Lion to Mojave. A system disk isn’t required, but for earlier Macs you will need one. To initiate the recovery partition, hold down the command and R keys as the computer restarts and open Disk Utility.
Search for the Erase tab security options and click 7-pass Erase. This will write the data to the disk several times. It might take a few hours to complete the process but is a very secure way of doing so.
Recommended Reading: How To Hardwire Laptop To Router
What To Do Before Selling Your Old Pc
If you’re planning to sell your old computer because you’re moving to a new system, or you’re trying to make some extra cash to afford a more premium device (such as the Dell XPS 13, Surface Laptop 2, or Huawei MateBook X Pro, preparing the old hardware is a necessary process to prevent giving away your personal information to a stranger. You’ll also need to make sure the device is working correctly to get the most money while avoiding problems with the buyer.
When preparing a device, there are three main steps you want to do for a successful sale. The first step involves creating a backup, so you don’t lose your files. Second, you want to wipe out the drive using a secure method to make sure you’ve removed your personal information and applications beyond recovery, and install a clean copy of Windows 10 to resolve performance and other potential issues. And the third and final step involves deciding how to sell the old computer, and crafting a good product listing if you choose to go with an online service.
In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to prepare for selling your desktop, laptop, or tablet without compromising your personal information, or giving away costly software.
Windows Diskpart Clean Computer Hard Drive
Windows Diskpart allows you to clean up computer hard drive with command line. To clean computer hard drive, you can refer to the following steps.
First, you need to open the command prompt. ClickStart, type âcmdâ in the search box. Right click the program and select âRun as Administratorâ. In Windows 10, Press âWin + Râ, type âcmdâ to get into the command prompt.
1. In the prompt, input âdiskpartâ, pressEnterto launch the program.
2. In Diskpart prompt, typelist disk, and pressEnter. It will list all disk on your computer.
3. Type select disk n .
* If the disk you selected is offline, you should typeonline disk, pressEnter to make it online.
4. Then, typeclean or clean all. It will clean data on the hard drive. The clean all command will erase every byte on the disk to prevent the deleted data being able to recover, which will take longer time than clean command.
Using Windows Diskpart to clean computer hard drive needs more careful because the operation is irrevocable. once there are some errors, it may cause a big damage. Thus, here we highly recommend you another hard drive eraser.
Don’t Miss: Change Keyboard Color Msi
Huawei And Honor Smartwatches
Huawei and Honor watches use the same software. The reset procedure is very similar across models, bar the companies basic fitness bands.
In the Settings menu youll find a Reset entry that lets you set the watch back to its original state. But you may need to get the battery to a certain charge level before it will run.
How Do I Erase My Laptop Before Selling It
âHello, all! Last week I just bought a new laptop, so I am selling the old one with Windows 10 on with someone already willing to buy it. But I want to erase it before delivering it to the next owner so that all my private information cannot be accessed or recovered. So do you guys know how to erase laptop hard drive before selling it to other strangers? How can I make sure it’s totally, irreversibly wiped clean? Any suggestion is greatly appreciated!â
You May Like: How Do I Reset A Hp Laptop
How Does One Recycle Computer Parts
Not all parts found within old computers can be recycled, that much is true, but there are a number of component pieces that can be stripped, dismantled, and refurbished. Some computers themselves can be fixed, repaired, and then resold as refurbished models.Though, most people who work in computer recycling tend to harvest the machines for their metal, glass, or plastic all of which are materials that are already recyclable in their own right.
Are You About To Install Macos High Sierra Or Later On The Disk
If you need to erase your disk before installing High Sierra or later for the first time on that disk, choose Mac OS Extended . During installation, the macOS installer decides whether to convert to APFSâwithout erasing your files automatically:
- macOS Mojave and Catalina: The installer converts from Mac OS Extended to APFS.
- macOS High Sierra: The installer converts from Mac OS Extended to APFS only if the volume is on an SSD or another all-flash storage device. Fusion Drives and traditional hard disk drives aren’t converted.
Also Check: Msi Laptop How To Change Keyboard Color
Install Windows Os To Get Best Computer Performance
If you are quite familiar with installation process, just skip to the next section. But if you have any doubts, see the following steps for reference.
There are many ways to install Windows. For example, you can install it from USB flash disk, CD/DVD, and hard disk, but most steps are identical. Here we just take installing Windows 10 from USB drive for example.
To install Windows 10 from USB drive, you need to create a bootable USB drive with Windows Media Creation Tool.
After the installation USB drive is prepared, please power on computer and connect the USB drive to your PC. Then, restart computer and press a required key to boot into BIOS. Then change BIOS boot order to boot from the USB drive. Once the computer starts from the USB drive successfully, you can follow the steps below to perform a clean install.
Step 1. Choose desired language, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method to continue.
Step 2. Next, click on Install now, accept the license terms, select an edition to install, choose Custom , and select the unallocated space to install Windows. Of course, you can also create new partitions and then install Windows to the newly created partition.
Afterwards, Windows will be installed automatically. During this time, your computer may restart for several times. After the last restart is finished, please set user name, computer name, password, etc. In addition, a product key is required to activate Windows.
Will You Be Using The Disk With Another Mac
If the other Mac isn’t using High Sierra or later, choose Mac OS Extended . Earlier versions of macOS don’t mount APFS-formatted volumes.
To learn which format is currently in use, use any of these methods:
- Select the volume in the Disk Utility sidebar, then check the information on the right. For more detail, choose File > Get Info from the Disk Utility menu bar.
- Open System Information and select Storage in the sidebar. The File System column on the right shows the format of each volume.
- Select the volume in the Finder, then choose File > Get Info from the menu bar. The Get Info window shows the Format of that volume.
If you’re still having trouble with either erasing your hard drive or reinstalling macOS, please reach out to us in the forums. We have a wonderful community of Apple users that are happy to help someone in need.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Stop Pop Ups On My Laptop
Factory Reset Your Device
Once youre sure you have copies of all the personal data on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, youll want to set it back to its factory default state before passing it on to its new owner. On modern devices, this process will effectively reinstall the operating system, putting the device into a like-new state.
On computers running Windows 10, use the Reset This PC feature in Settings and select Remove Everything to wipe your device and erase your personal files. Windows 11 has the same feature.
Be sure to select Change Settings under Additional Settings and enable the Clean data option. Windows will wipe the computers internal drive, ensuring your files cant be recovered by whoever else gets their hands on your computer next.
On a smartphone or tablet, use the Factory Reset option. On Android, youll find it in your phones Settings screen in a location like Settings > Backup and Reset > Factory Data Reset.
On an iPhone or iPad, head to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
Your mobile device uses solid-state storage, so you wont have to worry about wiping it.
Your device should now be like-newwhen it comes to the software, at leastwithout any risk that your personal files could be recovered. You can now sell it or pass it on to its new owner with confidence.
How To Wipe A Computer Clean Of Personal Data
Before selling, donating, or recycling your outdated laptop, protect your privacy with this important step
Got an old laptop laying around? By selling it or donating it to someone, you can clear up space in your home, maybe earn a little cash, and extend its useful life, delaying the inevitable one-way trip to the local landfill.
But how do you keep the next owner from accessing photos, financial documents, and other private data once stored on the hard drive?
Short of removing the drive altogether, the best solution is to perform whats known as a factory reset.
As for why you cant simply clear out your Downloads folder and log out of your accounts, Matt Ham, owner of the service company Computer Repair Doctor, explains that manually purging files isnt enough.
You’re likely to forget things like passwords saved in browsers and personal data in the deleted items folder. Or you can miss deleting some important files altogether,” he says. “Reinstalling your system before sale is a much safer alternative.
In most cases, wiping a computer with a factory reset will be sufficient to safeguard your personal data. So if you’re handing off your old computer to a friend or sibling, or donating it to a well-known charitable organization, the steps listed below should suffice.
The gold standard in hard drive security consists of using a pointy nail and a few swift swings of a hammer, he says half-jokingly. Just make sure you’re wearing safety glasses.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Setup My Wireless Printer To My Laptop
Reinstall The Operating System
If you have completed the above procedures, the next thing to do is to reset your laptop to the factory settings. When you purchased your laptop, it probably came with a Windows OS backup disk. This disk is what youll use to reinstall the operating system on the laptop.
To unlock the OS, you will need to use the alpha-numeric product key written on the label on your laptops shell. If youre not using a disk, you can simply download and install a version of the disk from Microsoft. Also, if you lost your product key, you can download the software called Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder to help you find it.
Reset Windows 10 To Remove All The Personal Data
This method works well if you want to remove all of the files, programs, and settings. Follow the steps below to reset Windows 10.
Step 1. Go to “Start” > “Settings” > “Update & Security” > “Recovery”.
Step 2. Under “Reset this PC option”, tap “Get Started”.
Step 3. Click “Remove everything”. All of your settings will return to their defaults, and apps will be uninstalled.
Step 4. Select “only the drive where Windows is installed” or “All drives” according to your needs.
Step 5. Select “Remove files and clean the drive” if you are going to sell the computer. The next user can’t recover your erased files.
Step 6. Click “Reset” when prompted. Wait patiently in this process.
Resetting your device removes your files, settings, and apps, then reinstall Windows.
Don’t Miss: How To Turn On Wifi On Dell Laptop
Reset Or Clean Install From Bootable Media
After backing up everything, your next step is to clean the machine before you give it away or resell it. The Reset option in Windows 10 does a good job of performing a clean install if you choose to Remove Everything. The part I dont like about Reset, though, is that it can take considerably longer than booting from install media than securely erasing the drive . If time is of the essence, I would create a recovery drive or use the Media Creation Tool to create a bootable copy and then use it to format the drive.
Your options can be adjusted depending on who you are giving the computer to for instance, if the machine is being handed down to a family member such as your kid, you could use the Start Fresh option. Start Fresh will remove all applications but keep your account, some OEM software, files, and settings, but will install the latest version of Windows 10. Launch Windows Defender Security Center, click Device performance and health tab > Additional info > Get started, then follow the on-screen instructions.
If you give the machine to a stranger, use boot media to sanitize the drive or Reset, then remove files and clean the drive. Please note, this can take a long time but guarantees the drive is properly erased without any chance of recovering anything.
Speaking of security, a device configured with BitLocker Drive Encryption should be suspended or turned off completely before you format it. This will ensure the eventual owner will have full access to the machine.
Unpair Your Bluetooth Devices
If you’re keeping your Bluetooth devices, you don’t want to leave them paired to a Mac that you’re getting rid of. It isn’t really that important of a step, but if you sell your old Mac to, say, a roommate or someone living in the same house as you, you may experience accidentally connecting back to it.
Note: If you’re unpairing a keyboard, trackpad, or mouse on a desktop Mac, be sure to have a wired one plugged in, or you won’t be able to type or use a curser, and you’ll have to repair it all again.
Recommended Reading: How To Hard Reset Hp Laptop Without Password
First Back Up Your Personal Data
This parts obvious, but its important anyway. Be sure to back up any important data on your old computer, smartphone, or tablet before wiping it. You should already be regularly backing up anyway, as this will protect you from hardware failures, malware, and other threats.
Thanks to cloud services, much of your important personal data may already come with you. Files stored in services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive are stored online and can be easily accessed on your new PC. But theres still a good chance you have important local files sitting around. Consult our look at what files you should back up on your Windows PC if you need some help.
If youre using a tablet or smartphone, you probably dont have to worry as much about backing up its data. Most of the data on your mobile device is likely synchronized with online services, so it will be available after you wipe the device. For example, an iPhone or iPad will back up to iCloud Backup automatically, although you can choose to use encrypted local iTunes backups instead.
Make sure you have copies of any important photos and other data on your phone or tablet before continuing.