How To Completely Dispose Of Old Computers In 7 Easy Steps
When you think of discarding old computers, a lot of stressful thoughts come to mind. From logistics to data transfer and disposal locations, it can be overwhelming. Heres how to navigate the process easily.
Personal computers have become a constant tool in the lives of both individuals and enterprises. According to a report by Gartner, over 290 million computers were shipped to buyers globally in 2015 alone. Each year, newer models of these computers, with more advanced functionality from faster processing speeds to even greater efficiency, are released. Depending on your organization, you may feel the need to invest in regular computer recycling and disposal.
This decision means that youre faced with the problem of how to completely dispose of old computers in a way that will not stress you out or cost too much. This guide is designed to help you do just that! Here are 7 easy steps that will have you disposing of your old computers in no time:
How To Wipe A Windows Pc:
According to Consumer Reports, its important to back up your files and save the serial numbers for Office Suite and other software using an app like ProduKey. These are essential for reinstalling the applications on a new PC.
As far as formatting the system, all Windows versions have different procedures, but Windows 10 is a good place to start. Simply go to the Start Menu and click on Settings. Navigate to Update & Security, and look for the recovery menu. From there you just select Reset this PC and follow the instructions from there. It may ask you to erase data either quickly or thoroughly we suggest taking the time to do the latter.
Why Can’t I Just Throw Old Devices And Batteries Away
If your electronics wind up in a landfill, they don’t only leave behind wires and plastic . If dumped or improperly disposed of, e-waste can damage the environment. Most electronics contain toxic materials like lead, flame retardants and chromium. These materials can cause damage to human kidneys, the blood and the nervous system, according to a blog post by Ilene Lubell, president of the Mayer Metals Corporation, which recycles old electronics for businesses.
When electronics are incorrectly dumped or thrown away, those toxins can leak into landfills, groundwater supply and vaporize into the atmosphere when heated, according to Lubell.
There are a number of eco-friendly ways to dispose of old electronics that could help people in need or underserved communities. It’s important to note that disposal protocol may differ by device.
Behind the scenes, devices are recycled, refurbished or redistributed. Sometimes they’re mined for parts or melted down to extract the rare earth materials within. Apple’s Material Recovery Lab in Texas uses robots to dismantle iPhones at a rate of 200 devices per hour.
You May Like: Can I Buy Internet For My Laptop
What To Do Before You Get Rid Of A Device
When you’re finished a gadget, make sure it’s also finished with you. Even though it might be old, sometimes you just need a charger to reboot an old phone or computer and get to your personal data.
The moral of this story: Make sure to back up anything you want off the device — photos, videos, songs — and then perform a factory reset. Don’t worry, we’ll give you pointers on wiping your device in the sections on phones, laptops and cameras below.
How To Repurpose Your Old Tech
An aging desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet may be lacking the grunt required to meet your daily demands. But old equipment can still be useful for jobs that require a little less processing power.
Smartphones and tablets often find new life as a universal remote to control smart devices, and their various apps, around the home. You can also use them to play music and video from streaming services or a home server and cast to compatible devices.
It’s not uncommon to see an old iPad attached to the wall as a digital calendar or family planner either, and you can save a bundle on baby monitors by mounting a phone/tablet with a monitoring app above the bassinet instead.
If you have an old Android device with an IR blaster , it can make a fantastic universal remote. Using a free app such as Sure, Peel, or Anymote, you can set up your smartphone to control your TV, media centre, soundbar, even the lights in your home, all from the one app. Alternatively, you can install relevant apps for all your smart devices on an old phone or tablet, provided the operating system is compatible.
An older smartphone can be repurposed as a digital music player, which can save storage and help preserve the battery life of the phone you’re currently using. If you prefer streaming music, throw in a cheap, data-heavy prepaid SIM and stream songs without worrying about going over your limit or use the device as a Wi-Fi hotspot in your car and on the road.
How Can I Learn More
Each week on the Intego Mac Podcast, Integos Mac security experts discuss the latest Apple news, security and privacy stories, and offer practical advice on getting the most out of your Apple devices. Be sure to follow the podcast to make sure you dont miss any episodes.
We discussed securely disposing a Mac and more in episode 163 of the Intego Mac Podcast.
You can also subscribe to our e-mail newsletter and keep an eye here on Mac Security Blog for the latest Apple security and privacy news. And dont forget to follow Intego on your favorite social media channels: , , , and .
Clean And Reset Your Hard Drive
Cleaning/wiping all your data isnt just dragging them to the Recycle Bin or Trash. Before recycling your old laptop, make sure you have completely erased or wiped off all its hard drive permanently. To make sure that no sensitive data can be compromised by thieves, here are some of the recommendations:
- Erase All Files
As mentioned, deleting them from the Trash or Recycle Bin isnt enough. Your files are deleted from the structure. However, they can still be retrieved from the hard drive until they are entirely wiped off.
- Uninstall and Unlink All Apps
Most apps automatically sync with cloud storage platforms. It is a great advantage in theres something unexpected happens to your laptop. However, you cant retain these apps from your computer, especially if it connects to your account.
Clear Browser Cache/History
Its not just about your browser history. Most of us automatically save passwords, data, and other credentials on our web browsers to access our online accounts quicker and more conveniently.
Restore To Factory Settings
Once youve completed the processes, restore your old laptop to its default factory settings. You can also wipe all data using a hard drive disk cleaner, overwriting the deleted files. Some apps will overwrite your old data once, but some programs overwrite multiple times for a more secure cleanup. Alternatively, you can erase the hard disk and current OS and reinstall using the installation disk, if available.
Read Also: How To Find My Computer’s Model Number
Wipe Your Hard Drive And Recycle Your Laptop
As it is now increasingly evident unless there are pressing reasons to dispose of your computer through physical destructions, there are many environmental and security reasons for you to recycle your laptop. Donating or recycling has steadily picked up the pace. It is currently becoming a popular way of getting rid of unused electronics, sometimes resulting in a profit or just a way of mitigating your costs to upgrade to a new, more powerful model. However, formatting your device wont be enough for you to be sure you can peacefully part ways with your old laptop, as skilled cybercriminals could still easily access your personal data: banking details, credit card information, you name it. The potential loss is amplified if you are looking to dispose of tens or hundreds of work or business computers. To safely erase all your traces from your laptop, you need to choose a dedicated software that will safely wipe the hard drive for you so that it becomes impossible to retrieve.
Many free tools fit the purpose however, if you have sensitive data and are disposing of your assets in bulk, you should consider professional data wiping and sanitisation or secure computer disposal to safeguard your or your companys data. Data are wiped using state-of-the-art software with proved effectiveness, and the procedure is controlled and standardised. After the wipe is complete, a check to ensure no piece of data remains retrievable.
Demolish Your Hard Drive
If the idea running software fills you with dread, a practical way of getting rid your personal data is to destroy your hard drive.
Remember to back up your data beforehand, if you don’t do this then you will lose your data forever.
Removing your hard drive is relatively simple:
Disconnect your PC from any power source.
Open the casing and locate the hard drive .
Undo any screws that secure the hard drive to its wire cage.
Remove the hard drive.
Reduce the hard drive to tiny little pieces. Remember to wear protective goggles or wrap your hard drive in a towel to prevent being struck by flying plastic.
Afterwards, It doesn’t matter how you dispose of it – no one will be able to recover any personal data from your drive.
Read Also: How To Change Msi Keyboard Color
To Burn Hard Drive In Fire
Another method to dispose hard drive is by burning it. Try to use a standard fire, which is hot enough to liquefy the hard disk. Toss it on a hard drive and leave it because it may take some time to melt the hard drive completely.
Method 3: Shoot to destroy Hard Drive
One can also dispose hard drive by shooting its platter. To destroy the hard disk by this method, one must take his hard drive to local firing areas or can also prop it to another safe location. A user needs to have excellent target practice of disposing of old computer remove hard drive using this method.
How To Destroy A Computer: Data
Your first option for deleting data from your hard drive is using a data-wiping program. Do this if you want to keep the drive usable but data erased. You can use the free program called Dariks Boot and Nuke , which comes in a version that runs off USB flash drives and another that runs off a CD or a DVD. DBAN has a solid reputation among security experts.
However, no matter how thorough a data-wiping program is, the only way to be certain that a hard-drives data is unrecoverable is by rendering the drives disk unspinnable.
Don’t Miss: Hp Mini Restore To Factory Settings
Properly Delete Your Data
Old conventional hard drives store information even after the hard drive has been wiped. This is simply down to the mechanical nature of them and their data storage processes the information is physically written onto the disk, an irreversible process.
Even when wiping the hard drive or deleting the data, these physical recordings can still be retrieved by those who have the skills.
How To Dispose Of Old Computers Securely
If you decide to throw away, get rid of, gift, donate, sell or dispose of your old computer, laptop or any device, you need to follow a few guidelines for keeping your identity and your data safe. In this article, we will talk about how to recycle or dispose of old computers, laptops or other computing devices.
Recommended Reading: How To Free Up Storage On Hp Laptop
Time To Upgrade Your Computer Phone Or Other Gadgets Here’s How To Dispose Of The Old Stuff
Computers, smartphones, tablets and so on are an integral part of daily life, but as they become obsolete more and more quickly, we’re faced with the growing problem of disposing of all our e-waste properly. Electronic products thrown into landll leak toxic materials into soil and water, resulting in contamination of the food chain, while rare and non-renewable materials are wasted instead of being re-used.
On this page:
You Can Recycle Your Old Laptops Phones Cameras And Batteries For Free Here’s How
Don’t throw away your old electronics if you’ve upgraded to new devices this holiday season. Here’s what to do.
What do you do with your phone when it’s served its purpose? We’ll give you some options.
Gadgets can pile up over the years — new ones are gifted during the holidays, old ones become obsolete and break. You probably have a drawer full of old batteries and cables, and some old phones, laptops and desktops lying around, which may only be growing larger if you replaced any electronics over the holidays. Perhaps you keep them for nostalgic reasons or because you thought you might be able to use them again.
Whatever the tech, when it’s finally time to say goodbye, there’s a right way to dispose of your old gadgets — and a lot of wrong ways.
Learn smart gadget and internet tips and tricks with CNET’s How To newsletter.
You May Like: Hp Laptops Factory Reset
Disposing Of Your Old Computer
The Smart Way To Dispose Of Your Phones Laptopsand Desktops
Nothing lasts forever, and that sadly includes your expensive phone and computer. While theres no average lifespan for these devices , its inevitable that sooner or later youll either want or need the latest models.
However, if you think you can just chuck the old ones into the trash, think again! Not only is that terrible for the environment but it can also put your security and privacy at risk if someone decides to salvage your hard drive and see all the stuff you got up to over the years. Theres a better, safer way to get rid of your devices, and well be happy to tell you how to do it.
How To Securely Dispose Of Your Old Mac
Posted onOctober 21st, 2021 byKirk McElhearn
So its time to move on and end your relationship with your Mac. You had good times together youll always have memories of the best moments you shared. But theres a better Mac now, it may be faster, have a better display, or be lighter and more portable. While break-ups are always tough, its a good idea to make this one as smooth as possible.
Your Mac contains a lot of personal information, and is connected to a number of Apple accounts. When you plan to dispose of your Mac whether you sell it, give it away, or send it for recycling there several things you should do to make sure your data remain secure. There are also a few steps you need to take to remove that Mac from Apples accounts.
In this article, I discuss the 10 steps you should take before getting rid of a Mac.
Backup All Your Useful Data
If you still have useful data on your computers, then its a good idea to create a backup on an external hard drive or online cloud storage account. You can also use software applications like Comodo, Syncback and Hinusoft to automate the process so that you dont waste any extra time on it. You should definitely backup files that fall into the following categories:
This includes any records concerning your organization, like employee information, tax filings, financial statements and memos as well as legal filings and documents.
This includes your clients bio data, contact information, medical records, financial details and every other piece of information that they have entrusted to you.
If you use a desktop email client like Windows live mail or Opera mail, you have to backup your emails otherwise, you will lose them when you wipe the computer.
Also Check: Test My Laptop Speed
How Can Computers Be Recycled
Computers are recycled for the same reason anything else is recycled. We recycle computers so that we can reuse their old parts in new computers. There is a persistent and erroneous belief that the only reason we disregard old technology in favor of the new, is because the parts and processes of the older models have become obsolete. And in fact, the concept of a type of “planned obsolescence” is gaining increasing validity in the face of commercial, technological improvement.
Planned obsolescence is the idea is that products are planned and designed to be purposefully frail or to last for only a pre-planned amount of time before they need to be replaced. This does not work with every product manufactured today, but it can certainly work for appliances, cars, and computers. It is a topic that is enraging consumers and environmentalists the world over, according to The Guardian.