The Complete Guide to Selling or Recycling a Computer

Many people often carelessly ditch their computer for a new device, especially if they are experiencing problems. However, you must never simply abandon a computer. We are therefore going to show you how to safely sell or recycle a computer.

Backup Your Data

Before you sell or recycle a computer, we recommend backing up all your personal data. For instance, you can move all files to the cloud, USB hard drive or writable DVD to make a copy of every file. Once you are confident you have backed up your files, you can then sell or recycle the computer.

Keep Your Hard Drive

All data will be stored on your computer’s hard drive, even if you have deleted files from your device. Everything from your family photographs to your bank records could live on a hard drive, which is why you should hold onto your hard drive before recycling. Alternatively, you could consult a data recovery specialist to recover data and successfully wipe a hard drive clean. Visit for more information.

Eject Removable Media

Before you sell a computer, ensure you eject all removable media, such as a DVD or CD. We also recommend checking the back of your computer to ensure a USB thumb drive is not connected to a USB port, as they are often so small that you can easily miss them when disposing or selling a computer. This will ensure you do not leave any vital data in a computer, which you might miss once you no longer have a laptop or desktop in your possession.

Deactivate Software

Many software manufacturers require each user to pay for every program they use. If you want to ensure your software and data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, we strongly recommend you deactivate all software programs before transferring the licenses to a new computer device.

Review every piece of software on your old computer and make a list of all the programs you will want to keep. Once you learn how to deactivate the software, you can then transfer the programs onto a new device. However, the deactivation process can vary for different manufacturers, but it is essential for preventing your programs from dropping into the wrong hands.

Destroy the Hard Drive

If you have removed all the data you need from a device, you should consider destroying the hard drive before you recycle a computer. There are many ways you can do so. For example, some experts suggest simply placing on a pair of goggles, pulling out the hard drive and smashing it many times with a hammer. You can also punch nails or drill holes into it, or place it on a fire. However, all the above can be a little dangerous, so you should perform each action with both caution and confidence in your ability.

Have we missed any top tips off our list? Please share your advice in the comment area below.

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