Are you thinking of upgrading to a new laptop? Well, don't just throw the old ones in the trash. Recycle them. But before you do, follow these simple steps to secure your data and prepare your old laptop for its new home.
STEP BY STEP: LAPTOP RECYCLING
BACK-UP YOUR DATA
You are probably already doing this on a routine basis. But one final backup of the data and files stored on your laptop's hard drive is in order before you get rid of your laptop.
You can back up your laptop’s hard drive onto an external hard drive or a cloud drive such as DropBox or Google Drive. Redundant backups are a good idea; so, consider backing up to both a physical hard drive and an online service.
DEACTIVATE ALL REGISTERED PROGRAMS
Often, your registered programs specify how many devices you can use with a single license. So, you will want to deactivate or deauthorize any licensed programs before recycling your old laptop.
Deactivation is usually relatively easy for most programs. But if you are unsure about how to deactivate any program, search online for how to do it properly.
DELETE ALL STORED PERSONAL INFORMATION
Your internet browsers and other programs may have stored sensitive information about you, so you should delete your browser histories and uninstall all programs with stored personal data.
WIPE THE HARD DRIVE CLEAN
One of the last steps before your laptop is ready to be recycled is to completely remove all sensitive files like photographs, banking, and tax information from the hard drive. The best way to do this is to wipe the hard drive using software designed to remove all traces of the data from the disk completely.
It may be useful to research other methods for how to destroy a hard drive if you need more assurance that the data has been completely wiped from the drive.
RESTORE THE LAPTOP TO ITS ORIGINAL STATE
Finally, you can return your laptop to its original state by performing a factory reset. The factory reset will restore your laptop to its original manufacturer settings.
By following the above "Step By Step: Laptop Recycling" guide, you will adequately prepare your laptop for the next stage in its life cycle. You may now drop off your laptop at an approved laptop recycling facility.