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Remove your Personal Information before Selling your old Computer

By Edited Oct 19, 2016 3 10

If you are like me you love to keep up to date with the latest computer or laptop when you can afford to. Therefore you will need to remove your personal information before selling your old computer.


Many people do not realise how much information they have stored on their computers over any length of time. We have stored our photos, emails, banking details on our computer. This is something that most people forget about. Then the new owner has fun reading all your personal information letters or documents. Security of your personal information is very important, keep yours safe.

Deleting files does no necessarily mean they are gone. How many times have you watched the police movies where they recover so called deleted information from someone's computer?

Always Remove Personal info from Computers



 I often wonder how many people know how to remove their personal documents and pictures and even their videos from their computers.

Most of us can delete all the information in our My Documents pages – but there are many other places that have information stored. Cookies, no these are not the eatable ones. These are ones that companies insert or hide in your computer when you visit the many different websites.

These are inserted more or less the same way that hackers and virus's get into your computer or laptop.

Reasons to Partition your computer

By partitioning your computer it is easier to keep your computer clean. I never save any information on my C: drive I keep that for programs only. My bigger computer has 5 partitions. No you do not need that many but I love to have every thing kept in separate drives.

I have one drive for each of the following: My writing, my husbands Photos, My games, Family stuff, and my downloaded files.

This computer would be ideal for those interested in playing games It comes with a 3.4 ghz with turbo boost 2 technology has 12 gig DDR3 Ram with 2 TB Sata hard drive and windows 8

Formatting Drives

By doing this I can format each of these drives separately especially if I have a problem. I delete things no longer required and then move files and documents to another drive then format that drive and move it all back when it is clean. This keeps my computer running quicker.

A partial view of Windows Explorer on your drive

The Windows explorer icon should be on the bar at the bottom of your computer. Click on that and you will see something similar to the image below.  This particular computer shows the C: drive which is where many people store everything on there computer.

The D: is my HP Recovery drive - E: is not showing as that is my DVD Drive.

F: is my Internet Wireless Connection H: is one of My External Drives where I store movies etc

I: is My Camera SD Card (left in Computer) J: is my other External Drive where I store heaps of other gear and photos Documents and Travel Photos.




Yours will not look like this, as I have only shown a part of the information in this window.

How to Format one of your backup hard drives

If I wanted to format my Nikon camera disk the I would rignt click on that and another window will open up.  Now left click on the word format  you can either do a quick format by clicking on quick or just click ok.  This will completely remove everything  on that drive.

NEVER do this on your C: or D: Recovery drive or you will not have a computer at all.  Only do it on the partitions you or your computer technician has created, external drives or thumb drives.


People leave so much information on their computers that it is embarrassing to actually repair them at times. Personal information should be at least hidden with a password, although having said that, there are so many programs on the market now I know that you can bypass them. In the old days we could remove the battery and that would remove the password.

Before Selling computer or laptop

Save all your documents, photos, and anything you want to keep onto a removable hard drive or thumb drives or burn everything onto a DVD.

Now if you have the operating system for your computer I would highly recommend that you format your computer back to new. This means the hard drive has nothing at all on the drive until you reload your operating system. To the everyday person none of your information is accessible.

If you do not know how to format your computer then take it to a professional. Maybe the person you are buying the new computer from will format it for you after you have copied off all your information or they can mirror off onto your new hard drive.

Other Options

If you are buying a new computer you could always keep your old hard drive and use it as a backup drive in the new computer, then put a cheap new hard drive in the old computer.

If the old computer isn'+t worth selling then pull your hard drive apart and keep the very strong magnets inside it. These little beauties will pick up anything. And the disks inside that store your information on are so shiny they look like mirrors.

You can also destroy it by hitting it with a hammer several times, when you hear it rattle, you can be pretty sure it won't work again.

Whatever way you choose to go about this is up to you. But, make sure you remove your Personal Information before Selling your old Computer.


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Aug 26, 2010 5:47pm
This is such an important reminder that we all need to remove our personal information from our old computers ... as well as anything else that we get rid of! Thanks!
Aug 27, 2010 5:32am
yes it is amazing how many people do not think about the info they leave on computers. We used to pull old computers to pieces and rebuild them to give away to less fortunate people and the stuff we saw was amazing some belonged to companies. so we just formatted before doing anything at all. We were not interested in the information. thanks for stopping by
Aug 29, 2010 9:51pm
Glad to help hope sale goes well, yes cannot give your information away to anyone
Aug 29, 2010 5:23pm
Wow....Great info...just in time too, having a garage sale soon, going to sell two old computers and the works. Thanks eileen...
Aug 29, 2010 9:52pm
yes you cannot be too careful have to protect your own info hope sale goes well.
Aug 29, 2010 6:27pm
I had to replace my hard drive recently, and I didn't know what to do with the old one. Thanks for tips on how to dispose of them.
Aug 29, 2010 9:55pm
yes I know the feeling, its funny how sometimes hard drives last ages then all of a sudden bang. That is why you need to back up your information on another drive or DVD then again DVD's do not last forever. I am thinking of getting another external drive to save my things on as a backup. thumb drives are great too as long as you dont lose them.
Aug 30, 2010 5:08am
I think the most important thing is to remove credit card information. We dont know where on earth the hard disk will end up.
Aug 30, 2010 5:32am
yes its very important, that's why you need to format the hard drive. thanks for stopping by
Sep 4, 2010 1:02pm
Good source of information. When you can do it yourself it saves the information going anywhere else. Needing to format the hard drive is a good information on how to and why.

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