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Giving out your old laptop? Follow these steps to wipe it clean first

Are you giving out a laptop? Many people realize they have surplus computing devices after getting gifts from friends and family or splurging on themselves with shiny new devices. If you have been using computers for a long time, you will also have a stack of old devices lying around.

Since you might not use these laptops again, and they are still working, it is a good idea to practice generosity by giving them out to people who need but cannot afford them. Or simply don’t need the latest and greatest. People in this category include the preteen computer whiz kid cousin of yours or older parents that only want to check their emails and catch up with their friends on Facebook.

Some organizations even provide laptops to disadvantaged people by taking them off the hands of folks like you.

Whoever you decide to give your laptop to, there are steps you should take before giving it out permanently. They include removing all your files, settings, and accounts. If you don’t do this, your sensitive documents, personal details, and account information might end up in the wrong hands. This could be even more dangerous if you used the laptop for work.

In this article, we will guide you through resetting your Apple and Windows laptop and Chromebooks so that they revert to factory settings. We will start with Windows since they are the most common.

Wiping your Windows laptop clean

The first step is to backup all your essential documents. You can do this to a cloud storage or an external drive.

Next, sign out of all your apps. If some of your applications have license keys, make sure you save them so you can continue with them on your new laptop.

Don’t forget your browsers, as they contain a lot of information about you, including passwords and usernames. The main browsers are Edge, Chrome, and Firefox.

The next step is to reset the laptop, which will reinstall Windows and clean all files. Go through “Settings” > “Update and securing” > “Recovery.” You will then click on “Get Started” under “Reset this PC.” In the next window, select the “Remove Everything” option.

Your old laptop will now return to a clean slate, but that is not the end. Remove it from your Microsoft account by signing in online.

Giving out your old Chromebook

Chromebooks are easy to set up and wipe clean because they are cloud-based devices. However, it is a good idea to check the AUE first, which is the date Google will stop updating the device. This will help your receiver to adjust their expectations. Google has a website online where you can check the AUE by model.

If you are satisfied that the new owner will find the Chromebook useful, proceed to the next step, which is the Powerwash. This process takes less than a minute, but it removes all the data associated with your account and restarts the device. After backing up your files, simply search for powerwash in the settings and follow the prompts.

Just like on your Windows device, you need to remove the Chromebook from your device list. You do this by signing into your Google account online and navigating to “Your devices.”

Passing on your old MacBook

MacBooks are durable devices, making them excellent gift ideas. Before you wipe your old MacBook clean, backup your data. You can do this using the Time Machine feature with an external drive connected or use the Migration Assistant to set up your new MacBook.

Next, sign out of your apps and accounts, not forgetting your browsers. Remember to unpair any Bluetooth device.

If your MacBook uses an Intel chip, reboot and press down “Command-R” to access “Recovery Mode.” Select “Disk Utility” to clean your drive. Then reinstall macOS.

A final touch

It is a good idea to clean the laptop hardware before you give it out. While using or storing the laptop, it could have accumulated dust, fingerprints, or stains. Taking some time to clean shows how much you care for the device and respect the recipient. You can seal it in a plastic bag or carton after cleaning.

Written by HackerVibes

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