Recycle an old PC

It’s human nature to want the newest of the new, especially when it comes to technology. But you can get over any guilt you might feel about upgrading to a new computer, by recycling your old computer.

There are two safety concerns that you should think about when you discard an old PC:

  • Disposing of your computer without harming the environment.
  • Removing all the financial and other personal information from your computer so it can’t be accessed.

A Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher can help you do both of these.

Find a refurbisher.

Interested in buying a pre-owned computer? See Get a Refurbished Computer Today.

If you don’t want to use a refurbisher, here is a partial list of the places where personal information exists on your computer:


  • Email contacts and messages
  • Your documents
  • Your computer’s recycle bin or trash folder
  • Internet browser’s cache, cookies, and history


The best way to clear this information is with software. For more information and recommendations for software that will clean up your hard drive, see Protect and purge your personal files.

About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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  1. Anonymous

    It would be nice to have such service in South America and, in particular, in Brazil.

  2. Anonymous

    I have a Toshiba 335CDS lap top I would like to recycle it. Still works great and runs Window 98. What should I do with it? Has same battery and works also.

  3. Anonymous

    I have just installed a refurbished computer and am delighted with at. It is a lot faster than my 8 year old one, and the price of $430 delivered more than suited this old age pensioner ! BUT, what on earth can I do with trhe OLD one?   Can you offer any suggestions, please ?

  4. Anonymous

    Why are there no DIY solutions? It appears to me microsoft solutions allows

    involves someone you have to pay.

  5. Anonymous

    MSN needs to have a video explaing how to recycle you old PC. It needs to explain how and why you need to delete the partition on the computer prior to donating or recycling your old PC. this would greatly help people understand better.

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