Remove your personal data before you recycle your old computer or device

Chances are good that you or someone in your life got a new PC, laptop, tablet, phone, or other device this holiday season. If you’re going to recycle, donate, or dispose of an old device, help protect your privacy by removing your personal information first.

You can do this yourself, or you can have an authorized refurbisher do it for you.  

Read our step-by-step guide on how to back up your files and choose which method of erasing your hard drive is right for you: How to more safely dispose of computers and other devices.

Also, get information about how to recycle hardware, packaging, and batteries.

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

    Always so helpful! Thank you.

  2. Anonymous

    I have try all i can do to retain Microsoft account all in vain, leave me with my yahoo,email i have been using for long. You create more and more problem to me, or is it best close the account thanks.

  3. Anonymous

    Yeah! true to this.. I always did this every time i Change my gadgets. –

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