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How to pack and ship a laptop computer

Updated April 17, 2017

Laptop shoulder bags usually suffice to transport a laptop computer when on the go. However, laptop repair, moving and overseas travel may leave you with no choice other than shipping the laptop. Laptops are fragile and can be easily damaged if not well protected. Use proper materials and carefully package your laptop when you must trust a shipping company to deliver it safely.

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Back up all important data stored on the laptop to a safe storage location, such as an external hard drive, that will not be shipping with the computer.

Place the laptop in an antistatic bag and seal the antistatic bag with tape. Place the laptop that is now inside an antistatic bag into a plastic bag and seal the plastic bag with shipping tape.

Wrap the laptop in bubble wrap with the bubbles facing inward. Secure the bubble wrap with shipping tape.

Place the computer power supply adaptor and cords in a separate plastic bag -- not the laptop plastic bag.

Place one piece of flat cardboard or styrofoam board on the bottom of the laptop and place another piece of flat cardboard or styrofoam board on the top of the laptop. Secure the two pieces of cardboard or styrofoam board to the laptop with shipping tape.

Place a 5- to 8-mm (2- to 3-inch) layer of packing peanuts evenly throughout the bottom of the laptop shipping box. Place the laptop inside the shipping box. Fill remaining empty space in the box with packing peanuts. Cover the top of the laptop with packing peanuts.

Close the shipping box and verify that the laptop cannot move inside the box. Seal the shipping box with clear shipping tape.

Place labels marked "Fragile" on the shipping box. Place the destination and return address label on the shipping box as instructed by the shipping carrier.

Place an appropriate amount of insurance on the laptop to cover your laptop investment in case it is lost, stolen or damaged.

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 pieces of flat cardboard or styrofoam board with dimensions larger than the width and breadth of the computer
  • Box that is at least two times larger than the computer
  • Anti-static bag large enough to hold the computer
  • Bubble wrap packaging
  • Packing peanuts
  • Clear shipping tape
  • Plastic bag large enough to hold the computer
  • Plastic bag large enough to hold computer power supply and cables
  • Warning labels marked with the word "Fragile"
  • Destination and return address shipping label

About the Author

Dave Wilson has been writing technical articles since 1993, including manuals, instructional "how-to" tips and online publications with various websites. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and has Microsoft, Cisco, and ISC2 (CISSP) technical certifications. He also has experience with a broad range of computer platforms, embedded systems, network appliances and Linux.

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