How to ship a laptop abroad

Updated March 23, 2017

The most common reason for shipping a laptop is to send it to a repair facility, but occasionally you may have other reasons to send your laptop overseas. When shipping your laptop abroad, make sure that it is packed correctly, sent via a reputable carrier and insured against loss and damage.

Back up your data. Before you send off your laptop, it's critical that you take steps to preserve all data, so that you can migrate it to a new machine if your laptop disappears or is damaged. Follow your operating system instructions for doing a complete system backup. Keep the backup disks or hard drive in a safe place. Consider making two backups, just to be safe.

Purchase a laptop mailing box. UPS and FedEx both make boxes specially designed for shipping laptops. These boxes have the correct amount of space for packing materials and usually a side area for any accessories you are sending, such as the AC adaptor. This also provides additional cushion for the laptop itself.

Remove the battery and power adaptor. Wrap these carefully in bubble wrap and place them in the side section of the box made for accessories.

Wrap the laptop itself in bubble wrap, place it in the box and fill in the extra space in the box with foam peanuts or other packing materials. There should be approximately 2 inches of space filled with packing materials all the way around the computer.

Seal the box tightly. Use high-grade packing tape and seal the box completely. Cover all seams with the tape.

Select the best carrier for your destination country. Make sure the carrier does not subcontract its services in the country that you are shipping to. If it does, select another carrier. Subcontractors can be difficult to deal with when filing a claim, should anything happen to your computer. Once you've chosen a carrier, insure the package for the full value of your laptop and any data that it contains.


Do not place the adaptor above or below the computer. Jarring during transit can cause the laptop to hit the hard adaptor and cause damage to either or both.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop box
  • Bubble wrap or foam
  • Packing tape
  • Backup media
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About the Author

Robin Noelle is a professional writer living and working in Northern California. She has a degree in Journalism and a background in high tech public relations. She is the author of travel guides and end-user computer books.