How to get rid of your old laptop after you get a new one

Written by amy dombrower
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How to get rid of your old laptop after you get a new one
Get rid of your old laptop after getting a new one. (Laptop image by Marek Kosmal from

After you get a new computer, you probably just want to spend your time playing around with your fancy, new machine. But what will you do with your old laptop? It's definitely not a good idea to throw it in the landfill. Depending on the condition of the laptop, you can make some money by selling it, give it away to charity, or recycle it. It's important to make sure you transfer your data and delete any personal information off of the laptop before getting rid of it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • File eraser program

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  1. 1

    Move all your important files to your new computer or back them up to an external hard drive or CD.

  2. 2

    Remove all personal information from the old hard drive to make sure no one steals your identity. You can wipe the hard drive by using a program that will overwrite all the files. Some examples are the free tool Eraser from Heidi Computers, or PrivacyExpert from Detto Technologies, which costs £19 as of March 2010. If you have a Mac, try SuperScrubber, which is also £19.

  3. 3

    Ask friends and colleagues to see if anyone wants to take your computer, as long as the laptop is in working condition.

  4. 4

    Give it to charity. Charities can usually refurbish a computer if it is less than 4 years old, even if it is broken. You may be able to get a tax deduction for donating.

  5. 5

    Sell the laptop. Try selling on sites such as Craigslist or eBay. Otherwise, research companies that buy laptops and laptop parts. Even if the computer is broken, it most likely still has parts that can be used. Gather the pertinent information about the computer, such as the manufacturer, model name and condition, and contact the company to get an estimate for selling the laptop. You may need to send the computer by mail to receive a check (see Resources section).

  6. 6

    Recycle the laptop. Find an organisation in your area that will properly recycle used laptops. If you have a name-brand laptop, you may be able to send it back to the manufacturer. HP, Dell and Apple all have recycling programs (see Resources section).

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