How to clean out information before selling a laptop

Written by chad buleen
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How to clean out information before selling a laptop
Remove all personal information and settings before selling a laptop. (laptop image by martini from

Anyone planning on selling a laptop who has concerns about privacy should clean out the information from the laptop before selling it. You can do this by restoring the computer to its factory settings. This deletes all files and folders, as well as any other settings you used on the computer. Cleaning out the laptop destroys all data from the computer and is not reversible.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click "Start" and select "All Programs."

  2. 2

    Click "Recovery Manager," then click "Recovery Manager" again.

  3. 3

    Click "Advanced Options," then click "System Recovery."

  4. 4

    Click "Next." The computer will restart.

  5. 5

    Select the "System Recovery" option on the screen after the computer restarts. Click "Next."

  6. 6

    Click "No" if the "Microsoft System Restore" prompt appears. Click "Next."

  7. 7

    Click "Recover without backing up your files" and click "Next."

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