9 Things To Do Before Selling Windows Laptop/Computer

If you’re planning to sell your laptop or desktop because you’re buying a new one then this article will be very helpful to you. There are a few things you should do before handing over your personal computer to a stranger, to prevent them from having your personal information. You need to prepare your device accordingly. 

Even if you just delete your data from the device, chances are, it can be recovered pretty easily with recovery software. There are some things that you have to set up and make your data unrecoverable. So, in this article, I am going to tell you guys about 9 Things To Do Before Selling a Windows Laptop or computer. So, let’s dive into our topic. 

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1. Remove All Saved Passwords And Temp File

Glary Utilities 1 click maintenance

In the first step, we are going to take the help of software called Glary Utilities. You have to install this software on your PC and head over to the 1-Click Maintenance tab, and then click on “option” on the bottom right. then one by one, head over to the subgroups “registry cleaner, Disk repair, track eraser, and temporary files cleaner.  

Just select everything you see in these subgroups. once, done, click on “OK” and then click on the “Scan For Issues” button. This will clean all the data saved in the browsers, temporary files, and will remove all the tracks of your data from the PC. So anyone having your PC will not find any of your personal data stored in any of the applications. 

2. Update All Drivers


Most of us don’t care to update drivers on our PC if everything seems to be working fine. But this can create troubles in the future. So, it is better to update all the drivers on your PC before giving it out to someone else, just be sure that everything will work flawlessly for the buyer and he won’t have any complaints. 

You just don’t have to scroll through multiple web pages to find the right driver. I would recommend you to use this software called “Driver Booster” which will automatically scan for all the drivers that your PC needs and will download them in the application itself. You can also choose to install and restart the PC automatically. 

3. Update Your Windows 

Uninstall windows update in recovery settings

Most of the issues on your PC can be fixed with a simple Windows Update. Windows fix all the bugs and improve performance with every update. So, just head over to the Settings app and go to the “Update and Security” section, and click on “Scan” and install the updates, if any. 

4. Delete All Downloads

Sometimes we download personal files which we don’t want to share with anyone. You need to make sure you have deleted everything that you have downloaded. Go to your default Downloads folder and press Ctrl+A and then press “Shift+Del”. This will ensure that your files are permanently deleted and don’t go into the recycle bin. 

5. Take Backup & Wipe Out

Glary Utilities file shredder

First, ensure that you don’t lose your important files. Use an external storage device and take a backup of every important file that you need. Use any hard disk or Pen Drive and copy the file from your PC. 

After that, you have to wipe your hard drive clean. Again, you can do this using the Glary Utilities. In the “Advanced Tools” tab, head over to the “Privacy and security” side menu and select “File Shredder”. You can use this to delete an individual file or wipe the whole drive. 

So, to clean up everything, go to the “Wipe Free Space” tab and select all the Drives except C Drive and click on “Wipe Now”. Glary Utilities will add many layers of garbage data over it to make all the files unrecoverable. Just to be sure, you repeat the process twice or thrice, to make sure data here will be unrecoverable. 

6. Deleting All Credentials

Credential manager

It is important to remove all your credentials from your PC. So, to perform this, go to the Control Manager and choose “view by” as “large Icons”. You will see the “Credential Manager” icon. Clicking on it will take you to the credential manager where you will find two options, Web Credentials, and Windows Credentials. 

Choose the Web credential first and it will list all the credentials that you used online. Click on the drop-down icon on each of them and choose “Remove” to delete them. Repeat the same for the “Windows Credentials” option as well. This will make sure that your PC buyer will not have access to your credentials. 

7. Defragmentation And Trimming

Sometimes fragmented parts of our file are saved in a different order, not in sequence, which makes the process of locating and opening up the files more time-consuming for the PC. So, to counter that, we use the Defragmentation process. 

Defragmentation overall reduces the time spent to access the file and enables efficient usage of the storage. I will be showing you two different processes for HDD and SSD. 

For HDD – Again, you will have to use Glary Utilities here. You will find the option of “Disk Defrag” inside the “Optimize and improve” category under the “Advanced Tools” tab. Select all the Drives, click on “Analyze” to start the process. 

Glary Utilities disk defrag

This may take longer, so you’ll have to be patient and make sure your PC is receiving constant power. If you’re using a laptop then plug in the charger and if you’re a desktop user, make sure it doesn’t get disconnected from the electricity source.

For SSD –  If you have an SSD then to the file explorer and right-click on the drive, go to properties, and then to the “tools” tab. Here you will see the option to optimize. Then again, select the drive and click on “Optimize” to start the defragmentation. This will be faster than the process for HDD. 

8. Reset The Windows 

Reset Windwos 10

You will be resetting your Windows OS and removing any kind of personal data left. So, to do this, go to the settings app and click on the “Update & Security” icon. Then, from the side menu, choose “Recovery” and you will see the first option as “Reset This PC”. Under that, click on “Get Started” and you will get to see options. Choose the second one, which is “Remove Everything”. 

After this, in the next window, you will see a link with “Change settings” written on it. Here, turn on the buttons for both “Data Erasure” and “Data Drives”. And Then click on “Next” and proceed with the process. This process might take from a few minutes, to up to a few hours (If you have a slow HDD).  Make sure your device does not get disconnected from the power source. 

If you’re using a laptop then plug in the charger and if you’re a desktop user, make sure it doesn’t get disconnected from the electricity source. You can ask the buyer for his Microsoft account just so you can use that for login, or just leave it up for him to set up. 

9. Remove Unused Drivers

Drivers are important for the functioning of different peripherals with your PC, but sometimes many of them will be idle and not useful. This may happen because the buyer may not be using the same peripherals as yours. For instance, mice, keyboards, headphones, etc. 

DriverBooster delete unused drivers

So, to remove these obsolete drivers, we will use the tool “Driver Booster” again. Inside that, head over the “Tools” section and you will find the icon “Clean Unplugged Device Data”. Click on it and then select “Scan”.  It will scan and list all the unused drivers. Click on “Clean” to delete all of them. 

Now after all of this, restart your PC, and uninstall the Driver Booster software. Your PC is now fully ready to have a new owner and all of your personal data is secured from getting misused. If you still have any queries then use the comment section below and I will try to resolve all of them. 


Do you have to remove the hard drive before selling a laptop or computer?

It is up to you and in agreement with the buyer. But it is not necessary to remove the hard drive if you have wiped out all your data from it. 

Is it safe to sell your laptop to anyone else?

Yes. It is completely safe to sell your laptop to someone else if you have removed all of your credentials from it. You can follow the above steps to do that. 

How do you completely erase a hard drive of a computer before selling it?

You can take the help of the tool called Glary Utilities to erase a hard drive of a computer before selling it. Wipe it out clean using the “file shredder” option and then defrag it using the software. 

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Satish Shah
Satish Shah

Member of Team Tech Countless: Tech Enthusiast, and Programmer

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