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Remove data before selling a PC or laptop

How to clean up your PC before passing it on

If you are selling or giving away a PC or laptop, it is crucial that you remove all traces of your ownership, to protect your data and identity. Our Helproom Editor explains to a PC Advisor reader how to clean up a PC before you pass it on or sell it.

QUESTION I'm selling a six-month-old laptop and want to remove the Windows login so the new owner can set their own. How can I do this, please? Julius44

HELPROOM ANSWER You can remove the password via Control Panel, User Accounts, ‘Remove your password'. However, your laptop is also likely to contain personal data, which you don't want falling into the wrong hands. This could include your usernames, passwords, internet browsing history, banking details, photos and documents.

Most laptops have an option that lets your restore to factory settings, erasing all user data. You can also use a program such as CCleaner (tinyurl.com/bqe2s6j) to be sure that all sensitive data has been removed.

It's worth the effort: the new owner can start afresh, and you'll be able to rest assured that your personal data is secure.

Clean up your PC before selling it or giving it away

It is vitally important to clean up your PC before you pass it on

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice. Or email our Helproom Editor for bespoke advice.

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