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How To Properly Dispose of an Old Computer

Planning to get rid of your old computer? If you just sell it off to any person or shop, you may end up risking sharing your sensitive information such as passwords, account numbers, tax returns, and such you may have stored on your hard drive. In this guide, we look at ways to properly dispose of your old system.

The first thing you need to do before disposing of an old PC is to make sure that you transfer all the important data from your hard drive to external hard disk to create a backup.

Before you go ahead and dispose of your computer, you need to destroy all the data from your hard disk. You can use suitable software that will overwrite multiple times on your hard drive to completely erase the stored data. These are called zero-fill utilities.

After you've wiped out your data, here are the most common ways to get rid of an old computer:

Recycle It

Computer components contain harmful chemicals such as arsenic, mercury, lead, etc that are very detrimental to the environment. The best thing you can do to the environment when you want to destroy your machine is to give it to a recycling center. To do this, you can send your PC back to your manufacturer and they will recycle your machine for better use.

Donate It

What is junk for you can be a treasure for someone else. Hence, you can think about donating your old desktop or laptop to nonprofit organizations or schools... or even a friend or acquaintance, or just someone who might be able to use your old machine.

However, when you donate, you need to make sure that you are donating a machine that is in working condition. If it's not, you can easily get the computer refurbished and then pass it on to the nonprofit organization or person in need.

Resell your old PC

A cool way to get rid of your old PC is to resell it. You can sell it on famous auction sites like eBay. Many people use eBay as a platform to sell off their old electronic items. Make sure you clearly describe your item, its detailed configuration (since may people will be looking for specific parts) and also put up its photos so that buyers may easily learn about what you are selling.

Dismantle and Reuse, Recycle, Donate or Resell

If you are good at disassembling your computer and its peripherals, you can disassemble its parts and reuse the ones that are in good condition. You can reuse hard disks, optical drives, speakers, cords, and similar items on a different system. The items that you do not need can be recycled or donated to nonprofit organization. After dismantling, you can even sell the individual parts on eBay or other auction sites.

Return to the manufacturer

In the case where you are planning to purchase a desktop or laptop from the same manufacturer, you can return the old computer back, and possibly get a discount with your new purchase. HP, Gateway and some other companies allow you to a deduct certain amount of money when you buy a new system from them. This way you can get your new PC at a slightly lower price.

Give it to the kids in your family

Your old computer may be something that you may want to get rid of as soon as possible. A good way to do it is to give it to any kid in your family. Even though it is a piece of junk for you, it can be a great learning platform for the kids. Kids can learn computers, play games and can become well-versed with computers by using your old PC.


If your computer is around two or three years old, instead of disposing of it - you can upgrade your PC by retaining the parts that are working perfectly fine. If the cabinet is in good condition and you have an old CRT monitor, you can replace the old monitor with a new LCD monitor. If your computer is running slow, you can remove all the unnecessary files and software, clean the registry, and then defrag your hard disk to get your system working as good as new.

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