Thinking of Recycling Your Old Computer? Here's What To Do

Old Computer

It is for sure that at some point in your life you would have given up on your computer and thought of throwing it into the trash. Right! But, this could be your biggest mistake if you have ever thought of it. If you are reading this article, then it may probably stop you from making such a mistake.  

Instead of just trashing it, the better alternative is to recycle it. Today, recycling electronic appliances have become essential as it is environment-friendly and good for your overall health. From the title, it might be clear to you that this article is for those who are thinking of recycling their own computer. So here are some of the things you can do in order to recycle your computer. 

Remove all the data from your computer

The initial step of recycling is to remove all data from your computer to prevent identity theft. Also, there may be some important files on an external hard drive that you want to back up.

Also, unplug the computer peripherals (keyboard, speakers, etc.) from your desktop or laptop. You can likely recycle these parts as well using the same company where you take the machine, but consider reusing them or donating them since they won’t need a software upgrade to work on a new computer. According to CJD E-Cycling, in case of a laptop, flip it over and see if you can remove the battery. Since many laptops use lithium-ion batteries, which require special transportation for recycling, this is especially important if using a manufacturer mail-back program.

Factory reset your computer

Before recycling a laptop or desktop, you should reset it to its factory settings. In theory, this leaves only the bare operating system and pre-installed programs on the device – removing access to your files and any programs you’ve added. 

It’s essential to make sure you’ve backed up all the files you want before you begin this process. Store them safely on an external hard drive, your new computer, or in online cloud storage. If you wish to reinstall the software from your old computer onto a new one, note down the license keys. You’ll need these to install paid-for software (including Microsoft Office) on a new machine.

Remove the hard drive

If you’re recycling a laptop or desktop and would prefer not to dabble with data-shredding software, the safest way to make sure your data isn’t accessed is to physically remove the hard drive. 

You can put an old hard drive into an external caddy – available online. This will convert it into a USB hard drive that you can use to store and access data, just like a regular external hard drive. 

Alternatively, you can smash the old hard drive to make it unrecoverable. It’s physical work – you’ll need to destroy it with a few satisfying blows of a hammer to break the ‘platters’ that hold the data.

So these are some of the measures you can take if you are thinking of recycling your computer. We hope you enjoyed this article.