If you have always wondered what to do your with your old computer, hopefully this post will show you how to safely erase your data and properly dispose of your old computer.

First, you will want to backup or transfer all your data to your new computer – There are several ways to accomplish this, whether you are backing your data up to the cloud, using an external hard drive, or using Windows Easy Transfer to transfer your files and settings to a new computer. You will need to make sure you have successfully transferred your data before moving onto the next step.

After your settings and files have been successfully transferred to the new computer the next thing to do is “shred” your information on your old computer. Think of this just like shredding paper documents through a paper shredder. You do not want your information getting into the wrong hands. To electronically shred all of your information on your old computer you can use a program called Active@ KillDisk

If you are recycling a smartphone, there are a few different ways to remove your personal information depending on the phone brand and OS version installed.

For Windows phones you will want to:

  1. Tap Start and flick left to the App list.
  2. Tap Settings and then tap About.
  3. At the bottom of the screen, tap Reset your phone.
  4. To confirm the reset, tap Yes.

For Android:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your device.
  2. Under Privacy, select “Backup & Reset
  3. Press “Factory data reset” at the bottom
  4. Press Yes to okay the “Factory data reset” operation

For Iphone:

  1. Tap on “Settings”, then “General.”
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the General tab and click “Reset.”
  3. Tap “Erase all Content and Settings.”
  4. Enter your passcode and confirm your reset by clicking “Erase iPhone.”

Now that you have your electronic equipment safe, you can either donate this equipment to people in need all over the world. Or, Microsoft has put together a great site that allows you to search by Country, State and Zip to help you find the closet place to you, so you can properly recycle and dispose of your old equipment.

Microsoft also has put together a recycling rewards program that if they find your requirement to be of value they will give you a store credit. Plus, they will do all of the above information for you including “shredding” your personal information for your old equipment.

Devices accepted:

  • Quality laptops, desktops, tablets and eReaders
  • Mobile phones
  • Digital-audio players
  • Game consoles and games

That’s all there is to it!