How to Prepare Your Old Laptop for Sale

How To Prepare Your Old Laptop For Sale

Letting go of your old laptop can be difficult. 

Besides the sentimental value associated with the machine that contains the biggest chunk of our virtual lives, giving away an old laptop is also scary because of all the personal data and expensive software it contains.

Thankfully, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure your personal data and software don’t end up in the hands of the person who purchases your laptop.

Let us see what these steps are:

Backup Your Data

This step is critical to safeguarding your data. Anyone that wants to sell laptop must backup their important data.

Thankfully, when it comes to backing up laptop data, users have many options available. The first and the simplest option is to use an online cloud drive like Dropbox. While saving documents, photographs, and program files on the cloud is incredibly easy and safe, there may be a possibility that you have run out of space on your cloud drive account. 

If that is the case, you also back up your files to an external hard drive or if you have only a small number of files, to a pen drive. 

Users with Windows laptops can set up a Windows backup that thoroughly backs up all your files to the external drive. Once you have connected the external drive to your laptop, follow these steps:

  • Open Control Panel and click on System and Security
  • Next, click on Backup and Restore
  • On the subsequent screen, click the ‘Create a system image’ option displayed on the left side of the screen
  • In the next step, your computer will ask you where you want to save the backup, select “on a hard disk”
  • In the drop down menu below this option, you can select the external hard drive that you have connected to your laptop
  • Then, click the ‘Next’ button and on the subsequent screen, click on “Start Backup”.
How to Prepare Your Old Laptop for Sale

Take Care Of Installed Software

Chances are, you have a number of software installed on your laptop. In this step, we will be ensuring that you are able to retain them and install them on your new laptop.

There are two categories of software. The first category consists of the software that you may have installed through a disk or an online download, with a product key. For these, you need to collect all the product keys to be able to install them on your new laptop. Once you have all the product keys, you can proceed to uninstall these software from your current laptop.

The other category is of the software that comes loaded with Digital Rights Management technology that prevents them from being installed on multiple devices. In this case you simply have to uninstall the software from your current laptop to be able to install it on your new machine.

Wipe Your Laptop’s Memory

After you have backed up your data and ensured you can install your software on your new machine, it is time to wipe your current laptop’s memory clean. 

While many think that simply deleting the files, documents, and photos is enough, the case is quite the contrary. Anyone with a cheap data recovery software can recover and access your data.

That’s why, you will need to wipe the memory of your laptop. To do this, you will require a specialised tool. Thankfully, there are a number of free memory wipe tools available online.


After you have followed the above-mentioned steps, all you need to do is make sure the laptop’s hardware is clear and presentable. If possible, it is also a wise move to consider reinstalling the OS on your laptop.

By taking these steps, you will be able to present your device in a better light and will have a better chance to charge premium prices for it.

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