What to Do With a Computer Before Selling It?

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If you have plans to sell your computer, you know for sure that an important thing you should never forget to do is to wipe its hard drive. But, is this really everything to it?

Selling your old computer can be a bit scary. You invested long hours using it and it already contains tons of your personal data and stuff. However, at one point or another, you need to let it go. 

Prior to selling it off, though, here are a few tips on what to do with a computer before selling it you need to keep in mind:

Back-Up Your Data 

Before anything else, you have to make sure that you back up any or all important data on your computer that you would like to keep including important programs, documents, and photos. If you only got a small amount of data you wish to keep, there are cloud storage services you can use for backup.

You can also copy and paste files directly to a removable device. If your data is a bit large, you could set up the Windows integrated Backup and Restore utility for backing up your files in an external hard drive. 

Get Your Product Keys

If your purpose for selling your computer is to use the money to buy a new one, you need to look for and back up product keys for Windows and software programs that are installed in the old computer at the moment before you sell it. This way, you will be able to install them again easily to your new computer. 

In case you have never tried having a backup of these product keys or you cannot find them at all, your best option is to use the special product key finder program so you can find and backup product keys for Windows and all installed software. 

Format the Hard Drive 

Don’t forget to format your computer’s hard drive before you decide to sell it off. This actually offers benefits for you and the person who will buy it. It gives you the assurance that your personal data will be protected and won’t remain on the computer hard drive where the buyer can access and see them.

On the other hand, formatting the hard drive gives the buyer a completely clean and tidy environment from the get-go.  

Reinstall the Operating System 

After formatting, there won’t be anything on the hard drive. To show the computer better to the buyer and convince him to purchase it, you need to install its operating system again.

You can choose to install the newest system like Windows 10 or you can also install the operating system that the buyer likes or prefers. 

Clean Your Computer

And one last step is to ensure that your computer is clean. Remove all your usernames and passwords that you used for locking the computer.

Also, wipe down the keyboard, screen, and other parts of the computer to make it look good and run better. Doing so can help you score a great price for it. 


These are some of the most important tips on what to do with a computer before selling it. Try to do most of these tasks before selling any computer. Good luck! 

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