If your computer is slowing down or beginning to glitch, it may be time for a new one. Replacing your laptop for a newer model doesn't have to be a hassle, as long as you go about it efficiently. When you need a new computer, follow these steps to properly dispose of your old one:
1. Back up necessary files.
Before getting rid of your old laptop, you'll want to back up any files you want to keep. Most people have documents or photos on their computer that are important to them. You can back up your photos on an external hard drive or a USB memory stick. In order to make this process simpler in the future, you may want to subscribe to a cloud storage service that allows you to store your files on a remote server. The only issue with this is the possibility of a security breach. While cloud storage companies do their best to protect their customers' files and privacy, there's always the possibility that their servers will be hacked. You'll have to figure out how comfortable you are taking this risk with your own sensitive files.
2. Format your computer.
After you've extracted any files you want to keep, you will want to format your computer. This will ensure that the next person to get their hands on your laptop won't be able to access your files. Simply deleting files from your computer by putting them in the trash bin isn't enough to protect your data. There are programs that can be used to recover deleted files. Formatting your computer is the only foolproof way to make sure your old data is gone for good. Your laptop should have come with a disk that will allow you to format it, resetting it to factory conditions. If you no longer have this disk, you can download the necessary program by looking up your laptop's make and model online.
3. Recycle your laptop.
Never throw away your laptop. Some of the components used in laptop computers can be highly toxic to the environment. When these objects are put in landfills, chemicals have the opportunity to leach into the soil and air. In addition, laptops are made from materials that are in finite supply, which must be mined from the earth. According to the Great Lakes Electronics Corporation, in some states it's even illegal to throw away certain electronic devices. Instead of throwing away your laptop computer, recycle it when you're finished with it. There are companies which specialize in laptop and PC recycling, and they will remove the reusable components from your laptop before safely disposing of the remains. You can reach out to a laptop recycling company in your area for more information.