5 Things to Make Sure of Before Selling Your Computer

  • Post published:October 29, 2021
  • Post category:Laptop
  • Post author:
  • Reading time:8 mins read

If you no longer need a particular device, then it is best to sell it off to someone who needs it. In this way, you make some money back, and the other person gets to make the most of your old device. The world is upgrading and optimizing to newer technological systems every single day, especially when it comes to portable devices such as laptops and mobile phones.

You can easily get yourself a high-tech laptop in the market every other week due to a new update in the features. So, if you are one of them with a new shiny device and are looking for ways to get rid of the old one, then here are a few tips that we think you can benefit from.

1. Check the hardware

Hardware check should be one of the priorities when you are thinking about selling your computer. Do a thorough check of each component to determine if it is functioning properly. If you miss something, it might backfire because the buyer will feel like you cheated them.

Keep in mind, though, that if the computer is used, some issues are natural to encounter. It is just that you may solve them yourself.

For example, the problem with sound not working is not something you can work out yourself. Integral hardware is intricate, and tinkering with it might lead to even more problems.

As a rule of thumb, if there are hardware problems, you are probably better off taking the computer to a service store and letting experienced specialists check the device. If they can fix it for a reasonable price, do not hesitate to pay.

On the other hand, if repairs end up costing more than you can realistically make after selling the computer, it might be better not to bother and simply advertise the computer as a device that has been used and has some problems. You will get less money for it, but it is still better than nothing.

2. Erase Data

Since computers are personal, you need to make sure that none of your data is available on the device before handing it over.

Overall, an average computer user is unlikely to bother with restoring data on an old computer because it is complicated. Moreover, there are no guarantees that you can actually find something useful, so such an effort would end up being a waste of time.

Nevertheless, it is better not to risk it. Before you hand your computer to another person, delete traces of yourself on the computer. Random files, downloads, email attachments, and other data that is no longer relevant should go.

It might be for the best to simply reinstall the operating system and give the computer a clean slate. The reinstallation of the OS will save you the time you would have to spend deleting data manually.

3. Create a backup of your files

things to make sure of before selling a computer

Before you head onto formatting your computer, make sure that you back up relevant data so that you can access it yourself on another device later.

When it comes to backing up computer data, two methods come to mind. The first is cloud storage, and the second is external accessories.

For clouds, you can pick one of the available services, such as Dropbox or iCloud, and create an account. Once you do that, transfer data. The next time you want to access the files, log in to your cloud account on another device and copy files to it.

Cloud services usually offer a few gigabytes of storage for free. However, if you have a lot of files that you want to back up, a free account will not cut it. Subscribe to a better storage plan and pay a monthly fee. If you do not plan to keep files on the cloud, you can unsubscribe after a month or so when you transfer files to your new computer.

Now, as for external accessories, get an external HDD or a USB flash drive and copy the computer files on them. The data will be safe and you can transfer it from the accessory to a computer when you want to.

4. Clean your computer

There is not much that you have to do when you are cleaning up your drive. But, there might be a ton of work when you have to clean a laptop externally. People nowadays put on a lot of laptop skins and stickers, and if you are one of them, then ensure that you remove all of those stickers before you give the device to someone else.

On the other hand, if the person who sees your ad and notices stickers by looking at the pictures, they might like it and tell you to keep the stickers on, so do not dismiss such a possibility. 

The dust and other particles are what you really want to clean, though. First of all, start with potential particles in the keyboard. If some of the keys are not as responsive as they should be, it could be a sign that there is food or other particles inside the keyboard.

This also applies to other accessories, such as the mouse. At the same time, if you plan to sell only the computer and keep its accessories for yourself, then you do not have to worry about the issue.

Wiping the screen comes next, particularly if it is a laptop you are selling. For a desktop computer, you may hold on to the monitor just like with other accessories.

After, you will need to clean the dust inside the device. Take the computer apart so that you can clean it thoroughly. In case you are reluctant to do the task yourself (this is common among laptop owners), pay someone with experience to clean the computer for you.

You do not want to sell a computer that has too much dust inside. If you do, the buyer will ask to return the money because the device is overheating and the noise coming from the internal fans is too loud.

5. Log out of software and services

things to make sure of before selling a computer

If you do not plan to reinstall the operating system and clear the traces of yourself, then at the very least, log out of software that you used. Cloud services and communication platforms like Discord are examples of such software.

Also, go through your internet browser thoroughly and log out of every online profile you have. An internet browser should have the feature to log out of every online profile or wipe the login details on a particular device, so check that as well.

Again, similar to computer files, you can trust the buyer not to access your personal details, but why risk it when you can spend some time deleting login details from websites and software that you have used on the computer.


All in all, selling your computer is not as simple as it may seem on the surface. There are a lot of things you need to take care of both to ensure your own privacy and security and to present the buyer with a device that they will accept and use.

Hopefully, this article proves valuable and works as a reference for those who think about selling their computer or have already made up their mind to do it.

Samuel Anali

Tech enthusiast, gamer, programmer, and reviewer, Samuel is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in technology. With an eye for detail, he loves nothing more than getting his hands on new gadgets and tearing it apart to see how it works. When he's not gaming or programming, you'll find him reading a good book.