Every few years it comes time to get rid of your old, outdated laptop and upgrade to a newer model. Maybe you’re the type who loves having the newest gadgets, or maybe your trusted old laptop is on its last legs; either way, you never want to throw away an old laptop.
Recycling your laptop saves a massive amount of energy and resources that can be used to create newer products. It also has the added benefit of preventing toxic materials in your laptop from harming the environment by sitting in a landfill. Most electronics contains toxic chemicals such as lead that can be harmful to our bodies, so proper disposal of laptops is essential.
Before you get rid of your old laptop you need to clear it of your personal information. When disposing or recycling technology that contains your confidential data you have to be sure to completely remove any sensitive information.
How To Reset Your Laptop
Back up your data.
The first thing you’ll need to do is back up the data on your laptop to your new laptop computer. This can be done via a physical backup hard drive or onto cloud services. Backing up your data is an easy way to transfer all of your information to your new computer without having to worry about manually re-entering in all of your information.
For products such as iTunes that limit the number of devices that can access them, you’ll need to deauthorize your old laptop before recycling it. While you can select “Deauthorize All Devices”, this can only be done once a year. To deauthorize iTunes on your laptop, open up the application, click on “Account” and then select “Deauthorize This Computer”.
Wipe it completely.
Both Windows and Apple laptops have options for completely resetting and restoring your computer. Make sure to completely follow the reset instructions on your computer to ensure that none of your personal data remains on the laptop once you recycle it.
Where To Recycle Your Laptop
If your laptop is less than five years old, then you can put it to good use by donating it to a local nonprofit or library for refurbishing. Microsoft’s Registered Refurbisher directory can help you find a program.
If your computer is too outdated or out of shape to refurbish, then there are several places where you can recycle it. One place where you can recycle your laptop is Dell’s Goodwill Reconnect Program, which accepts old and broken hardware.
Another is Best Buy, which offers what they claim to be the most comprehensive appliance and electronics recycling program in the United States. Best Buy claims to collect more than 400 pounds of product for recycling every minute their store is open. You can get rid of your laptop at one of their recycling kiosks or in store at the Customer Service counter. If they can’t refurbish or resell your laptop, they will ensure that it is responsibly recycled. Yet the best way to actually get cash for you laptop is to sell it to reputable electronics recyclers like SellBroke.
With infinite displays, and folding screens, who knows what smartphones will look like 5 years from now?