How To Wipe A Laptop Clean

If you’re planning to sell or donate your laptop, or simply want to start fresh, it’s important to know how to wipe a laptop clean. This process ensures that all your personal data, including files, passwords, and browsing history, is deleted and cannot be recovered. Here’s how to wipe a laptop clean.

Backup Your Files

Before you wipe a laptop clean, make sure to backup all your important files. You can use an external hard drive or cloud storage for this purpose. This way, you won’t lose any important data that you may need later.

Sign Out of Your Accounts

To ensure that your personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, make sure to sign out of all your accounts before wiping your laptop clean. This includes your email, social media, and banking accounts.

Uninstall All Programs

To wipe a laptop clean, you’ll need to uninstall all programs that you’ve installed on it. This can be done by going to the Control Panel and selecting “Programs and Features.” From there, you can select each program and click “Uninstall.”

Delete Your Files

After uninstalling all programs, you’ll need to delete all your personal files. This includes documents, pictures, and videos. You can do this by selecting each file and pressing the “Delete” key.

Wipe Your Hard Drive

To completely wipe a laptop clean, you’ll need to wipe your hard drive. This can be done by using a disk-wiping program such as DBAN. This program will overwrite all data on your hard drive, making it unrecoverable.

Reinstall Windows

After wiping your hard drive, you’ll need to reinstall Windows. You can do this by inserting your Windows installation disc or USB drive and following the on-screen instructions.

Install Updates and Drivers

Once Windows is installed, make sure to install all updates and drivers. This will ensure that your laptop is up-to-date and runs smoothly.

Set Up Your Laptop

After installing updates and drivers, you can set up your laptop with a new username and password. You can also customize your settings, such as your desktop background and screen resolution.


Q: Will wiping my laptop clean erase my operating system?

A: Yes, wiping your laptop clean will erase your operating system. You’ll need to reinstall it after wiping your hard drive.

Q: Can I use a disk-wiping program other than DBAN?

A: Yes, there are many disk-wiping programs available. However, make sure to choose a reputable program that is compatible with your laptop.

Q: Do I need to wipe my laptop clean before selling it?

A: Yes, wiping your laptop clean is important before selling it to ensure that your personal data is not compromised.


Wiping a laptop clean is an important process that should be done before selling or donating your laptop. By following these steps, you can ensure that all your personal data is deleted and cannot be recovered. Remember to backup your files, sign out of your accounts, uninstall all programs, delete your files, wipe your hard drive, reinstall Windows, install updates and drivers, and set up your laptop with a new username and password.