If you want to change your computer and you have one at home that you no longer use, surely you have thought of selling it. Once you have the buyer, you will have to prepare the equipment so that its new owner does not have access to your personal data. A radical way to do this is to format the hard drive, but if in the sales announcement you have put the computer with Windows 10 installed, the logical thing is that the buyer wants the device to be perfect to be able to use it as soon as they receive it. Fortunately, Windows 10 greatly facilitates the task of leaving the system as if we had just bought the equipment in a store.
The process to prepare a computer for sale and delete our personal data is almost as simple as that provided by current mobiles. But for those of you who have never done it before, here is a little guide on how to prepare a Windows 10 computer for sale. This process will eliminate our files and personal data, leaving the computer completely clean for the buyer or the family member who keeps the equipment. Let’s start!
Reset a device with Windows 10
The first step will always be to make a backup of all the information we have on the device we want to sell. We must also make sure that we have transferred the files that we want to keep to an external hard drive or to another computer.
Once we have all the important data and files safe, we can start the reset of the equipment. For this we will go to Start – Configuration – Update and security.
In this new screen we will look for the option Recovery. We have it located in the vertical menu that appears on the left side of the screen.
When entering the Recovery section we will see that Windows 10 offers us two options to delete data from the computer. The most common is Reset this PC, an option that will allow us to choose if we keep the personal files or delete them after reinstalling Windows. It is the option used when the system has a fault and we want to restore the installation of Windows but without losing any data.
Another option is to perform a “Advanced start” With this option we will use an external device, such as a USB drive or a DVD, to restore Windows from a system image. It is a safer option, but more laborious and slow.
Remove device from Microsoft account
Once we have formatted the computer, ideally, we should remove that device from our Microsoft account. To do this we will have to access https://account.microsoft.com/devices and search for the device that we want to delete.
After you enter our Microsoft account password, all the computers on which we have ever logged in with our data will appear. Ideally, here we only have the equipment that we really use at all times.
To remove a device from this list, simply click on the device and at the top of the screen choose Manage. From the three options that appear we will have to choose “Remove laptop / device” We mark “I am ready to remove this laptop” and select Remove. This will unlink the device from our Microsoft account, thus not affecting the limit of the Microsoft Store devices.
All these steps, although they may seem a bit far-fetched, are very necessary when our computer is going to be used by someone else, either because we have sold it to them or because it happens to be used by another member of the family. In this way we will have our data safe.
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