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How to Completely Erase Everything Off Your PC

Updated on February 18, 2019
Rachelle Williams profile image

I'm a computer geek who absolutely loves all things tech, and equally loves to share what I learn in the tech space.

Don't leave personal info on your computer if you plan to sell or donate your machine.
Don't leave personal info on your computer if you plan to sell or donate your machine.

Did you know that computer forensic technicians can revive deleted files? That's because your computer holds digital traces of every file created on it, so if you want to sell or give away your computer, you need to be sure to totally wipe your PC clean, and make certain you haven't left behind any digital traces for someone to be able to resurrect.

The Most Convenient Way to Wipe Any PC

Now, before I even get started…I realize the following method for wiping personal files from your computer may sound elementary to many folks, but you might be surprised at the amount of people who simply go through their machine and “delete” their files from documents, photos, and downloads folders before either selling or donating the computers.

Some people just really don’t know anything at all about computer technology, but that certainly doesn’t mean they deserve to have their personal data compromised, so here we go.

If you go to your settings in Windows, you can go through the recovery process and totally reset your PC, just choose the option to "Remove everything" when prompted. This option will allow you to permanently remove all your files and scrub your personal data off your computer.

Depending on the amount of "stuff" you have on your computer, it can take a while. You just need to remember to make sure your computer is continually plugged in to a power source, you cannot do this on battery. You will notice that your computer restarts several times but leave it alone and let it do its thing. When it’s all done with the process, the computer will be ready to be set-up for the next person.

If you are an all-out techie, I can’t imagine why you’re even reading this article, because you should already know that there are command line utilities that will allow you to wipe absolutely everything, so please don’t feel patronized about the simplicity of the Windows Recovery process.

Make no mistake, this is not an article hailing the benefits of the Red Key USB, but it and tools like it are handy little pieces of tech to have in your arsenal. Check out the semi review from Linus from Linus Tech Tips, there’s also a demonstration of how to use the Windows Recovery feature….

Wipe Any PC in 2 Minutes!


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