Factory Reset Your Computer Before Selling Or Giving It Away

Whether you are giving your computer to a friend or family, recycling, or donating it, you’ll want to erase any personal information and files from it. Here I’ll show you how to erase all data ensuring that any information about you is wiped from your computer. Below are instructions on three of the most common computer types. (Windows 10, MacBook, Chromebook)

laptop on table

Image by zorandraganov from Pixabay

Windows 10

Make a backup of any files you want to keep, as this will erase all of your files.

Reset your Windows 10 PC from Settings

  1. Select the Start button, then select Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security at the bottom
  3. From the left pane, click on Recovery
  4. Click on the button “Get started
  5. You will need to choose an option:
    With either option below, you will be asked how to reinstall Windows 10 (Cloud download or Local reinstall). You can select “Local reinstall”
    1. Keep my files
    2. Remove everything
  6. . Additional settings
    1. Click on the link “Change settings
    2. Under Clean data, set to Yes
  7. Lastly, click on the button Confirm.

Reset your Windows 10 PC (without password)

  1. From the sign-in screen, click on the screen so that it is asking for your password.
  2. Press and hold the Shift key while selecting the Power button > Restart (lower-right corner)
  3. You will get a screen that says “Choose an option
  4. Select Troubleshoot, then Reset this PC
  5. You will get a screen Choose an option
    1. Keep my files
    2. Remove everything
  6. . Follow the instructions to complete the reset.


Make a backup of any files that you want to keep. Erasing your Mac will permanently delete all files.

  1. Start up from macOS Recovery:
    1. Turn on your Mac, then immediately press and hold Command (⌘) and R, until you see an Apple logo or other image
    2. If asked, select a user you know the password for, then enter their administrator password.
  2. From the utilities windows, select Disk Utility and click Continue.
  3. Select Macintosh HD in the sidebar of Disk Utility.
  4. Click the Erase button in the toolbar, then enter the requested detail:
    1. Name: Macintosh HD
    2. Format: APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled), as recommended by Disk Utility
  5. Click Erase Volume Group. If you don’t see this button, click Erase instead.
    1. If asked, enter your Apple ID.
  6. . After the erase is done, select any other internal volumes in the sidebar, then click the delete volume (-) button in the toolbar to delete that volume.
  7. Quit Disk Utility to return to the utilities window.
  8. If you want to start up from the disk you erased, select Reinstall macOS in the utilities window, then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions.


A factory reset or Powerwash will erase all the information on your hard drive, including all the files in the Download folder. Be sure that you have a backup of your files before doing any of the below steps.

Powerwash Chromebook (logged in)

  1. Click on the notification center at the bottom-right corner and open Settings (cogwheel icon).
  2. In the left pane, click on Advanced, then click on Reset settings at the bottom.
  3. Click on the Reset button and follow the instructions.

Powerwash Chromebook (not logged in)

  1. At the Sign-in screen, press and hold Ctrl + Alt + R
  2. Select Restart
  3. In the box that appears, select Powerwash > Continue
  4. Follow the instructions to complete the powerwash.

Powerwash Chromebook (without password)

What if I don’t know the password and you want to reset it.

  1. Restart your device and on the login screen, press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R keys at once.
  2. A reset window will open and you will click on the blue button Powerwash and Revert.
  3. One last confirmation will say “Reset this Chrome device“, click on the button Powerwash.

Share your love