Your computer stores your personal information, be it confidential business information or personal emails, photos and contacts. When you come to get rid of your computer, maybe selling it, gifting it or disposing of it you will want to make sure this data is gone. In this short guide, accompanied by a video, we’ll show you how.
Firstly, simply deleting files won’t do. Even if you empty the recycle bin they can still be recovered. In addition there may well be data that you don’t know about, in places that you don’t know about.
Windows 10 has a built in feature which will securely erase all your data and apps, and then reinstall the operating system (that is, Windows 10 itself).
Be warned, if you do this there is no going back and your data will be gone forever!
Follow these steps (shown in the video below, direct link here: https://youtu.be/vCjnHpJV2Jo) to securely erase your Windows 10 computer and reinstall Windows:
- Make sure your PC is plugged in to a power source
- Click on start
- Open settings
- Select Update & Recovery
- Select Recovery from the options on the left
- Then select Get Started from under Reset this PC
- From the three options available choose Remove Everything – at this stage this isn’t necessary a secure erase
- Select the second option ‘Remove files and clean the drive’. This is the critical part and will make sure all your data is destroyed
The process will take a few hours as it needs to reformat your computer’s storage. The PC will restart a few times and for a lot of that time the screen may be black – don’t be alarmed!
Once the process is complete you will need to set the computer up again as if it were a new one.
For further Windows 10 reading check out: Windows 10: The Missing Manual on Amazon