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How to Wipe a Laptop In 2024: Secure Method

How to Wipe a Laptop

Are you looking for how to wipe a laptop safely? If yes, stay tuned with us because, in this post, we go through the complete discussion over how to safely and securely wipe a laptop in 2023.

There could be a lot of causes why you need to wipe your laptop. But unfortunately, it is not an easy task, just like deleting a few files from any folder. But when you want to sell your laptop or any other type of notebook to any buyer, or if the laptop is not your laptop like an organization issues it, or if you borrowed it from your friend, you must wipe it. 

So, cleaning the hard drive before sending your laptop back to the company or any person to protect your data is a good idea. Hence, anybody will be unable to gain unauthorized access to your data.  

Although you may clear all the data, unluckily still, there is a wealth of metadata and temporary documents that are at risk of falling into the wrong hands. However, due to advancements in modern technology, some software is available that assists you in erasing all of your data, but unfortunately, these tools are not always the easiest to use.

So, we will explain how to completely erase files that you no longer require with the help of the procedures for wiping a laptop on Windows, Mac, and Linux, along with some pre-emptive measures.

What Is Meant By “Wiping Data”?

The act of logically erasing all the documents or files from read/write media so that they will not be accessible for your read again. Wiping and erasing are two very different processes. While erasing, all the data will be removed from the specified partition or disks, whereas on the other hand, wiping merely removes those hard drive spaces and documents that are useless to the OS.

Procedure to Wipe Your Laptop

Here is a detailed process mentioned to wipe your laptop:

1. Restore or Backup your Documents Should be the First Priority

First of all, you need to keep in mind before clearing all the files that backup is very important as some files sometimes need longer. So, you need to make copies of your important data before erasing it, as you can’t get it back once you have removed it from your laptop.

Some methods are available for copying the files. The best approach for doing this depends on how much data you need to copy. The best option is backing up to the cloud. If you selectively back up the documents, there are few of them, and you have a respectable internet connection.

If you are looking for the most effective, efficient, and complete method, backing up to an external hard drive is the best option because it is physically linked to a laptop. All you have to do is to figure out how much space you require and if all the files will be stored in one drive, which drives “C” in Windows. Then right-click on the drive option and figure out how many documents cover space there. After that, wipe off all the files once the external drive is connected to the laptop; you may determine if it is large enough to hold all the required files.

To create a  backup, connect an external device to the laptop and drag documents and folders. 

Note: Windows 7 offers a feature called “Windows backup,” while Windows 8 provides the feature “file history.” Both these features are provided by Windows 10, along with the addition of system image backup and restoration.

2. Wiping a Hard Drive in Windows 7/Vista/XP laptop

Let’s start wiping a laptop with the earliest operating system edition. A laptop running with Windows 7 might not be a very challenging task. You can make use of software named DBAN. It is accessible for installation as an ISO image, but if you want to use it as a boot device, you must extract it into a bootable disc or USB. So follow the below-mentioned steps to get started:

  1. Established a USB flash drive with DBAN software and placed it into the device.
  2. In the next step, restart your laptop and hit the appropriate functionality button (often F2 or F12) to enter BIOS mode.
  3. Choose the boot from the fresh USB disk and again restart your laptop. 
  4. Then, with the help of DBAN software, follow the steps to delete all the files. 
  5. You may then reinstall Windows 7 from any disc or accessible USB stick containing Windows installation files if the computer begins to be put to the new usage. However, you should update to Windows 10.
  6. The tool does not demand any particular operating system to run; therefore, it can be used to wipe any Windows or Linux disc.

3. Wiping a Hard Drive in Windows 8/8.1 laptop

It takes only six simple steps

  1. Wiping a hard drive in this window is a very simple process.
  2. All you have to do is to select the “Start” menu.
  3. Look for the “charm” box.
  4. After that, hit the option “settings.”
  5. Now select the option “Change PC settings.”
  6. Tap the option “remove everything” and reinstall Windows. 

While you select to erase all the data, you need to make sure to tap on the option to say “thoroughly” instead of the option to say “clicking” just to ensure all the documents have been deleted.  

4. Wiping a Hard Drive on Windows 10 or Windows 11 laptop

Microsoft again makes it possible to easily wipe a hard drive for its users on Windows 10 or 11. The process has stayed the same since the debut of Microsoft’s most recent flagship model; there are some unique features that you might be aware of.

For Windows 10 Users:

  1. Hit the option “Start” from the menu.
  2. In the next step, hit the option “Settings.”
  3. Then hit the option “Update and Security.
  4. Now hit the option “Recovery.”
  5. After that, hit “Get Started” and choose “Remove Everything,” or choose the option that meets your requirements. 
  6. To finish the procedure, adhere to the instructions.

For Windows 11 users:

  1. Again, in this case, start by clicking the option “Start button.”
  2. Now hit the option “Settings.”
  3. After that, you will see the option “Windows update.” So click on that.
  4. Now hit the button “Advanced settings” and “Recovery.”
  5. Now choose the option “Remove Everything” and can also choose the option that meets your requirements. 
  6. To finish the procedure, adhere to the instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I completely wipe my laptop?

Answer:  Here are the steps mentioned to wipe a laptop completely:

  1. So, first of all, you have to navigate to the settings.
  2. After that, click the option “Settings.”
  3. Now click the option “Recovery.”
  4. At the top of the windows, you will see an option, “Reset this PC.” So, click on that.
  5. 5 . Now hit “Get Started” and choose “Remove Everything” from the box.
  6. Here, you can reinstall Windows from your local drive or install it from the cloud. 

Q: Does factory reset delete everything on the laptop?

Answer: Restoring default settings

During the factory reset procedure, your computer’s hard drive has been completely removed, and all company, financial, and personal files that could be on the machine are also lost. And once it has begun, you cannot stop the reset procedure. 

Q: How do I wipe my HP laptop?

Answer: Here is how to wipe an HP laptop securely in 2023:

  1. Hit the option to say “Start menu.”
  2. Now select the option “settings.”
  3. After that choose the options “Update and Security.”
  4. choose “Recovery” from the window’s left panel.
  5. There will then be three choices presented to you: 
  • “Reset this PC”
  • “Go Back to an Earlier Build”
  • “Advanced”
  1. The “Get started” button may be under “Reset this PC.”
  1. Now, you have to choose whether you like to save your documents on your laptop or you like a clean slate.
  • Choose either “Keep my files” or
  • “Remove everything,” depending on your needs.
  1. Any option you will select, all of your files will be deleted and all the settings will be reset. 

Q: Should I wipe my laptop?

Answer: Although it is not necessary to wipe your laptop if you are selling it or recycling it, and if the company issues it and you need to return it, you must wipe it very carefully. Wiping in these cases is very important because your personal information is at high risk of going into the wrong hands. So, to keep saving your sensitive data and personal information, you need to wipe that laptop. 

Q: Does a hard reset erase everything?

Answer: your phone storage or memory will not be affected by a hard reset of your smartphone. But the data saved to your applications that do not autosave may be lost after a reboot. 

 Another name for a hard reset is “force restart.”

Final Verdict

In this article, we have discussed in detail how to wipe a laptop and what is meant by wiping data and wiping a hard drive in a Windows 7/Vista/XP laptop, Windows 8/8.1 laptop, Windows 10, or Windows 11 laptop. I hope you like this information. Still, if you have any questions regarding this topic, drop your query in the comments area. 

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