How to Clear Personal Data from Computer Before Selling

The post is about how to clear personal data from computer for good, thus you can sell or donate the PC without the worry of personal information leakage.


By Dervish / Updated on October 12, 2023

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Want to delete personal data from computer on Windows 10

“I want to give my old Windows 10 laptop to a friend. Can you tell me how to clear personal data from the computer? Any suggestion?”

To avoid the risk of personal data exposure to the next owner, it’s necessary to clean personal data from the computer totally and permanently before you donate or sell your PC.

Two ways to clear personal data from computer

Maybe you have ever heard that deleting user account is useful. Actually, the way only removes files, photos, videos, software, apps that are related to the deleted Windows users account and can be recovered effortlessly. Performing a factory reset for the computer or wiping the computer hard drive will be a more secure way.

Warning: Before following the tutorial on how to clear personal data from computer, you’d better back up important data to a safe place like external hard drive or cloud storage. 

▶ Remove personal data from computer via factory reset

In many cases, a factory reset computer is enough to protect your personal data and information. Let’s walk through the whole process.

Step 1. In Windows 10 computer, navigate to “Start” > “Settings” > “Update and Security” >” Recovery”.

Step 2. Then, you’ll be in Recovery Settings window. Click “Get Started” under “Reset this PC”.


Step 3. Choose “Remove everything” to remove all of your personal files, apps, and settings.

Step 4. Then, confirm the operation and click “Reset” to start it. Wait patiently for the operation that may last 30 minutes to several hours to complete.

Note: When your PC is stuck on loading, you won’t be able to factory reset your computer via the steps above. At this time, you can insert the installation disc to the computer, boot from the disc, and then go to “Repair your computer” > “Troubleshoot” > “Reset This PC” > “Remove everything” to reset your PC.

▶ Clear personal data from computer via wiping computer hard drive completely

If you worry that the personal information be recovered via professional data recovery software, you overwrite the computer hard drive to make the data harder to retrieve. Here introduces a powerful tool, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to complete the operation.

It offers you four wiping methods: Fill sectors with Zero, Fill sectors with random data, DoD 5220.22-M, and Gutmann. The first two methods are enough to prevent most software-based recovery tools. DoD and Guttmann take a longer time to implement and safer as the two wiping methods overwrite a hard rive more thorough with 7 passes and 35 passes respectively. To erase all things totally on Solid State drive and restore its performance, you can use SSD Secure Erase function in the tool.  

It’s advised to free download the demo version of PA Pro to preview the result at first.

Download Free DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Now, let's see how it works.

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Locate the computer hard drive, right-click it and choose “Wipe Hard Drive”.

Wipe Computer Hard Drive

Step 2. Choose the wiping method and click “OK”.

Wiping Method

Step 3. Now, you can preview the operation result that all things will be removed from the hard drive. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to execute the operation.


Step 4. Since the operation involves system partition, you need to choose Restart your PC to enter WinPE or PreOS Mode. Then, click “OK”.

How to clear one or more specified personal files completely

If you want to do is to clear one or more specified personal files totally, you can use “Shred Files” function in AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. For shredding files, it also offers four ways that are as same as the ways to wipe hard drive and choose the one you like.

Now, take a look at how it shreds one or multiple specified files in Windows 10/8.1/8/7.

Step 1. Launch the tool. Click Wipe” on the upper pane and choose “Shred Files”.
Shred Files

Step 2. In the “Shred Files” window, click “Add Files” or “Add Folders” to choose the personal files or folders that you need to remove.

Step 3. Here you need to choose a way based on your need and then click “Shred”.

Step 4. If the files or folders that you have selected contain system’s or app’s path, you need to click “Yes” to confirm it.

Now, you have realized how to clear personal data from computer in different situations and get to know a powerful disk partition management tool, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. The tool is compatible with all versions of Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP and Vista. To wiping hard drive or shred in Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2003, please use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.