Whether you"re selling it, trashing it, or reusing it, your old computer has a bunch of extremely private data stored inside. And there"s a good chance that tossing files in the recycling bin and hitting factory remix won"t protect you. If a hacker finds the pattern your computer used khổng lồ move sầu those 0s và 1s around, they can reverse engineer the original state of your computer and pull out the goods.

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To stay safe, you need lớn properly factory rephối your computer before it ever changes hands. Follow the steps below, or consider taking things a step further by hiring a professional company khổng lồ ensure your data has been destroyed.

What Is a Factory Reset?


A factory rephối factory remix means deleting anything that wasn"t on the device after it came out of production, so this will definitely make it impossible for you lớn practically access programs or files on your computer.

It"s important to know what a factory remix actually does, though. It puts all applications baông chồng into their original state và removes anything that wasn"t there when the computer left the factory. That means user data from the applications will also be deleted. However, that data will still live sầu on the hard drive sầu.

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Factory resets are simple because they"re programs included on the computer when you first get your hands on it. It"s useful khổng lồ remix errors with an operating system or helping restore the computer"s functionality or tốc độ.

There are limitations, though. Factory resets leave data in the hard drive sầu, so those pieces will live sầu on until your hard drive is overwritten with new data. In short, the reset can give you a false sense of security. A complete erasure would actually look more lượt thích degaussing (destroying the magnetic field around a hard drive sầu to destroy its data), or actually smashing up the hard drive sầu to lớn bits.


Context is still key. If you only ever really played games or finished school work on your computer, there"s probably little risk in using a factory rephối as your primary form of data wiping.

But if you own a company & complete that work on a computer, you may have sầu employees" social security numbers on the hard drive sầu, for example. That means you should probably consider hiring an expert khổng lồ finish the data wiping—especially because the government has certain standards for data sanitation, depending on the field you work in.

How lớn Factory Remix a Mac

Log out of all services that you use.Make sure your computer is plugged in for the duration of the rephối.You won"t see your usual login page, anymore, but instead will see a "macOS Utilities" window.Choose disk utility > continue.Choose the correct startup disc và select erase.Choose MacOS Extended (Journaled) as the format.Click eraseWait until the process finishes, then go to the Disk Utility thực đơn > quit.If you lượt thích, reinstall MacOS.

How to Factory Reset a PC

Repeat steps 1-3 as listed above sầu.You can either select Keep My Files or Remove sầu Everything. The former resets your options khổng lồ default & removes uninstalled apps, like browsers, but keeps your data intact. The latter, as its name suggests, will delete your files. In either case, baông chồng up your files in case something goes awry.Use the Fresh Start option in Windows 10: Settings > Update và Security > Recovery page, Then, cliông xã the link text "Learn how khổng lồ start fresh with a clean installation of Windows at the bottom. That opens a Windows Defender Security Center window lớn the Fresh Start option. Cliông chồng Get started.

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Why a Rephối Sometimes Isn"t Enough

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Inside your hard drive sầu are two rotating discs that sort of resemble a CD. These are called platters, and they"re the pieces of hardware that actually store all of those cat videos & family photos.

The platter stores data onkhổng lồ its circular surface in chunks of 1s & 0s. Platters are usually ceramic, glass, or aluminum, and work like a record player. Centered on a spindle, the platter rotates and an electronic current reads và writes data onto the surface. Electronic components power the whole operation.

When you delete data from the computer through a factory rephối, the information is hidden from the computer, but still stored on the hard drive. If a hacker uses data forensics tools, they can find bits and pieces of those deleted files in the hard drive storage, making it possible to recover pretty much everything.