How and where to dispose old computers and laptops

1-800-GOT-JUNK? Truck team disposing of old computers

Technology is constantly changing and advancing at a rate that can be difficult to keep up with. Your old computer or laptop may no longer be able to run the newest software, or you might just be looking to upgrade to the latest and greatest model. No matter what the situation, deciding what to do with an old computer, laptop, or monitor can be hard. But we are here to help you get rid of the things you no longer need and make space to enjoy your new equipment. 

There are many options available, from disposal to recycling and even possibly donation. The solution that works best for you will depend on a variety of factors, the two most important being: is the computer, laptop, or monitor operational and is the piece of technology you wish to get rid of damaged in any way. 

Before you get rid of that old computer or laptop, it’s extremely important that all of your personal data is wiped from the hard drive and browsers to ensure the security and safety of your personal data. Keep reading to learn how to remove your personal information from your computer as well as figure out what option is best for getting rid of your particular computer, laptop, or monitor. 

A man arranging old computers and laptops ready to be disposed of

How To Remove Your Personal Information From Your Old Computer

1. Backup your information

Sometimes when we have not used an old computer or laptop for a long time, we forget what documents or personal information is being stored on it. So, before you get rid of your old or unwanted computer it is important to back up the files, photos, documents, and other information to either cloud storage or an external storage device. 

2. Perform a factory reset

Doing a factory reset on your computer or laptop will wipe the hard drive ensuring that none of your personal data remains as well as restore it to factory settings. How you perform a factory reset will depend on the type of computer you have and the type of operating system it is running. 

  • Windows

For a detailed explanation of how to reset a Windows computer to factory settings, visit

  • macOS

To reset your Apple computer or laptop to factory settings, follow the instructions listed on

  • ChromeOS

To reset your Chromebook to factory settings, visit and follow the detailed instructions.

Taking backup of data before recycling a computer

How to Properly Recycle Your Old Computer or Laptop

Now that you have cleaned all of your personal information off your unwanted computer or laptop, it's time to decide how best to get rid of it. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as throwing your old computer or laptop in the trash as some of the parts they contain are made up of hazardous chemicals that are not suitable for landfills. But don’t worry, your junk removal experts are here to help you with a few ideas for how to dispose of it safely and responsibly. 

If your laptop or computer is more than 5 years old or is not in the best condition, recycling it may be the best option. Here are some of the places you can recycle your old computer or laptop:

  1. Recycling Center

The first option is to take your unwanted laptop, computer, or monitor directly to a recycling center. Make sure to contact the recycling organizations you plan to visit to determine the details of their services, hours, and any potential charges before loading up your e-waste. 

  1. Electronic and Office Supply Retailers

Most electronic retailers such as Best Buy have an extensive electronic recycling program, allowing you to recycle up to three items per household per day completely free. 

Additionally, office supply retailers such as Staples and Office Depot also have e-waste recycling programs. At Staples, you can earn an in-store credit of up to $10 for each laptop, computer, or monitor you bring in. 

  1. Laptop Manufacturers 

Computer/laptop manufacturers such as Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and HP all have electronic recycling programs, most of which are completely free. Some, such as Apple, also have trade-in programs that give you a credit for your unwanted laptop or computer that you can apply toward a new one. If your laptop or computer is ineligible for trade-in, it will be recycled at no cost to you. 

Consider Selling Your Old Computer or Laptop

A new computer or laptop can be pricey, so if your old laptop/computer is still working and in good condition, consider making some money off of your unwanted electronics by selling it online. There are countless free and easy-to-use services available online, such as community message boards, social media sites, and classified advertisement websites, that will help you reach potential buyers.

For those who prefer face-to-face interactions or are not technologically savvy, there is always the traditional yard/garage sale for getting rid of unwanted items. 

Donating old computers to kids

How and Where to Donate Your Old Computer or Laptop

If your laptop or computer is relatively new and in good condition and you don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of selling it, consider donating it to one of the many charities that accept electronics. Not only will you be making a difference in someone’s life, but your donation is also tax-deductible. For a full list of places that accept laptop and computer donations, visit

If your agenda is too busy but you still want to donate, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? can do it for you! Just check out our article about how to donate through junk removal.

Hire a Professional to Get Rid of Your Old Computers and Laptops

The options listed above for getting rid of old or unwanted laptops, computers, and monitors all take time, effort, and energy that you may not have. If this sounds like your situation, then consider using our service at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? for your electronic disposal or recycling

For those who don’t want their electronics disposed of but rather wish to see it donated or recycled, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? does that as well. We recycle and donate whenever possible to make sure and keep as much electronic waste out of landfills as possible. Give us a call today to get a free, no-obligation quote.

1-800-GOT-JUNK? Computer and Electronic Disposal

When it comes to getting rid of your old or unwanted laptop, computer, or monitor, it can be incredibly difficult to decide what to do with it. Unlike other forms of waste, disposing of e-waste is not as easy as just placing it in the garbage. Our laptops and computers hold personal information such as photos, videos, important documents, financial records, passwords that need to be saved and deleted properly. Plus their mechanical components contain harmful chemicals that cannot go into landfills.

Choosing what option is best for getting rid of your particular laptop or computer can take time, effort, and energy that you just don’t have. If you have other electronic items that you are looking to get rid of check out our blog for posts like how to get rid of a TV and how to get rid of a refrigerator or head over to our electronic disposal and recycling page to learn more about our related services.

Are you ready to clear out your electronic clutter?

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