Are you upgrading to a new computer soon? If so, that’s great! However, you might be wondering what to do with old computers, especially ones you’re no longer using. You can always donate computers to local charities, which are often in need of used office technology. In addition, if your CPU is very slow or completely unusable, you can also recycle it. These simple steps tell you what to do with old computers if you would like to donate or recycle them:
The first thing to do when getting rid of a computer is to transfer any important files, such as software, music, pictures, school and work files, and personal files, so that you can retain access to them. There are a few different ways to transfer files, including direct device-to-device transfers through a firewire cable, or indirect transfers through an external hard drive.
Wipe the Hard Drive
To protect your personal information, you also want to make sure that you permanently delete all the data on your computing unit. Often times, simply deleting a file will won’t actually erase it, but will instead just make it harder to find. So, be sure to wipe your hard drive clean. You can download free software that will overwrite all of the data on your computer so that it is permanently deleted and can no longer be accessed.
Recycle or Donate
Now that your most important files are saved and your personal information is protected, you can decide how to handle your used CPU. If it may be unusable – or if it is broken and can’t be fixed – then it may be best to recycle it. You can often drop off an old computer at a local electronics store or large electronics company, who will recycle it for you. If you are looking to recycle a large amount of computers, you may even be able to have them picked up.
However, computers can help charities run everything from educational programs to regular office functions. For this reason, they are one of the most-needed items for many non-profits. If you have a used CPU that can be of value to someone, consider donating it today! Specifically, if you are in the Chicago area, you can easily use Zealous Good to donate computers to local charities that need them. So, the next time someone asks what to do with old computers, suggest that they donate to local charities or recycle them!
Jesse Mavi is Director of Operations and Outreach at Zealous Good, an in-kind donations marketplace in Chicago. You can find Jesse on Google+ or Zealous Good on Facebook and on Twitter at @ZealousGood.