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How To Delete Everything on HP Laptop

Hp Laptop

Whether you’re trying to sell your HP Laptop or giving it away, you want to ensure that all your personal information on it has been successfully wiped off. You could try to delete all the files on your laptop manually, but it is incredibly stressful, and you don’t want to spend the whole day on a simple task. Deleting the files manually could also cause you to leave some things out. 

Quick Answer

To delete everything on your HP laptop, you need to factory reset your computer. Firstly, you should back up your system files to your cloud to avoid losing them permanently. You’ll also need to encrypt your files before deleting them if you’re using a solid-state drive (SSD). Sign out of the apps on the laptop and factory reset your computer using Windows Settings. 

In four simple steps, we will explain how you can delete everything on your HP Laptop without worrying about another person recovering your personal information or files after you have deleted them. 

Step #1: Back Up Your Files

It doesn’t matter why you’re trying to delete everything on your computer; you should always back up your files. While you don’t want the new user of your HP laptop to have access to your files, you also want to be able to recover your files in the future when you might need them. Therefore, it is essential to back up your files before deleting everything from your personal computer. 

You can either back up your files to an external drive or cloud storage. Follow the steps below to back up your files to an external drive.

  1. Connect an external drive to your HP laptop.
  2. Click the Start icon.
  3. Open Settings.
  4. Click the “Update and Security” tab.
  5. Click the “Backup” tab on the left panel.
  6. Select “Add a Drive” > “External Drive”.
  7. Click “Backup Now”.

You can also back up your files to cloud storage. If your HP laptop uses Windows 10 OS, the available cloud storage is OneDrive. You can set up OneDrive on your HP laptop with a Microsoft account. OneDrive allows you to save up to 5 GB of files if you’re using the free version, and you can opt for the paid version if you need more space. 

To save your files to cloud storage, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Settings on your laptop.
  2. Go to “Update and Security”.
  3. Click the “Backup” tab on the left panel.
  4. Sign in to OneDrive.
  5. Back up your files to OneDrive.

Step #2: Sign Out of All Apps

Sometimes, simply deleting files is not enough, especially if you’re dealing with paid software applications that require you to sign in with an account before you use it. If you delete it without signing out of your account, a new user might have access to it if he downloads the app on the laptop, especially if you set up your laptop to auto-fill your password.

To prevent this, sign out of all the accounts on your laptop. However, save your log-in details and product keys if you need them to sign in on your new laptop.

Step #3: Encrypt Data on Your Drive

This step is vital if your HP laptop’s storage device is an SSD. We believe that most people know their laptop’s storage device. However, if you still need to confirm, follow the steps below.

  1. Type “Defragment” into the search menu of your laptop’s taskbar.
  2. Click to open the “Defragment and Optimize Drives” tool. 
  3. Check under the “Media Type” column to view your storage device.

If you’re using a hard disk drive (HDD), you can skip this step and move to the next one. HDDs use magnetic platters, while SSDs use flash memory, which makes them process information faster.

Deleting files on an SSD is usually more complex than on an HDD because SSD’s technology sometimes allows data to remain on the drive even after you’ve deleted it. This is why you need to encrypt your drive to secure your personal information before you give it to the new owner. 

Encrypting your files muddles up the files’ data which can only be decoded by a passkey available to you alone. This way, if you delete the files and someone recovers them, the information within would be useless to the person without the passkey.

Follow the steps below to encrypt your hard drive.

  1. Open Settings on your computer.
  2. Go to “Privacy and Security.
  3. Click to open “Device Encryption” on the left sidebar.
  4. Turn on “Device Encryption”.

If device encryption is not on the left sidebar, you may have BitLocker on your laptop, which performs the same function. 

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to “System and Security”.
  3. Locate and open BitLocker Drive Encryption.
  4. Click “Turn on BitLocker” and follow the instructions to complete the process.

Step #4: Factory Reset Your HP Laptop

The final step is to factory reset your laptop. When you factory reset your computer, it deletes all your files and reinstalls your operating system

If your laptop uses Windows 10 OS, follow the steps below to factory reset your computer.

  1. Open Settings on your laptop.
  2. Go to “Update and Security”.
  3. Click the “Recovery” tab on the left sidebar.
  4. Click “Get Started”.
  5. Select “Remove Everything” from the list of options and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. 

If your laptop uses Windows 11 OS, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Settings on your laptop.
  2. Go to Windows Update.
  3. Select “Advanced Options”.
  4. Go to “Recovery”.
  5. Click “Reset PC”.
  6. Select “Remove Everything” from the list of options and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. 

Final Words

You probably used to believe that the delete button or command was all you needed to delete files on your computer and ensure an unwanted person didn’t see them. However, from the article, you must have learned that it takes more than that to delete all your files and ensure they stay deleted. 

Now you can successfully delete all the files on your HP laptop before handing your computer over to the next user.

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