You may need to reset or at least delete all your personal data from a Windows 10 PC because you want to sell it or you leave it to some colleague.
In the first case, the best thing to do is to Reset Windows to Factory Settings … and there are several videos that show how to easily do it.
However, if you leave the PC to some colleagues, you could want to maintain some programs and data you installed, because he has to use them, so in that case, it could be sufficient to delete your personal data from that PC. This post is related to this procedure that takes more time than the previous one!
- Obviously, first of all, you need to delete files and folders that contain personal data, possibly after saved them on an external device.
- You need to delete all your accounts, especially those associated with your Microsoft account. For that one you need to make an inversed procedure you did at the beginning (when you configured your account), that is disassociate your PC user from Microsoft account and associate it with a new local account: note that this new one will not have (possibly anymore) administration rights (so be careful to have maintained a user in that PC that have administration rights! See What to do if no administrator user is no more available on your Windows 10 PC).
- In addition, all your registered accounts must be deleted, for example, to read emails from different providers or to access to your company intranet:
- Another place to clean up is related to different browsers you used, where often credentials to access sites are saved and where it is also kept in cache what we typed for example when we input in a form. Cleaning up privacy information in a browser obviously differs from each one used, but it’s easy to find how going into its privacy settings section. In the following, I will show how to proceed for some browsers (Edge, Internet Explorer and Chrome:
- Then you may need to delete your email account from each email client, even though you have already cleared your credentials from the PC. Going in your user directory from the File Explorer, you will find the .pst outlook file containing your downloaded emails: you have to delete them possibly after having saved on an external device. Have then a deeper look in your user directory where some other application could have stored other data related to you.In the following I show some steps for Outlook email client: note that you need to create a new data file and set it as the default one, before deleting your account data:
- Finally, you can delete your PC user account after having created new users for your colleague that have administration rights.