Laptop Trade In: How to Properly Prep Your Device

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Everything you need to know and do before selling your computer.

So, you’ve decided to part ways with your beloved working Windows laptop or a MacBook and you chose laptop trade in as your next step. It is certainly a great way to get some cash that can go towards your next laptop purchase. But how exactly do you prepare your device for sale? What steps do you need to take to make sure your laptop is ready to be traded in? Below, we share some insights for both Windows and Mac users. 

Windows Laptop Trade In

To ensure that your personal information is safe and protected and your gadget is fully ready for the new owner, we recommend making several preparations before laptop trade-in. 

Backup your data

Before you do anything else, create a full backup of your system and another full backup of all your files. You can easily transfer all your important files and documents to an external storage device, which is usually quite fast and efficient. You can smoothly restore your data on your new laptop once you have it. 

If there’s no external hard drive around, you can choose to store your files on a cloud storage service of your choice, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. That way, you can access your data on your smartphone or tablet if your new laptop is not ready yet.

Lastly, if your current laptop has Windows 10, you can take advantage of the built-in feature that lets you create a system image backup. You can effortlessly back up all your settings, apps, and files.

Sign Out of Your Accounts

To prevent other people from accidentally accessing your personal information after laptop trade-in, make sure to log out of all your email accounts, apps, and services on your Windows computer. Also, remember to remove the device from your Microsoft account and unpair any devices you might have, such as smartwatch or headphones. 

Tidy Up Your Laptop

Tidying up your laptop before trade-in is a small yet important step that’s often overlooked. There’s often a lot of dust and debris accumulating on the surface and the screen, so cleaning your device will make it look more presentable and might potentially even increase its value. Also, don’t forget to remove any protective screens or coverings.

MacBook Laptop Trade In

If you decide to trade in your current MacBook and purchase an updated version instead, it is also vital to prep your device properly. In addition to creating a full backup of your files and cleaning your MacBook, similarly to Windows users, we suggest taking a few additional steps to ensure your laptop trade-in goes smoothly. If you happen to have a broken MacBook, read our tips on how to sell it.

Sign Out of iTunes, iMessage, and iCloud

MacBook software is individually licensed and it won’t get transferred to the computer’s new owner. Yet it’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to sign out of everything your personal information is connected to. It is also important to note that there is a limit on how many Mac devices can be signed into the same iTunes account, so it is certainly beneficial to sign out of your account before laptop trade in to avoid any issues in the future.

Unpair Bluetooth Devices

To make sure there are no remaining connections to your MacBook, check that all Bluetooth devices you have paired (headphones, mouse, etc) are removed, especially if the new owner of your gadget is within Bluetooth range.

Erase Hard Drive and Reinstall MacOS

Once you back up all your files and data and sign out of all your accounts, you can erase everything on the MacBook by reformatting the hard drive. After all the contents are removed, reinstall a new copy of MacOS to tie up any remaining loose ends.


Laptop trade in is a good option for getting some extra cash towards your next electronics purchase. Regardless of the model or condition, with some simple and straightforward preparation you can easily maximize your return. 

Gadget Salvation makes the trade-in process as easy as ever. If you’re ready to sell your laptop for value, get a fast quote for your device with them. Visit their website and see how it works

Give your gadgets a new life

At Gadget Salvation, our mission is to contribute to the electronics reselling market as much as possible so that we extend the life of our gadgets and diminish waste. Our process is simple and seamless.


Answer a few questions and get an estimate.


Ship your gadget for free


Get paid within two business days of our receiving your gadgets.

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