to commonly asked questions.

Buying a new phone and restoring

The very old laptop, the one that I originally consulted with you about, is now just sitting around.  Any suggestions as to what could be done with it?  If giving it away turns out to be the best option, can it be cleaned so that all the personal stuff is gone?

If there’s no one in your family tree that wants an older laptop, you can always donate it to Goodwill since it still works. Someone would be thrilled to have it. But to get your personal data off it first, the fastest way to do that would to first create a new user in system preferences. Call it Admin. Make sure you choose it to be an administrator and not a managed or standard user. When you’re asked for a password, leave it blank. In the hint section, write “no password, leave blank”. That way the next person will be able figure out what’s going on.

Now, log out of your own user and log into the Admin user you just created. Go to system prefs/ users and groups. You’ll see your old user. Select your old user in the left hand column and hit the minus button in the lower left area. Choose to delete that user immediately. This will take several minutes to complete. You’ve now erased your personal data from the machine but one more thing to consider.

Open the applications folder. Take a look around to make sure you don’t see any personal items there. Don’t worry, even though you may have installed a program like Word or Quicken, that personal data lived in the users folder you just deleted, not the applications themselves. But if it makes you feel better, you can delete anything that you installed in the past.

That’s it. The computer is now ready to be donated.
This image is a theme.plist hack