Donating Your Computer: What To Know

iolo Tips

Donating Your Computer

Determine Donation Center

Choose a local recipient of your donation such as a resale store or charity.

Clear Personal Information

Use a tool like System Mechanic Pro to clean your system.

The Basics of Recycling Computers

At a loss of what to do with an old or unused computer? If it’s no longer in good working condition, you probably haven’t considered donating it to a friend, family member, or organization in need. But if it’s not affected by failed components, then you may save it from the landfill with the advanced tune-up and repair tools in System Mechanic Pro.

Recycling an extra PC is a great way to help out your community and the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 63 million PCs will be taken out of service this year alone, and over 85% of those computers will end up in landfills. By contrast, the EPA estimates that the environmental impact of recycling 1 million of those computers would be the equivalent of keeping 16,000 cars off the road.

However, before you prepare to hand off your PC to someone else, make sure that your own personal information has been securely wiped from your drive. DriveScrubber, one of the five powerful iolo products bundled in the System Mechanic Pro suite, will permanently wipe any sensitive information from your hard drive—so when it’s time for you to prepare your PC for donation, you can be sure that your personal information doesn’t get recycled, too.

Whether you’re planning to donate an old computer or hoping to refurbish a used one, System Mechanic Pro can help you securely recycle and reuse any PC.

Before You Donate

First, decide where you would like to donate or drop off your computer. If you know of a school or organization in need, you can inquire into their technology donation policies. There are many charitable organizations that accept donations of computers that are still in usable condition, including:

  • Goodwill (US/Canada): This charitable organization takes donations of any computer running at least a Pentium 4 CPU.
  • World Computer Exchange (US/Canada): The World Computer Exchange refurbishes computers for use in schools in developing nations. They accept PCs equipped with at least a Pentium 4 CPU
  • Computer Aid International (UK): Recycles and refurbishes computers for use in educational, agricultural, and nonprofit organizations in developing countries. PCs must run Pentium 4 CPU or later; no CRT monitors are accepted.
  • Salvation Army (Worldwide): Will take donations of PCs that are still in working condition; call for donation guidelines.

If your PC is beyond repair, however, you might consider dropping it off for responsible disposal. Some electronics retail stores will allow you to drop off computers and other tech equipment for disposal; in the US, these sites include:

  • Best Buy will let you drop off any desktop or laptop computer for recycling or disposal, even if you did not purchase it from their store.
  • Staples will recycle any used PC for a small fee.
  • Office Depot also offers a tech recycling service, for a minimal fee.

If you’re worried that personal information from your hard drive might get into the wrong hands, make sure to use the DriveScrubber tool included in System Mechanic Pro. DriveScrubber will wipe any hard drive to U.S. Department of Defense standards—so you can rest assured that when it’s time to recycle your PC, the information you’ve stored on its hard drive will be securely and permanently deleted.

Get a Used PC Running Like-New

If you (or your organization) have recently received a PC as a donation, you can use System Mechanic Pro to refurbish older PCs and get them running like new. System Mechanic Pro’s 60+ powerful performance-tuning tools can be used to revive overall system speed and stability by regularly running essential maintenance tasks and repairs—such as cleaning your PC’s Registry, defragmenting the hard drive, wiping digital clutter, restoring valuable RAM, optimizing system settings for improved internet speed and startup times, and more.

System Mechanic Pro also comes equipped with patented ActiveCare® technology that allows the program to automatically scan your system and run necessary repair and maintenance tasks when your PC is on but not in use—so you can enjoy peak performance from your PC for years without the hassle of having to launch regular repairs yourself.

Last but not least, System Mechanic Pro is the only product of its kind that comes with a Whole Home License™, which allows you to install one license of System Mechanic Pro on every PC in your home—so you can ensure that all of your PCs continue to run swiftly and reliably for as long as your own them.

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What is iolo's Whole Home License?

The Whole Home License® is iolo’s licensing policy that allows you to install and keep your software running on all of your compatible devices within the same home. Previously, users were allowed to install and license their iolo software simultaneously on a maximum of three PCs. Under the Whole Home License, a single activation key allows you to use your iolo software on all of your PCs, other than any PCs you use for business purposes. What you need to know about Whole Home Licensing

  • You, your spouse, and your relatives living within the same household may use the same license on any number of PCs that you own which are not used for business.
  • For full legal terms and conditions, see

To install your iolo product on additional PCs:

  1. On the additional computer, download the latest version of your iolo product. Choose from the list of downloads offered here.
  2. Follow the steps in the installation wizard, and enter the same Activation Key that you used to install on your original computer.

You can view the Activation Key on the original computer from within System Mechanic > red menu bar > key icon > Activation Key.