Transferring a Laptop From One Employee to Another
Sometimes, you can't afford to buy a new laptop for an incoming employee, but you have older laptops that are still usable. Transferring a laptop from one employee to another is simple to do, but you do want to be sure there are no strange files left on there, such as personal files with confidential personal information, from the previous user. Depending on who is getting the laptop and how concerned you are that there might be a lot of junk on the computer influences the exact path you take to clean up the laptop. In most cases, though, the transfer process needs only a few considerations.
Double-Check Third-Party Software Installations
Make sure you know what programs were on the laptop before you start clearing out old files. Look for word processing versions, browsers, and other programs that you may have to reinstall. Also, business laptops still get personalized even if they aren't used for personal projects and tasks. Users will add timers, productivity log programs, and more to help them get through the workday. Some of these programs may be helpful for the new user, so take note of what exactly is on the laptop. Whether you delete only a profile or do some massive resetting work, you'll want a list of what was on there.
Limit Users to a Single User Account
Unless the new user really needs administrative access for work duties, limit the user to a plain user profile and account. The next time you have to reassign the laptop, all you'll have to do is delete the user. The more access the user has to the laptop's drive, the harder it will be to quickly turn over the laptop to another person who may not have the same level of security clearance as previous users. That's not so bad if your company doesn't put proprietary information on laptops, but most company equipment now has at least a few files that most people don't have permission to see.
Reset the Operating System if Possible
The easiest way to clear the laptop of all traces of the previous user, of course, is to reset it to factory settings. This is sometimes called reimaging. If you do this, you will have to reinstall all the third-party software that did not come with the laptop from the factory. Depending on the brand and model of the laptop, as well as the operating system, you may have a choice of reset types, from a fast version that just refreshes some of the main settings to a full reset that can take hours.
If you're not sure how to proceed or even where to start, contact an IT support specialist. If you're in a smaller company with no separate IT department, third-party support companies can help you get older laptops into shape for new employees.