Erase Personal Devices Before Disposal

U-M Owned Devices

See Erase or Destroy U-M Devices.

Before disposing of any device or media, you should take steps to make sure you have removed all personal and other sensitive data from it. Vulnerable data that might be stolen from a device could include your bank or investment account number and password, your credit card numbers, information in databases, spreadsheets, tax software, and data from research projects.

If you use your personally owned devices to access or work with sensitive U-M data, you are expected to

Erase Computers and Mobile Devices

Do It Yourself

See these how-to instructions for securely deleting data from university or personally owned computing devices and storage media.

Have Tech Repair Do It for You

ITS Tech Repair at the Tech Shop offers Secure Device Sanitization services for individuals and U-M departments, as well as assistance moving data to a new device if needed.

Securely Delete Files from Computers

Physical Destruction of Devices or Media for Secure Disposal

When devices or drives are inoperable, it may be necessary to destroy them to ensure secure disposal. Destruction may also be required by some laws or regulations governing certain types of data. See Destroy Devices and Media for instructions.

Erase Personal Devices Used for U-M Work

If you use a personal device to access or work with U-M systems and/or data—whether you received a U-M stipend for it or not—you must properly delete U-M files and data and securely erase the device at end-of-life or before transfer. This reduces the risk of unauthorized disclosure of sensitive institutional data or personal information. 

Security of Personally Owned Devices That Access or Maintain Sensitive Institutional Data (SPG 601.33) has a provision that states:
Data Return/Deletion: Users shall return or delete sensitive institutional data maintained on personally owned devices upon request from the University or when their role or employment status changes such that they are no longer an authorized user of that data.

If you are a U-M employee in a department that permit accessing sensitive U-M data on personal devices, delete U-M data or erase devices as appropriate:

  • If keeping a device after transferring to a different U-M unit or leaving U-M entirely. With the support from your unit's IT staff, remove or delete U-M data, documents, databases, and licensed software specific to your unit by selective deletion rather than resetting to factory default.
  • If disposing of a device.
    1. Transfer or back up personal files, data, photos, and so on to new location if not already saved to cloud storage.
    2. Follow the steps under Erase Computers and Mobile Devices above.

Michigan Medicine

Michigan Medicine faculty, staff, and students with personal devices enrolled in Mobile Device Management should immediately report lost or stolen devices via the Michigan Medicine Help Center ( by submitting a ticket

Members of the Michigan Medicine community who are preparing a personal device for resale, transfer, or recycling should un-enroll their devices from Mobile Device Management.