How can I erase a computer hard drive? | All About Money Online

I have a couple of old computers (2 windows-based desktops and 2 Mac laptops) that I want to donate or recycle. In order to ensure that no personal information is left on them, how can I erase the hard drives? I understand that even if you delete certain files, there is a history of information left on the computer. I want to completely erase all files including the operating systems. Is there a way to do this using the operating systems on the computers? Do I need to purchase software? If so, what do you recommend?

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