Securely Dispose of U-M Data and Devices

You or your department are responsible for securely disposing of or destroying any devices or media that have ever held, stored, or transmitted sensitive university data. This requirement includes all U-M owned devices and media, and personal devices used to access or work with U-M data. You may also wish to use these instructions to securely dispose of personal devices for your own security. U-M Property Disposition and the Computer Showcase offer services to assist departments and individuals with secure device disposal.

U-M licensed software must be also be removed from all computers, storage media, or personal devices before disposal or transfer to ensure compliance with license agreements and university policy (see below). Securely erasing or physically destroying a device will remove all licensed software.

Securely Erase Devices and Media

These instructions apply to all U-M owned devices and media. University-managed devices, such as MiWorkspace devices, will be erased by university IT staff before reassignment or disposal.

Secure disposal instructions for personally owned devices and media:

Destroy Devices and Media

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.

  • Ask U-M Property Disposition to destroy a device. See Declaring and Sending Surplus on the Property Disposition site for more information.
  • Destroy a device yourself. See Destroy Devices and Media for instructions. Destroying a device or drive yourself, whether U-M or personally owned, is not recommended.

Securely Delete Files

There may be times when removal of no longer needed sensitive data is desirable separate from erasing or physically destroying a device. In most cases, simply deleting data files is not enough to meet the obligation to protect university data from unauthorized disclosure. If you wish to remove files or folders without erasing or destroying a whole drive or device, secure deletion processes specific to that device type are required. See: Securely Delete Files for detailed information sorted by device type and operating system.

Preserve U-M Historical Records If Needed

Do any of the items you are disposing of contain records of institutional or historical importance to the university? The archivists with the University Archives and Records Program (UARP) within the Bentley Historical Library work with units, departments, and senior administrators to identify and preserve such records and provide guidance and onsite consultations on request.


Applicable University Policies

You are responsible for complying with the policies and standards below. The requirements on this page help you meet that responsibility.