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I am working on a laptop at work, and log in using my domain account.

I will be leaving the laptop in the office for other people to use. I could just format the partition along with my data, but I would rather just delete the user profile.

Basically I want to ensure that anything stored under this user profile is removed.

  • Browser cookie login sessions.
  • Skype Auto login
  • MSN Auto login

This sort of thing.

Is deleting the user profile enough, or should I manually uninstall the apps too? And (I don't know) run some 3rd party software?

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2 Answers 2

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When deleting an account through "Control Panel / User Accounts" you are prompted to either “Delete Files” or “Keep Files”.

If you select the "Delete Files" option, then the files corresponding to the user account are supposed to be completely deleted.

It is easy enough to verify that everything was removed from C:\Users. However, some applications may keep historical data in other folders, and this then must be done manually.

As regarding the applications you mentioned: Skype and MSN do keep their data in the AppData folder, unless manually specified elsewhere, so they should be deleted.

For a complete sweep, you might install the Everything search engine and verify where are stored folders with similar names to these applications. Then do the same in regedit.

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When in doubt, reinstall. Traces of your activities are left everywhere, in .dat files, the registry, etc, depends on how paranoid you are about somebody actually trying to find your data.

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