While there are plenty of ways to convert work laptops to personal, each of them has its pros and cons. The two most popular options for converting a work laptop to a personal one are buying a new laptop and installing another OS on the existing one.
However, if you want to take a more economical approach, there are alternative solutions available. This article covers all these solutions in detail so you can choose the one that’s the best fit for your needs.
You can try these different ways to convert your work laptop to a personal computer easily.
- 1) Disable Antivirus
- 2) Disable Windows Firewall
- 3) Use Portable Applications
- 4) Disable Windows Updates
- 5) Use Virtual Machines
- 6) Use Steganography Software
- 7) Disable Fast Startup
- 8) Create a New User Account
- 9) Encrypt Data with TrueCrypt
- 10) Secure Data with BitLocker
- 11) Browsing Through Incognito Mode
- 12) Try Secured VPN Connection
- 13) Using Password Protected USB Flash Drive
- 14) Using the Cached Data
- 15) Using Self-Destructive Message App
- Final Takeaways
1) Disable Antivirus
If you’re lucky enough to work for a company that will allow you to convert your company laptop into a personal one, it’s important to remember that you’re still bound by company policies.
This means that you should make sure you disable your company’s antivirus software before touching anything on the machine. But what if your company won’t let you bring your own laptop? What do you do then? Well, there are some alternative methods that can help.
For starters, many companies have remote access to VPN software on their systems. This allows them to control and monitor all activity from any location, which is why this method is so valuable. However, this type of software also gives you an opportunity to get around the restrictions placed on personal laptops.
2) Disable Windows Firewall
The Windows Firewall blocks incoming connections to your computer, including those from the personal VPN you’ll be setting up. While it’s possible to configure the firewall to allow select traffic through, it’s easier just to disable it.
Locate the Windows Firewall icon in the system tray and right-click it. In the menu that pops up, select Turn Windows Firewall On Or Off. In the resulting dialog box, uncheck the box next to “Enabled” and then click OK.
The firewall will immediately turn itself off. After you’ve turned off Windows Firewall, you can install a personal VPN app like TunnelBear on your work laptop.
The app will establish a private connection between your laptop and your home router, allowing all of your internet traffic to pass securely through your work’s internet connection.
3) Use Portable Applications
If you are a Windows user and are looking to use your own laptop for your work, then the first thing you must do is to convert your laptop from domain to local.
This means that you are going to remove all the Office tools, that are installed on your laptop when it was part of your corporate network.
You will be needing a lot of free space on your hard drive if you want to install any third-party application. This can be done by using portable applications.
The best way to do this is to install the Firefox Portable browser; it has all the features of Firefox and you can store all its data in an external drive without affecting the performance of your system.
4) Disable Windows Updates
Windows 10 has a new feature that makes it easy to manage your updates, but the default options can cause problems if you’re using Windows 10 on a company computer. If you want to disable all Windows updates, here’s how you do it.
How To Disable All Windows Updates:
Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security. Select “Advanced Options” from the left pane. Disable “Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows.” Disable “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates.”
This will disable all of Microsoft’s automatic update features, which means that there is no longer any way for Windows 10 to get or install updates automatically. You will have to check for and download each update individually in order to get them when they become available.
If you use a Chromebook or similarly limited system, this might be worth enabling, because it provides more control over what updates are installed.
On a standard Windows PC, however, it’s not worth the effort, because you can use the existing notification system to make sure you don’t miss any important updates while still keeping your computer secure and up-to-date.
5) Use Virtual Machines
Virtual machines are basically full-fledged computers that exist within a program on your laptop or desktop computer. They’re used to run multiple operating systems on one computer.
Now, there are several ways to create virtual machines, depending on your operating system and the OS you want to run. In this step, we’ll walk you through how to create a virtual machine in VirtualBox, an open-source program for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
One of the most common uses for virtual machines is when a company does not allow its employees to bring their own laptops from home because of security concerns (i.e., sensitive data).
But if you want to use your work laptop for personal stuff too, like watching videos, checking Facebook, or listening to music, you can install various operating systems into virtual machines and switch between them whenever you need. In other words, with virtual machines, you can make one machine seem like many separate ones!
6) Use Steganography Software
Steganography is a technique of hiding a file, message, image, or video within another file. A common example of steganography is using invisible ink to write a secret note to a loved one or comrade.
This can be achieved in digital photography by converting any regular image into a binary format that can hide information inside it, and then combining the original image with the data that hides the secret message.
Most steganography software has the ability to encode text into JPG files, but there are also other file types that you can use to hide information.
One of these is PNG images, which are mentioned in this article. The process isn’t complicated and requires a little bit of work and knowledge on how to use steganography software.
Download Steganography Software The first thing you need is a stego software program, which lets you hide your secret messages into any type of file, including JPGs and PNGs.
There are many different stego programs available for download on the Web, and the one is called StegFS (for Mac). It’s easy to use and does its job well. Before you start using it, however, make sure your computer has all the necessary libraries for
7) Disable Fast Startup
Windows 10 has a new feature called Fast Startup that lets it boot up faster. The problem is that if you have a work laptop, you might not want this feature enabled since it sends some of your computer’s memory contents to hibernation at shutdown. Fast Startup isn’t all bad though; you can use it to take advantage of the boot-up optimization feature.
Here’s how: Disable Fast Startup by doing the following:
Open the Control Panel. Click “System and Security.” Select “Power Options.” On the left side, click “Choose what the power buttons do.” Uncheck the box next to “Turn on fast startup (recommended).” Save your changes and restart your computer.
8) Create a New User Account
If you want to install the software (like the Chrome browser) that the IT department doesn’t allow, you’ll need a way to do it without them finding out. You’ll also want to be able to access your personal files, like photos and documents and you can easily convert your work laptop to a personal computer.
Create a New User Account
- The first step is to create a new user account that will become your personal side of the computer. We’ll call this user “John Smith.”
- On Windows 10, click on the search box in the bottom-left corner of the screen and type “netplwiz.”
- Click on the result that appears. In the User Accounts dialog box that appears, uncheck “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.”
- Click on “add” below the list of users. This will give you the option to create a new user account.
- Name it whatever you want, we’re going with John Smith, and click “add” again when you’re finished.
- You’ll be asked for a password on both accounts.
- Once you’re done, log out and select John Smith’s profile when you log back in.
9) Encrypt Data with TrueCrypt
TrueCrypt is a free, open-source disk encryption software for Windows 7 / Vista / XP / 2000 and Linux. TrueCrypt is one of the most widely used tools for file and full system encryption. It offers you a choice of algorithms including AES, Serpent, and Twofish.
If you can’t afford a new laptop you can Convert your old computer into a new personal laptop with TrueCrypt data encryption software.
Here is how you can do it:
- Download TrueCrypt and install it on your computer.
- Run TrueCrypt and choose “Create Volume” under creating volume on the left menu bar
- Choose “Encrypt an Entire Disk/Partition.” You will be prompted for the size of your volume in MB or GB, which is how much space your encrypted volume will occupy
- Choose which drive you want to encrypt
10) Secure Data with BitLocker
When it comes to data security, there are two kinds of people: those who have lost their data, and those who will. When you’re the boss, you can make sure your employees’ laptops are protected by enabling BitLocker Drive Encryption on Windows-based machines.
BitLocker is a full-disk encryption tool that’s built into Windows Vista and later versions of the operating system. BitLocker allows you to protect hard drives on your computers, making sure that sensitive corporate data can’t be stolen or tampered with if an employee leaves the company with a laptop computer in his or her possession.
You should consider encrypting your hard drive with Microsoft’s BitLocker software. This will help keep your work files separate from your personal files and offer an additional layer of security in case someone gets his hands on the computer.
First, make sure the computer has Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise edition installed. If it doesn’t, you can upgrade the operating system by purchasing a license for $100 from Microsoft.
Note: You must install this version directly from the DVD; if you upgrade from a lower edition to Ultimate or Enterprise, it won’t work. Then follow these steps:
1. Insert the installation DVD into the computer and reboot it. You may need to enter an admin password when prompted. The installation program will automatically run; if not, launch it manually from the DVD drive.
2. Click Install Windows 7 and then click Next on the welcome screen.
3. Choose Custom (advanced) and click Next
11) Browsing Through Incognito Mode
When you’re working on your laptop, it’s possible that you’re searching for something that you don’t want other people to see. That is when the incognito mode comes in handy. Tapping on the top right of your browser window will display a list of options.
One of them is the incognito mode. If you tap on it, a window may pop up and ask you to confirm if you are sure that you want to enter this mode or not. Once that is done, you are free to surf the web without leaving any traces behind.
Set up a new browser window in Incognito Mode (Chrome) or Private Browsing Mode (Firefox or Safari) and browse as needed. When you’re done, close the window and don’t keep it open because that may be visible in other windows of your browser.
12) Try Secured VPN Connection
You can convert a work laptop to personal use by installing a VPN connection. A VPN will allow you to access your company’s resources from home and do your personal work too.
It is also the best way to ensure you are not being spied on when using your company laptop in public places like coffee shops and airports.
13) Using Password Protected USB Flash Drive
Regardless of whether you are in a job role, you need to protect your data from being accessed by anyone else. Well, almost, but that is the whole point of password-protected USB flash drives.
You can store your personal files and documents in these flash drives and use them when you are away from your computer. Using these devices you can also transfer a file from one computer to another.
This can be helpful if you have to work on multiple computers at the same time or if you want to share a file with someone.
14) Using the Cached Data
When you’re ready to migrate your work laptop to personal use, you need to make sure that your work stuff doesn’t leak into your personal life. Your first step is to clear out all the cached data on your web browser. After that, make sure you’ve also cleared out all of your temporary files.
15) Using Self-Destructive Message App
If you need to switch from your work laptop to your personal laptop but want to make sure that your boss doesn’t find out about it, then you can use a self-destructing message app with a password to send an email that auto-deletes after the recipient reads it.
This will allow you to send yourself an email from your work account that automatically deletes itself right after you read it on your personal computer.
You can simply delete the company’s profile. This will not affect anything on your laptop. If you want to save your company documents, you can save them on your hard drive.
If you remove the company profile, then you can reset your laptop for personal use. You might want to remove your company profile to prevent your IT department from knowing what you are doing.
You should create a separate user account for personal use and use this account whenever you want to use your laptop for personal use.
There are various ways to unlock a work laptop, but they all depend on what type of laptop you have. If it is a Windows laptop, then you can simply boot it into Windows and then restart it in the admin mode and then reset the password.
Can I use an office laptop for personal use?
On the whole, it is not a good idea to use the office laptop for personal use. For one thing, you will, unknowingly, by bringing in personal data to your office computer. If such data is lost or stolen, you will be in a lot of trouble.
Also, it is a good idea to stick to the rules of your office. If your office does not allow you to use the computer for personal use, it is for a reason. Therefore, it would be better if you followed the rules.
Can you wipe a work laptop?
If you don’t want to take your data with you, you can wipe the entire disk and all of the data will be gone. All your files will be deleted forever. Even if a user can’t see the information, it will be there, it just cannot be read.
But it takes a bit of work for those with basic skills. There are software programs that will do it for you. The downside is that you cannot take back your data. If you don’t want anyone to see your information, use physical methods to wipe the disk.
Never lose your laptop again! Here are 15 simple and easy ways to convert your work laptop to personal use. While the cost of doing so may be substantially more than simply purchasing a new one, you might find it to be an economical solution that provides you with a lot of flexibility.
At the very least, this is a great way to escape the clutches of the IT department by finding other ways of using your laptop at home while still keeping it under your control instead of handing on over to them and allowing them to do what they will.
Hi, I’m Lindsay, an admin and SEO editor on LitFellow and I love writing on tech topics, especially about the best laptops and laptop fixes for users searching.