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May 26, 2009

How to Remove Stickers from a Laptop

Did you just buy a new laptop of other device, only to find it covered in unattractive stickers?. Time to remove those stickers and free your hardware from its role as a traveling advertisement.


1. Make sure this laptop isn't too old. The stickers will dry up, and over time, the glue backing will separate from the printed material. If you decide to remove the stickers, do it quickly. The stickers are not going to stay fresh for more than a year or two, depending upon its quality. If your laptop is a relic, skip to the very last step to use a chemical removal method.

2. Decide which stickers to remove. Some stickers are useful, such as OEM licensing stickers that will be voided when remove. Others may contain serial numbers, service tags, support information, or systems specifications. Commonly removed stickers include ones promoting the Windows operating system (ie: "Designed for Windows XP" and "Windows Vista Capable"),as well as Intel and AMD CPU stickers.

3. Remember to do this slowly. If you rush it and try to pull the whole thing off at once, you run the risk of tearing the sticker or separating the glue backing.

4. Start from the edges. Use your fingernails, a pair of tweezers, or a non-abrasive abrasive putty knife. Be careful not to scratch or damage any plastic or aluminum surfaces in the process.

5. Pull the sticker up slowly from the edge you just started. Try to pull it up using an angle between 45 and 90 degrees. Never bend the sticker back further than a 90 degree angle, as this will promote the separation of the glue backing and printed material.

6. Clean the surface. Some sticker residue may be rubbed off easily, while some require additional help. As always, avoid scratching the surface.

1. First, try rubbing off the remaining residue by hand. Many forms of glue, even when mixed with a little paper, will curl up onto itself when moved over a surface.

2. Second, if rubbing doesn't help, try using duct tape or other very sticky tape to remove the remaining residue. Break or cut off a piece of tape, apply it to the surface, then remove it. Repeat this until all of the residue has been removed, and attached to the tape instead.

3. Third, if all previous attempts fail, use chemicals. A popular and extremely useful method is to use a citric-acid based cleaner such as "Goo-Gone". These type of cleaners will not harm metal or harder plastics, but may dry the surface of softer plastics, leaving a white, frosted appearance. Test this on a small, hidden area first. Another liquid to try is alcohol. Another is WD-40 which won't hurt the surface and can be cleaned off the computer's surface with a dish rag and a little soap.

7. A product called "Odor Assassin" (Lemon-Lime Scent) that is available at most "dollar" and discount stores will dissolve most adhesives instantly and can be removed with a clean cotton face cloth.


* Patience Conquers all stickers. Always go slow and steady on sticker removal. If it's not working and you're getting frustrated, leave it for another day when you have more patience.
* Try to use tools that won't damage your laptop. Your fingernails, erasers, plastic putty knives, no-stick spatula/pancake flipper, and even tweezers (used carefully) will pose the smallest threat to your laptop's surfaces.
* If your laptop sticker has one or more rounded corners, start peeling it from a rounded corner. If you come to an area where it starts to separate, start over from another edge.


* Before following this process, ensure that the laptop power is turned off, and unplugged from any electrical source. If possible, remove the laptop battery from the case as well.
* Sharp or hard objects will damage laptop surfaces if used to scrape off stickers.
* Avoid spilling any liquid into the cracks or exposed area of a laptop, such as the keyboard. Some liquid is conductive and may cause electrical shorts.
* Heat from a laptop increases the bond of some glue backings over time. This bond may etch into painted surfaces or even stain some plastics and brushed aluminum.
* Don't remove any stickers with OEM license information, as it will void some OEM licenses.

Things You'll Need

* Tweezers for stickers that are difficult to start.
* Cleaning solution such as alcohol or "Goo-Gone".
* Paper towels, napkins, or rags to use with the cleaning solution.
* Tape, such as duct tape, to help remove residue.

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