How do I prep my computer for replacement?

  • Updated


At some point during your time at PALCS it may be necessary to replace your computer, this article will help you make sure nothing is lost during this process. (If your computer is not turning on you may not be able to follow this guide)

Browser Data / Google Chrome Sync

One of the most useful tools in this process is Google Chrome's "Sync" feature. When this is enabled it will automatically back up and sync most of your browser data (Bookmarks, extensions, settings, etc.).  To check if Google Chrome Sync is activated, click on your profile picture at the top right of the browser.


This will indicate if Sync is turned on. If it is not enabled it may look like this.



If you are signed in, but sync is not turned on (shown on the right), click on the "Turn on sync" button. If you are not signed in (shown on the left) you will need to sign into your PALCS Google Account. To do this, navigate to and sign in.


Click on either the Email or Drive icons on the left to make sure you fully sign into Google.


(If this is your first time signing into the browser it may prompt you to verify your identity)


Once you click "Continue" it should sign you into Google. The profile icon at the top right might change. Click on the profile icon again to check on the status of Sync. If it still says that sync is turned off, press the "Turn on Sync" button.


It will confirm with you that you want to turn on Sync. Click on "Yes, I'm in."


It should now say that "Sync is on" when you click on the profile icon. To double check what is currently being synced, click on the "Sync is on" button.


That will take you to the Sync options page. Click on the "Manage what you sync."


This will show you a full list of everything that Google Sync is currently syncing.


We recommend keeping it set to "Sync Everything" so that it all stays backed up. When you sign into your replacement computer in this same fashion, it will sync all of your data to that new device (all your bookmarks, extensions, themes, etc. will show up after you sign in and turn on sync on the replacement computer).


Local Files & Data

Unless you have a copy of the files elsewhere, you will need to backup your files. (We highly recommend the regular use of the Google Drive Desktop App as that will automatically back up any files / folders you select.)

It is a good idea to check several important folders on your computer. The most commonly used folder will be your "Documents" folder. To access this, simply click on the Windows icon at the bottom left and then click on the page icon that is labeled "Documents" (only the icons will show unless you move your mouse over them).


Inside of the documents folder you may find many files/folders. Look through them to see if you need to backup any of them (either upload them to Google Drive or use an external storage device (USB Thumbdrive)). 


Another useful place to look is your "Pictures" folder, found in the same method as before.


This folder often houses your pictures, camera roll as well as any screenshot or scans you've made.


One final commonly used folder is your "Downloads" folder which contains any files you might have downloaded.


This folder may have a lot of files that you don't need anymore but it is still helpful to check in case there is still anything needed.


You may use other folders (such as putting files/folders on the Desktop), just make sure to get a copy of anything you'd need uploaded to Google Drive or copied to your own storage device (USB Hard drive or thumb drive).


Programs & Apps

Most of the programs that you will be using will automatically be installed on your replacement device. If there is anything missing, you will be able to find everything in the "Software Catalog" ( more information on the Software Catalog )


We do not keep a copy of all of your data, you are responsible for backing up / saving any data you may create or use during your time at PALCS. If there are very important files that you realize may be left on the computer after you have sent it back to us, you can reach out to us to check (however the data may not be recoverable).