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10 Ways to Destroy a Computer (DO NOT TRY!)

The man destroyed laptop with a hammer. Nervous work, buggy computer, errors, slow Internet, not saved in the game, printed text, hung. Bad old computer failed, does not turn on, keyboard

10 Ways to Destroy a Computer (DO NOT TRY!)

Key Points

  • Destroying a computer can be done in various ways, such as using the Office Space method of smashing it with a baseball bat or other sports equipment.
  • Spilling liquids on a computer can cause irreparable damage to its components.
  • Drilling holes in a hard drive can render the data unrecoverable and allow for proper disposal.
  • Dropping a computer, exposing it to extreme temperatures, using a bad charger, or downloading viruses can all lead to its destruction.

Before jumping into any conversation about how to destroy your computer, this entire article comes with a giant warning: do not try any of this at home! If you agree to this warning, then you should continue with the rest of the article, at your computer’s own risk. 

For the most part, no one should actively be looking for their computer to be destroyed, but that’s not to say you haven’t all thought about it every now and then. This is especially true if you have ever watched the printer destruction scene from the film, Office Space, and how incredibly satisfying that moment must have been. 

The good news is that you don’t have to destroy your computer, but if you want to, let’s take a look at some of the easy, creative, and hilarious ways you can destroy your computer (even if you shouldn’t!). 

Ways to Destroy a Computer

#1: Go Office Space

Let’s just get this one right out of the way and say that if you really want to destroy a computer so it’s properly decimated, the Office Space method works like a charm. When Peter, Michael, and Samir take the printer into the field in the film and take out their frustrations on the malfunctioning printer, it’s a quick reminder you can do the same thing with your computer. 

The smart response here is to commit to yourself that you would never destroy your own property this way, but it’s definitely an option. Whether it’s a baseball bat, metal pole, tennis racket, or some other form of tough sports equipment, it likely won’t take more than one swing to ensure nothing is ever loading up on your computer ever again. 

Of course, if you are going to go down this road, this is your warning that you should follow the movie scene and do it in an open space where objects from the computer can fling across an area without damaging something you won’t want to be destroyed. 

Caucasian man in a suit gets angry and smashes the keyboard on the monitor. An office worker in a rage breaks the computer.
A man recreating the destruction scene in the film Office Space by destroying a computer because it wouldn’t download quickly enough.

#2: Liquids are Bad

When it comes to another easy way to destroy a computer, liquids are not your friend. Whether you are sitting at a computer for a full workday or even a few minutes at a time, there is every reason to think you should be able to keep a liquid nearby in the event you are thirsty. You might even like to drink coffee or tea at a certain time of day. 

Regardless of why you have a drink near your computer, rest assured that a spilled drink can lead to a quick end to your computer’s life. Even if it’s just a quick spill, any liquid getting inside a laptop or desktop can cause irreparable harm to the components leading to a new computer purchase. 

Yes, you can try and turn a computer off immediately so you can dry off what you can. However, unless you are able to get every drop of liquid that spilled, the likelihood is that at least a small amount got inside your machine. If this is the case, you should turn off your computer and try to let it dry out for a few hours, maybe even a few days, and then try to turn it back on. 

Spill coffee on a computer keyboard
One of the easiest ways to destroy a computer is to spill a liquid like water or coffee that will fry the electronic components.

#3: Drill Some Holes

If you want to properly destroy a hard drive from a computer so the data is well and truly gone for good, you’re going to need to drill some holes. Ideally, this would be a step you would take after you have backed up a hard drive and then wiped the data from the drive. Assuming both of these steps have taken place, the next step is to take a drill with a drill bit of any size — since bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better — and start drilling. 

It only takes a few holes to properly render the hard drive useless in the future but if you want to really make sure the data cannot be recovered, go crazy and drill more than just a few holes. Once the holes have been drilled, you can safely consider the hard drive destroyed and you can dispose of it properly. There are plenty of places online or even at a local computer store that will gladly recycle the now-damaged hard drive for you. 

Drilling a Hard Disk Drive to Destroy Evidence Data close up. Concept of deleting big data by drilling a hole into the harddisk
Drilling holes in your hard drive can be a quick and easy method to help reduce the risk of someone stealing your data.

#4: Drops, Drops, and More Drops

Like a liquid spill, any computer drop is likely to be accidental, but all it takes is a small drop to render a computer useless. This is especially true for a laptop, which can fall off a table, out of a bag, or even just drop out of your hands when it’s being moved from one room to another. There is little debate in the world about whether computers are sensitive pieces of equipment, and this is why any drop can lead to permanent damage that will ultimately leave a computer destroyed. 

The good news is that you can find a good computer laptop bag, so you can store it while taking it on the go. Many of these laptop bags have extra padding around the laptop to help prevent any scenario in which your computer drops and takes a small beating. 

However, should a drop damage your computer, this is a good reason to remind yourself about backing up all of your data on the cloud somewhere so it’s easily accessible once you get a new computer. 

#5: It’s Hot and It’s Cold

While heat or cold won’t be an immediate way to destroy a computer, both of these different types of temperatures can lead to plenty of damage and destruction. In the case of heat, any type of unusual heat exposure can lead to a cooling system on a computer being overloaded and causing eventual damage to critical components of the computer. This is all too common with gaming computers and one of the reasons why fans are a constant presence on gaming computers, both desktop and laptop models. 

The bottom line is that you want to be careful about where you place a computer, especially a laptop. If you don’t leave it in an area with proper ventilation, you can rightfully anticipate destruction over time. 

As far as cold, computers are not super welcoming to colder weather either. Any exposure to cold can lead to the freezing of certain internal components, which can lead to the destruction of the computer. 

The bottom line is that any exposure beyond room temperature, even if it’s just for a short time, can be a fast and easy way to ruin a computer. 

Laptop Damage. Laptop on fire and flames. Computer Repair. Flaming Fire laptop computer.
Anytime a computer is exposed to too much heat, it can cause irreparable damage to the internal components like the hard drive, RAM, and CPU.

#6: Poor Upgrade Experience

Yet another easy way to destroy a computer, albeit unintentionally, is some mistake while attempting to upgrade the RAM, hard drive, graphics card, cooling system, or some other component of the system. All it takes is one simple misstep and you can easily create a chain reaction that renders a computer useless. 

It doesn’t even have to be a mistake of your own making, as a defective add-on like RAM can quickly destroy a computer if things don’t go exactly to plan. Before you attempt to do any upgrades to your computer, even if you have done them before, research is your friend as you want to know you are using components that are definitely compatible with the rest of your system. 

If you don’t, and you try to go the inexpensive route just to make some quick upgrades, you might find yourself needing to spend a whole lot more on a new computer. 

#7: Use a Bad Charger

This is definitely a suspicious way to destroy a computer and one you probably only want to do if you intentionally wish to cause damage. What you can find on Amazon or any local electronic shop is a charger that may be totally wrong for your laptop or desktop, but mostly the former. 

By using any charger that isn’t providing the proper voltage, you can easily destroy your computer after a short while. Just know that any instance here of intentional damage should be monitored and you might want to have a fire extinguisher standing by just in case there are literal flames. 

You can also look for a multi-charger plug that supports adjustable voltages and cranks it up so it goes above the manufacturer’s recommended charging levels for your laptop. Like the wrong type of plug, errantly or intentionally using the wrong voltage is another way to do some pretty good destruction on your computer. 

Defective  charger, Power cable connected to notebook computer. Broken Dangerous AC power adapter cable
Using the wrong type of charger voltage on a computer can ultimately lead to electric damage and potentially a fire.

#8: Use Your Laptop as a Table

For many people, a laptop is a computer but for others, a laptop can either errantly or intentionally be a table or cup holder. Unfortunately, your laptop isn’t built to handle the weight of many books or other items that might go on a table that will instead sit on the laptop. The most likely scenario here under any amount of weight is that your screen will crack, which is arguably the most costly repair for any laptop. 

However, you can do even more damage if you really get into this idea by putting something with more weight than a pile of books and a laptop and seeing just how much damage you can do. If you have any bricks or tiles lying around, stack them up and see how it goes. 

At some point, you have to recognize this isn’t just a careless error and you have to be really intentional about wanting to cause some destruction. If you’re aligned with purposely destroying your computer, whether it’s a laptop or desktop, just start stacking up whatever you have in the house and see how long everything lasts. 

#9: Viruses Galore

While PC manufacturers like Dell, Acer, ASUS, and Apple all do their part to try and provide a hardened operating system that can protect against viruses, nothing is foolproof. With Windows, in particular, anti-virus software is a good addition to your computer. Even if you are just using Microsoft Defender, any protection is better than none. Because of its huge install base, Windows is often the target of malicious virus attacks, though, Apple has certainly seen its share grow as the Mac install base grows. 

Regardless of which system you use, downloading something that has a hidden virus can easily wreak havoc on your computer in a short time. The moment a virus is installed, depending on the nature of the virus, it can either look to just get your important password info or it can attempt to take over your whole system. 

Alternatively, you can also intentionally look to download as many viruses as you want if you want to test out different anti-virus programs or just destroy your computer in a unique way. No matter the reason, downloading viruses is a surefire way to destroy your computer without the need for physical damage. 

Unsecured Virus Detected Hack Unsafe Concept
Unfortunately, downloading a computer virus can wreak havoc on your system and potentially damage the computer beyond repair.

#10: Magnets for Older Computers

If you’re using a computer that still incorporates an HDD spinning disc drive as opposed to an SSD (Solid State Drive), one easy way to destroy your computer is to put it near a sizable magnet. Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on the why), hard drives with spinning discs can be susceptible to heavy damage if a powerful magnet is placed on or near it for a prolonged period of time. 

Smaller magnets won’t do much harm, but if you have a powerful magnet lying around and want to experiment, put it up close and personal to your HDD and see what happens. As an HDD includes neodymium-iron-boron magnets that assist with the read/write heads, adding an additional magnet can mess with its operation, and, voila, destruction.

The likely result is that you lose data more than losing the functionality of the drive entirely, but if you’re looking for a non-physical way to do some damage, this is definitely something to try. 

Wrapping Up

At the end of the day, you really have to ask yourself why you want to try and destroy a computer. If you are trying to get rid of a computer you have already replaced and simply don’t want anyone else to be able to use it, there are easy ways to help reduce the likelihood of data falling into the wrong hands.

However, if your end goal is to cause as much destruction to a computer as possible, there are also definitive methods on this list that will provide you with some fun YouTube content.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would you want to destroy a computer?

There are a number of reasons why you might want to destroy a computer including avoiding data theft, YouTube content, or experimentation. 

Is it true a magnet can destroy a hard drive?

A magnet will not destroy an SSD but a spinning disc HDD can be susceptible to powerful enough magnets to at least cause data loss. 

Can you use a power plug that did not come with your computer?

Ideally, you would use the power plug that comes with your computer but replacements, good and bad ones, are always available. 

What happens when you mix liquid and computers?

Unless you are buying a computer that protects against liquid damage, the reality is that liquids and computers do not mix well and can lead to quick damage. 

How much fun would it be to recreate the Office Space scene?

After a long day’s work, there is no doubt it would be a ton of fun to recreate with a computer, printer, monitor, mouse, and more. 

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