How to Remove Laptop Skins

By Dan Ketchum

Although your mileage may vary, the average laptop lasts about 3 to 5 years, according to 2013 estimates from The Guardian. Just as processors get faster and software updates come and go, a few years gives your personal taste plenty of time to evolve. If you find yourself regretting the holographic blue flame skin you stuck on your machine 2 years ago, you'll find that your fingernails and a little careful peeling are all it takes to restore your laptop to its former glory.

Things You'll Need

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Soft, nonabrasive cloth

Step 1

Find a corner edge of the vinyl skin to start peeling. Typically, the lip of the monitor or around the edge of the keyboard makes a good starting point. Use your fingernail to gently pick at the seam between the skin and surface of the computer until you're able to grasp a bit of the skin between your thumb and pointer finger.

Step 2

Grasp the skin firmly between your fingers and peel it back very slowly from the corner. Hold the laptop in place with your other hand as you peel. Rotate between peeling from the corner and lifting more of the skin from the edge of the laptop until you have completely lifted the skin free of the edge.

Step 3

Slowly peel the skin back away from the edge, again using your opposing hand to hold the laptop in place. You'll encounter some resistance from the thick vinyl skin, but keep it slow and steady to avoid tearing. If you don't rush it, you can keep your laptop skin in one piece should you choose to reuse it.

Step 4

Remove the other sections of the skin, such as the smaller accent decals, in the same fashion. Start by peeling the edge, then transition into peeling back and away from the laptop.

Tips & Warnings

  • Laptop skins are often designed to be residue-free, but if the skin leaves a little something behind, reach for household isopropyl alcohol. Lightly moisten a clean, soft and nonabrasive cloth with alcohol and buff away the residue until your machine is streak-free.
  • Although laptop skins generally require the same peel-and-go removal procedures, always consult the manufacturer-provided instructions before applying or removing skins.