Laptops are often expensive investments in technology. When a newer model comes out, older models can be hard to sell for their original price.
This doesn’t mean that they should just be thrown away when the time comes!
In this blog post, we will explore 18 ideas on what you can do with an old laptop.
What are some signs to Update an old Laptop?
- Slow operating system and outdated software
- Unable to run the software properly.
- Loud Fan, Data Corruption
- The battery is draining quickly and you can’t get a full charge anymore.
- The system keeps shutting down unexpectedly or not responding to commands (keyboard freezes, blue screen of death)
- The operating system has become outdated, so it won’t work with the latest versions of software or browsers. Or maybe it’s just not compatible with new hardware components that have been released recently.
- You want to use your laptop for more than just basic word processing or sending emails. For example, you might need it to edit video on the go or run a business’s website and online store from home.
18 Useful Ideas for What to Do With Your Old Laptop
1. Keep It for Emergencies
Many of us are tempted to sell our old laptops and buy new ones. After all, the newer models come with more features for a cheaper price.
We, however, should keep an old laptop as a backup or emergency computer for one good reason: they are more reliable than new computers.
We can always rely on our old computers because we know how they work and can troubleshoot them better than we could with new ones.
We don’t have to install updates or worry if there will be compatibility issues because it’s the same model as before.
2. Can you sell your old laptop?
Yes, if you don’t need the laptop anymore. The best way to sell your old laptop is to use the internet and search for websites that specialize in buying and selling used electronics.
It is really simple and convenient. All you need to do is enter your laptop specifications on the site and they will give you a rough estimate of what your laptop is worth.
You can also contact them for more specific information about how to proceed with the sale if needed.
If you are ready to sell it, all you need to do is send in pictures so they have a visual of the product, describe its condition, and then print out their pre-paid shipping label and attach it to your package for free overnight delivery.
3. Build your own home media center
You can also build your own home media center with a used laptop. Install plex on the old computer to turn it into an entertainment hub for streaming and downloading movies, music, and TV shows.
You will need to have some type of monitor or TV that is HDMI compatible so you can plug in the laptop without getting tangled up in wires from the HDMI cord.
This is a good option for those who want to avoid paying monthly fees from Netflix, or other media streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
Plex also has an app that can be installed on your smartphone so you can watch the content wherever you are without having to use up all of your data plan’s GBs in one sitting.
If you have a laptop with an HDMI port and enough storage space on the hard drive to store movies, then this can be a great option.
You can also use your laptop as a wireless hotspot for up to five devices. The laptop’s Wi-Fi adapter is not the best in terms of range, but it will suffice if you are at home and within its reach.
This option would be great for families with several phones or tablets that need internet access, or people who work from home and need internet access for their desktop computer.
In addition, if you don’t have a cellphone plan with data available on your laptop, then this option is perfect because it will save you the cost of an internet connection through another provider.
4. Digital Jukebox
If you have a laptop with an optical drive, then your old computer can become the perfect digital jukebox.
The software Media Jukebox and iTunes are both free players that allow you to rip CDs to MP files so they play digitally from any device like laptops or smartphones.
You can also stream music online using Pandora as well as play music from your laptop through the speakers in another room.
5. Recycle It
If you have a laptop that is working but not the right computer for your needs, consider recycle it. You would be surprised at how many organizations will accept old laptops and put them to good use.
Some of these include schools, nonprofit organizations, IT professionals who need replacement parts or additional computers for their business or organization; hospitals in third world countries.
This is a good idea if you want to ensure that your old laptop lives on with somebody who has the need for it and may not otherwise be able to afford one.
6. Gift It
One idea is to give it as a gift. If the laptop is still in good shape and you have a family member or friend who would like to receive it, you could wrap it up and make it more of a present. They might not even know they wanted a laptop until you give one to them, then they’ll be so happy!
7. Trade It
You can trade your laptop for a gift card. The amount of money you will get depends on the condition of the laptop, but it might be easier than trying to sell it yourself.
Another option is to trade in your laptop for a newer model.
You can call the manufacturer and talk with them about what they offer for exchanging old laptops, or you could check out sites like Gazelle where you might get more cash than from trading it in at an electronics store.
8. Donate it
Donating your old laptop to charity is a great way to get rid of it while also doing some good in the world.
Check out Salvation Army, Goodwill, or United Way for more information on how you can donate your computer and other electronics.
It’s important to clear your hard drive before you donate your computer. If this is something that’s important to you, use a program like Eraser or Ccleaner to wipe the drive of all data and make it ready for its new owner.
9. Turn it into a webcam
If you’re using Skype or Google Hangouts at home, you can turn an old laptop into a webcam by simply attaching it to the back of your computer monitor.
You’ll need to make sure that the two devices are linked together with their respective cables and then just power up both devices.
The process doesn’t take very long (usually less than 15 minutes), but it’s a good idea to power the two devices down before making any changes.
10. Turn it into a digital photo frame
A great use for your old laptop is to turn it into a digital photo frame. You can use the computer monitor to display a slideshow of your favorite photos. Plus, you’ll be able to store all your memories in one place!
No need for batteries or cords with this idea because it runs off of electricity from a wall outlet – and the power cord is long enough to plug into an extension so that you don’t have to be near a wall outlet.
This is especially handy if you’re in the kitchen cooking or doing dishes and want to see your kids’ latest school picture, or if you need visual reminders of how much fun last summer was while winter’s cold winds are outside blowing!
11. Convert It Into a Network Attached Storage System
Some of your files and programs may be lost when you upgrade laptops so the easiest way to avoid this is by converting it into a NAS system.
You can use an old laptop as storage for media, documents, pictures, videos, or anything else that’s important enough to back up securely.
The best part? It doesn’t have to be connected to a monitor, mouse or keyboard.
You can plug your laptop into a power source and then use it as network storage through an app on another device.
12. Convert It Into a Gaming Server
If you’re an avid gamer, then there are many ways to put your old laptop or desktop computer to good use. One such way is by turning it into a gaming server for multiple players.
If your old laptop can run program like Counter-Strike, STEAMCMD, and ARK, then you can easily turn it into a gaming server. All that’s required is the internet connection, an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi card and knowledge of how to use command line.
A basic gaming server is created by installing SteamCMD on the machine, creating a login and then downloading an installation of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Once that’s done you can start hosting games for others to play!
13. Use It as an External Monitor.
Some laptops have a VGA or HDMI port that will allow you to connect it as an external monitor.
That way, if you’re using your laptop for presentations, videos and other work on the go, you’ll be able to use it in a fixed location without having to carry around two devices.
If you don’t want another monitor cluttering up your desk, you can use the laptop in other ways.
For example, if you have a broken screen on your monitor and need to keep using it for work or school assignments, you’ll be able to hook up your old laptop as an external display.
14. Use Useful Parts
You can take all of the parts from your old laptop that are still functional and use them in a new computer. RAM, hard drive, keyboard, mouse.
A lot of people don’t know this but you can also use the remaining parts in electronics.
Circuit boards, speakers, and even USB ports can be used to make a new device with many of the same features as your old laptop!
15. Create an Emergency Wi-Fi Hotspot.
You can create an emergency Wi-Fi hotspot with your old laptop. This is a great way to share internet access during emergencies or if you are camping in the wilderness and want to stream Netflix!
First, you’ll need to buy a wi-fi card that is compatible with your old laptop. You can get one of these from any electronic store like Best Buy or Walmart.
Next, download an app called “hotspot shield.” The app will let you share mobile data and create Wi-Fi hotspots for up to 20 devices.
If you don’t want to use an app, then you can also create a Wi-Fi hotspot by turning your old laptop into a modem.
You’ll need to have the right cable (USB or Ethernet) and install some software for this. Just make sure that you are downloading from reputable sources.
16. Build a Short-Throw Projector.
If you need to project a little presentation or movie on a wall, but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars buying something new, build your own projector.
All you need is an old laptop and some basic materials that can be found at any hardware store or online.
17. Convert It Into a Desktop PC or Silent Server
You can convert your old laptop into a desktop PC or silent server. If you have enough hard drive space, install Linux and use it as a file storage device.
You could also access the internet via Ethernet cable to make it work like an old-school computer from any room in the house.
18. Transform Into a Tablet
If you have a laptop that doesn’t work anymore, there’s no need to throw it away! You can turn your old laptop into a tablet instead.
All you need is an empty case for the screen and some additional components such as motherboard, battery pack, keyboard with touch pad or touchscreen monitor.
With today’s technology being so easy to obtain and accessible, you can easily find the necessary components to convert your laptop into a tablet.
Now that you know what to do with your old laptop, there’s no need for it to collect dust in a drawer! Then the next time you upgrade laptops, all of these cool ideas will come in handy.