Old laptops can difficult to dispose of, as they are not biodegradable and can contribute to electronic waste. However, even though your laptop is old, it still needs to be completely useful.
There are many creative and practical ways to repurpose your old laptop and give it a second life.
With a little effort, you can transform an outdated device into a valuable tool for personal use, for others, or the environment.
From setting it up as a media center to using it as a backup device to donating it to those in need, you can use your old laptop. And not only will you be extending the life of your device, but you’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a more sustainable future.
This article will explore some of the most innovative and practical ways to repurpose an old laptop.
Whether you’re looking for a new hobby project or a way to give back to your community, you’ll find inspiration and guidance in the following pages.
So, if you’re looking to make the most of your old laptop or are curious about the possibilities, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to dive into the exciting world of repurposing old laptops!
6 Things You Can Do with Old Laptops
1. Get it Recycled!
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to post an ad for your used devices; many cities have collection days throughout the year. Filling out an online pickup form may be required.
If you want specifics, check out the web page for your municipal government or sanitation service.
You may find local recycling choices for electronics by entering your ZIP code on the Computer Technology Association’s Recycle Locator if your town still needs its program.
Dell Reconnect also works with local Goodwill organizations to collect and distribute items. To find a drop-off location, type in your ZIP code on the website.
In addition, you should look at Best Buy’s collecting program.
The trade-in schemes at both Amazon and Apple allow you to earn gift cards in exchange for newer things.
2. Laptop can serve as a Portable Cinema
Even if your laptop isn’t in the best shape, you should still be able to watch videos that you’ve saved on it.
You may keep your movies and TV programs on the internal hard drive or an external device you attach to.
If you’re not doing anything else on the laptop, wiping all the unnecessary programs makes room for more popcorn.
Yes, you could watch movies on the laptop screen, but why bother when you have a nice flatscreen TV hanging on the wall?
You may keep your laptop permanently hooked up to the TV because you no longer need it for personal use (such as playing games, checking email, or surfing the web).
Using an HDMI connector on your TV is the simplest solution.
A VGA, DVI, or USB-to-HDMI adapter should work for laptops without HDMI (via Life wire).
Although your laptop doesn’t have an HDMI output, recording audio may be complex.
You may use the available connections and the appropriate adapters to link the sound signal to any TV or sound system.
3. Protection for the Household Security
A camera, software, and a place to store recordings make a basic security system.
You can satisfy your curiosity about your dog’s activities. How? You can use it if your aging laptop has a built-in camera or a USB connection to attach one.
Something cute, I’m sure of it! You might set up a camera to record continuously, but doing so would soon fill up your storage and make it difficult to locate anything of interest.
You need some program to activate itself whenever it senses motion. That way, your home will be open for a short period when you go out.
The procedure will vary depending on whether you’re using a Windows or Mac computer but will otherwise be similar.
When it senses motion, Mac apps like Evocam will give you a still snapshot and begin recording. TinCam is a program that can perform the same thing on a Windows PC.
Both programs allow for the installation of more cameras.
Therefore if you have several old laptops or even other standalone webcams, you could put up a system to watch every space in your home.
4. Create a Wireless Network
Having constant access to the internet has become a need rather than a luxury in modern society.
When working from home, watching streaming material, or playing multiplayer games online with pals, losing an internet connection is a major bummer.
Wi-Fi is the norm for connecting devices to the internet.
Thus your workspace may be constrained by factors such as the layout of your house or the strength of your Wi-Fi signal.
Your connection may unexpectedly disappear if you are too distant from the input signal or if a strong wall is between you and the source.
You could buy a Wi-Fi extension to increase the signal’s range beyond the range of a standard router, but why bother when you already have an unused laptop lying around?
A computer with Windows 10 is required.
To activate the mobile hotspot feature, go to the Settings menu, tap Network & Internet, and finally tap Mobile hotspot.
A “hotspot” option should be available if the laptop has the required Wi-Fi hardware and the appropriate operating system (via Tech Advisor).
5. Sell It
It may be hard to believe, but there is a thriving market for obsolete technology.
Sell your new computer on Craigslist, eBay, Letgo, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, or Swappa for easy sale.
Recent eBay sales include a non-working MacBook Pro for $420 and an iPad Mini (3rd gen) for $150, with no commission.
eBay sales may net less than sites like BuyBackWorld, Gazelle, Glyde, or ItsWorthMore due to eBay’s lower part of the sale price.
Preserve privacy when selling to unknown persons on digital marketplaces.
You want to keep information about your bank account, personal photos, or browser history private from the device.
6. Give It Away
It’s always wonderful to give something back. If you have a new computer, consider donating it to a family who doesn’t have the financial means to purchase their own.
Digitunity, as well as the World Laptop Exchange, are two organizations that may assist you in making it possible.
They will help you to give a laptop to such a household that is struggling financially.
With a computer and internet connectivity, it is easier to do daily tasks.
These tasks can be schoolwork, job applications, and even medical appointment scheduling.
Even a computer that is 5 or 6 years old may be given a fresh lease of life in the right environment.
The Digitunity website features hundreds of verified non-profits around the country in need of technology donations.
Remember to factor in the possibility of getting a tax deduction for your contribution.
According to Tobie Stanger, a senior editor at CR who has covered taxes, “You may reduce the market value of both the laptop,” which is the amount it might be worth if someone sold it on a website such as eBay.
In other words, “you can deduct the amount that it’d be valued if you sold it.”
“A donated item must be at the very least in acceptable condition for you to be able to deduct its value from your tax return.”
The Taxpayer Surety and Disaster Tax Reductions Act of 2020 was passed in December 2018.
It includes a provision that allows taxpayers who start taking the standard deduction and do not itemize their deductions to claim charitable giving on their 2022 tax returns.
This provision allows taxpayers to claim charitable contributions of approximately $300 for folks and $600 for husbands and wives filing jointly.
Using old laptops can be helpful for several reasons.
Firstly, It helps reduce electronic waste and promotes sustainability.
It can do this by extending the lifespan of technology instead of constantly buying new devices.
Secondly, older laptops can still perform essential functions. These functions can be internet browsing and document editing, making them a cost-effective solution on a budget.
Finally, utilizing old laptops can also provide access to technology for those who might not be able to afford a new device, bridging the digital divide and promoting digital literacy.
Hopefully, now you know what to do with old laptops.
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