What to do with old computers – Technology advances at an extreme pace. While we try to stay up to date with newer versions of computers, your current system in use quickly becomes obsolete.
We may want to get rid of the old PC simply because something new is on the horizon or the old computer is broken. No matter what the scenario, there are many things you can do with old PCs.
The possibilities are endless, from servers to donations to help society with research. We’ve compiled a list of the best options for your old computer. Take a look and choose the alternative that best suits you.
Table of Contents
What to do with old Computers
The compiled list created below covers scenarios for working and non-working computers. Choose the alternative according to your personal circumstances.
Make a home server
Many people are confused about servers. Servers are roles that computers take on. They provide certain services to customers ( computers ). A server can be made to work only on a local network or on the Internet. Therefore, a regular desktop can be used as a server.
The process is technical to explain in written form. Just understand that you can create network attached storage servers, games, websites, email, etc. You’ll have to watch some YouTube videos , but it’s a possible DIY project for you.
Practice on these old computers to polish the fundamentals of building a server. Once you get the hang of it, you can always buy NAS cases to customize your NAS server.
Donate computing power to research
If you are a person who cares about society/science, we wholeheartedly recommend this option.
There is a lot of research currently underway in the world. These research programs require high computing power to perform experiments, interpret data, and make calculations.
It is possible to donate your PC’s computing power to a collective computing system. This action, in turn, provides computing power to numerous researchers when needed.
A few simple Google searches , and you’ll find tons of options. These are some of the major research systems that use donated computing power.
- folding house
- United science
- IBM World Community Grid for medical and humanitarian research
- The great search for Mersenne Prime on the Internet
- Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Grid Computing
Choose any of them or find one that fits your ideology. These programs will likely suggest particular software to download, such as BOINC , that will make the donation part possible.
Donate it to those in need
There are many organizations that will take your old computer and ship it to someone who needs it. Some popular organizations to check out are:
- Cristina National Foundation
- World Computer Exchange
- Computer with Causes
- Computer help
These are just a few organizations working to close the digital divide in the world. Just do a simple Google search and many organizations will appear. Any of them will do !
Some organizations act as a kind of donation marketplace for cities like Freecycle. We recommend checking those out as well.
try to sell it
If you’ve stopped using your old PC completely, it’s a complete non-profit asset. We recommend listing it on eBay or any other marketplace you can find.
The amount of money you get will depend on the PC’s specifications and its working condition, but it’s worth a try. Selling it will give you two important benefits:
- A little money in the pocket of an asset that would otherwise earn nothing.
- Some extra storage around the house
If you have PIPO cases in working condition, they can be sold as lightweight CPUs.
Surface Device parts are always in demand because repairing them is very risky, so the chances of repair shops buying Surfaces are high.
For Mac users, we have very good news. They are still in high demand. It doesn’t matter if the screen is broken, the keys don’t work or the touchpad can’t be used. If the CPU works, you’ll probably sell it for good money.
There is currently a new user trend happening where users are buying broken MacBooks and converting them into headless CPUs.
We see average prices increasing from € 50 to € 600 depending on the laptop model. Repair shops are also very likely to buy it for parts.
Why do so many people buy Macbook Pros WITHOUT the screen?
It doesn’t matter what PC you have; check prices on this market and list with a lower sticker price or similar. Anything is better than storing your computer in an old closet.
Trade in old PC
Many organizations also offer exchange options. Simply bring in your old computer and they will evaluate it and give you a reasonable valuation. Companies like these usually give you a gift card or coupon that you can use to buy other things.
Some of the companies known for this method are:
- Best Buy
These are just some of the companies that came to mind. Many organizations are present; a simple Google search will bring you a list of them. Choose one that provides the best trade-in value.
There will be eligibility criteria for exchange programs. Some companies have a list of devices they allow trade-in, while others allow all brands. Please check if you are eligible and review the exchange program FAQ before proceeding.
Recycle old PC
If the PC is completely broken or the price of fixing it is too great, we recommend scrapping the PC. However, don’t throw it away. We recommend taking it to a recycling organization that properly disposes of computers.
You can find separate companies and individual manufacturers that have adopted recycling policies. If you have time, we recommend checking out organizations with a particular cause.
These organizations will also help you erase data from your computers to protect you. Many possible threats can arise due to improper removal of PC. Some of them are :
- identity theft
- Environmental damage
- Government fines ( depends on locations )
Most of these organizations will also provide the proceeds from recycling and refurbishing electronics and use them to help research, cancer patients, schools, churches, help bridge the digital divide in the world, etc.
If you can find organizations like this, that’s a plus; Otherwise, at least take it to a proper recycling center to have a clear conscience.
We recommend consulting the following organizations. They provide recycling opportunities for your old PC.
- Dell, Epson, HP, etc. ( check the device manufacturing company, they most likely have a recycling program )
- Recycle Computers 4 Cancer
- Recycle for cause
- Computer recycling center
- New life technology group
These are just some of the examples we have taken. Try to find a similar type of organization near you through Google . These organizations will first attempt to repair and renew the device.
If the organization can fix the computer, it will donate it to people who need computers; otherwise they will safely recycle it.
If you’re having trouble finding a recycling center, try using the Earth911 or Consumer Technology Association websites . These websites will help you locate recycling centers throughout your zip code.
Save the parts
Now it will depend on the PC model you have, but things that might be possible to use in the future:
- Hard drive/SSD
- Ram (situational)
- Connection cables
- External PC Speakers
- Cooling fans, chassis fans ( situation, they will be reusable if the size fits most AMD users )
If the cooling fans or chassis fans are compatible with a newer platform, ensure that the thermal design power ( TDP ) of the fans exceeds the TDP of the device. If it is less, do not use it.
We can create multiple monitor setups or even use monitors as televisions. Amazon firesticks, Mi box or any other streaming device can easily be used on these screens, as long as it meets the following criteria:
- The display must produce resolutions that are compatible with streaming devices.
- Only certain monitors have built-in speakers; Otherwise, you’ll need to connect an external speaker via Bluetooth or cable.
- Adapters to connect the screen with transmission sticks.
We can also buy caddies for the hard drive and SSD , which can be used as storage devices ( like pendrives ).
The Ram is a bit complicated ! Each RAM will have a particular generation, such as DDR3, 4, or 5. Your second computer must also have a motherboard that supports that generation of RAM to reuse these devices.
For example, a motherboard with a DDR3 slot cannot accept DDR4 RAM . If the slots are compatible, use it another way; there is no point in retaining the Ram.
Use as a community/guest room PC
If the PC still works, let’s squeeze it for everything it has. We recommend making it a community PC for your home.
Something everyone in the family can use, kids can do homework, maybe even plug it into a sound system to listen to YouTube/Spotify music around the house.
If you have guest rooms, you can also set up the PC there so that guests have the option to use it. It completely depends on what you are comfortable with.
Some users with older laptops, surfaces and PIPO boxes use it as a kitchen device. It is helpful to watch YouTube recipes or play music while cooking.
Experiment with new operating systems
Now we know what you’re thinking. Our current laptops can host multiple operating systems, so why bother with the old PC, right ?
The problem is that the operating system takes up a lot of space. Unless you have a large amount of storage, it may not be as feasible to host a large number of operating systems.
With an old PC, you can experiment with Linux, Chrome OS , or even use a regular desktop to run Mac OS using Bootcamp or creating a Hackintosh ( Mac OS on a non-Apple authorized PC ).
We have specific content designed to install Windows on Mac to play a game. If you plan to experiment with Macbooks , we recommend that you refer to it for the installation procedure.
You’ll also find lower operating system requirements for Linux and Chrome OS than traditional Windows operating systems. So even a PC with older hardware can run this type of operating system fluently.
However, check the requirements of each operating system and see which one is the most feasible for the PC.