7 Smart Uses for Old Computers

Vintage Macintosh computer that comes equipped with a hard disk drive, joystick, monitor, and keyboard

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So, you’ve upgraded to a new computer, but now you now need to figure out what to do with your old model. It may be tempting to remove files from your computer and trash it. Your old computer – if it still functions – is surely slower, louder, and less efficient than your new model. 

The important thing to remember is that your device still works and could still be put to work. Think about the long-term value of your device before you get rid of it. You may discover your computer still has a long life ahead, even if it no longer serves as your primary computer. It can function as a backup if your new computer malfunctions or gets lost or stolen, for example, or perhaps provide a chance to earn you some extra cash or help someone else who can’t afford a new computer. 

This guide will discuss the many smart things you can do with an old computer instead of just scrapping it.

How to Sell Your Old Computer

Many people believe selling an old computer is the best option following a device upgrade. You should be sure to first delete any files on the computer that might contain sensitive or private info, however. Here’s what to keep in mind about selling your old device:

  • You can list your computer on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and other online outlets in seconds. 
  • Share relevant information about your computer’s hardware, software, and accessories in your online listing. 
  • Conduct research to learn as much as you can about your computer’s technical specs so you can include them as well. 
  • Incorporate high-resolution photos of your computer into your online listing. It often helps to wipe down your device before you photograph it, and be sure to take photos of your computer from multiple angles. 
  • Keep in mind that vintage computers can be worth a pretty penny. You should search online to find out the recently sold prices of comparable models, so you can get a good idea about how much your computer is worth. 
  • Another factor to consider relative to listing your old computer online: the age of your device. Those who are selling computers that are less than five years old may find significant demand from online buyers. Older computers may stir up less interest. 

An online listing is a great starting point if you want to earn cash for your old computer. You may also be able to trade in your old device at Best Buy, Office Depot, and other tech retailers. 

How to Donate Your Old Computer to Charity

Most charities won’t accept outdated computers, even for parts. There are some Goodwill centers that accept old computers, but they tend to be few and far between. Your best bet may be to contact a charity to ask if they will accept your donation. One that is interested can provide instructions on how to donate your device. 

People fortunate enough to find someone interested in their old computers should remove all files from their devices ahead of time. This ensures the new computer owner won’t come across any sensitive information you previously stored on your device. A digital file shredder can come in handy, as it makes it simple to permanently remove files from your device. Once you use the shredder, you’re ready to donate or sell your outdated computer at your convenience. 

You may find that your best efforts are not good enough in terms of donating or selling your old computer. These instances can be tough to manage, but outside-the-box options are still available. 

old computer in a computer lab

7 Ways to Get the Most Value Out of Your Old Computer

Computers are tied into every part of our lives, so don’t hesitate to repurpose your old model. There are many creative opportunities to push the envelope and see what’s possible with an outdated device.

1. File Server

Link your old computer to any other computers you currently use. This lets you access files stored on your obsolete computer and seamlessly share them with other computers.

2. Music Storage Device and Jukebox

MP3s can take up significant space, but your old computer can store these bulky music files. Link your computer to speakers, and you can use it to play music.

3. CD Burner

You can put music files on your old computer and use it to burn CDs. This allows you to make a collection of CDs with your favorite songs and listen to them on the go.

4. Weather Station

Get software weather programs and sensors for your old computer. You can then keep your computer on 24/7 to track and monitor weather conditions.

5. Digital Picture Frame

A desktop or laptop computer equipped with a quality screen can serve as a digital picture frame. Upload your favorite photos to your computer, then place the device in a spot where you want to display your top pics.

6. Kitchen Workstation

Set up your old computer in your kitchen, away from your stove, oven, and other appliances. You can use your computer to look up recipes to help you cook up some great meals.

7. Security Camera

Download web camera security software such as iSpy or Yawcam onto your old computer. Link a web camera to your computer and place it in a spot where you want video surveillance.

Potential uses for old computers are seemingly endless. Take advantage of every opportunity to realize the full potential of yours, but proceed with caution. Improper use of an old computer can damage files stored on it. There is certainly a risk of data loss or exposure if you do not manage these files properly.

Digital file shredding can make a world of difference when you’re exploring possible uses for your old computer. Consulting with an expert in this area can help you safely remove files from your outdated device before you inadvertently lose or expose them. 

Get Help Deleting Files From Your Old Computer

Shred Cube takes the hassle out of removing files from your old computer. Our USB-formatted digital file deletion device lets you permanently remove unwanted, unnecessary, or unsecured digital files from any computer. Contact our team if you need to easily and permanently remove digital files from any device.

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