What To Do With an Old Laptop

Chris Campbell01 Feb 2022

Did you recently upgrade your old laptop to a new and faster model? But what do you plan to do with your old one? It doesn't have to go to waste. There are many reasons you shouldn't throw it out. Approximately 50 million tons of e-waste are generated worldwide each year. That's the equivalent of throwing away about 1,000 laptops every second.

Don't throw your old laptops away; do your part to reduce e-waste. You can repurpose old laptops in many ways. You could give it a new purpose, donate it to a good cause, or sell it, even for parts. Alternatively, you could toss it out responsibly.

How To Recycle an Old Laptop

There are several methods to repurpose an old laptop into something altogether different. Laptops are unique due to their compact size as well as all-in-one design so a little DIY work may transform a laptop into almost anything. 

Here are a few possibilities:

Give it Away

Donating your old laptop rather than throwing it away is one option to recycle it. It's always good to donate, and a used laptop is a useful tool for someone who cannot afford to purchase one. It's difficult to finish homework, apply for jobs, or even book doctor's appointments these days if you don't have access to a laptop and the internet. Even a 5-year-old laptop can find a new home with someone else. Many organizations welcome computer donations, whether to give to someone or to use in their nonprofit.

Turn it into a Digital Photo Frame

If you're feeling particularly creative, you can transform an old laptop into a digital photo frame. You only need to disassemble the laptop almost completely. To fit the laptop circuitry and the LCD screen inside a shadow box, remove any superfluous parts and plastic casing. This is a complex job, so it may take a bit of time and you could use help, but once finished, it will undoubtedly be fantastic.

Convert it to a Tablet

Do you want to put your insane DIY talents to the test? Disassemble a broken laptop and turn it into a tablet. Depending on the model, you won't get a touch-screen-like experience because the system's intelligence is still housed in the keyboard, which must be tethered to the display in some way.

Turn it to an External Monitor

If the laptop has already seen better days but the display still works, you may disconnect it and use it as an external monitor. You could also incorporate a nice-looking stand. This is a great DIY if you have a desktop and could use a second monitor.

Build a Hideaway Home Media Center

The goal is to transform your laptop into a media center. You can store music and movies on your old laptop and directly hook to your TV. Because of a laptop's thin profile, you can disassemble it and slide it behind your TV on a sliding frame, even though it's up against a wall. It's inexpensive and takes up very little space.

Where Can I Sell My Old Laptop?

Often, your outdated, unused, or broken laptop might still be valuable to someone. If you want to sell or swap your old laptop, there are several ways to do so and make some extra money or even get gift cards in exchange.

Online Listings

If your laptop is in decent shape, you can list it on Craigslist, eBay, and several other laptop buying and selling websites. However, you have to do the grunt work of posting photos, writing descriptions, and negotiating with buyers.

Best Buy Trade-in Program

Obtaining a quotation from Best Buy is as easy as filling out a simple form. After you've answered the questionnaire, the tool will assess and provide you with a quick quote. When you accept the offer, you will only get store credit in the form of a Best Buy gift card.  Keep in mind though that Best Buy has a few stores that don't participate in the trade-in program, so double-check beforehand.

Gadget Salvation

Gadget Salvation simplifies the process of exchanging your laptop for cash. You simply enter the brand, model, and state of your item, and the site calculates its value. The best thing is that they will buy it straight from you, avoiding the need to advertise your laptop, take photographs, or wait for a buyer. If you are satisfied with the price, you can send the laptop using a free pre-paid shipping label.

How To Dispose of an Old Laptop

Because an old laptop contains unique and hazardous components, you can't just throw it in a trash bin.  Fortunately, most major tech firms and gadget sellers provide recycling programs designed specifically for those looking to get rid of their old laptops. Some will even pay you for damaged electronics.

Contacting your local recycling center is another option for properly disposing of your old laptop.

However, before you dispose of it, make sure you take these steps:

  • Back up your laptop. This provides you peace of mind by guaranteeing that you don't lose any of your important data during disposal and eliminates the need to worry about leaving anything behind.
  • Destroy your hard drive. Physical destruction is the tried-and-true way for ensuring that no one ever takes data from your old hard disk.

What To Do With Old Laptop Batteries

You should not throw away an old laptop battery. Disposing of a laptop battery may appear to be a chore, but it is critical. A laptop battery could become a fire threat if left on and forgotten, and it can also pose a hazard if not properly disposed of.

Fortunately, responsibly disposing of your old laptop battery is pretty much straightforward:

  • Simply locate a recycling facility in your area.
  • Take out your old laptop's battery and store it in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Take the old laptop battery to the recycling center.

Never, ever throw away an old laptop, even if it is damaged. When discarded electronics are thrown away alongside conventional waste, they constitute an environmental risk. Whenever possible, recycling is the wisest option. There are several reasons to repurpose an old laptop rather than discard it. We hope reading this encourages you to be creative to give other old stuff in your home a new purpose instead of just throwing them away.

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Thanks for reading! I'm Chris, an avid tech fanatic that enjoys keeping up with the latest laptop models. Hopefully my tips & tricks can help you out!

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