How to get the most from your old laptop or MacBook – from creative applications to a profitable sale

Were you one of the many people who bought a new laptop, MacBook, or tablet to help you through lockdown? Chances are that you still have the previous one getting in the way because you didn’t know what to do with it with everything closed. Or perhaps you did some decluttering at home and realised you have an old computer taking up valuable space? It’s unlikely to pass the Marie Kondo test of ‘sparking joy’, so it definitely doesn’t belong in your beautifully decluttered flat or house. Time to take action and move it on.

Council tips may have reopened – although many require you to book beforehand – but don’t assume you have to dump your once-treasured iMac or Dell in the electronics skip. Most laptops and desktops created within the last decade still have value. So, before you take the easy route, think about whether you can reuse it yourself, or sell it so it can be refurbished and reused by someone else.

One option for anyone with even a small amount of IT skill is to reuse your old computer or laptop for less demanding applications. You could download a new operating system such as Linux that requires less memory, for example, or use it for data storage or as a media server so you can access locally stored music, podcasts, movies, or TV shows on other PCs, game consoles, tablets or phones. You could run old-school games, create a Wi-Fi hotspot, which works equally well whether you have a laptop, iMac or MacBook, or create your very own security cam to keep an eye on the house while you’re out or monitor wildlife in your garden. These article from PC Magazine and Mackeeper explain a range of different options for the technically minded.

If your Mac isn’t too old, you could, of course, trade it in when you buy a new model – but chances are that you won’t get the best price, just as you get less when you trade in your old car instead of arranging a private sale. There is also a range of charities that refurbish and reuse old computers, such as IT Schools Africa. However, these organisations typically focus on collecting from workplaces.

Get More from your Old Laptop through Sell My Gadget

If none of those options appeal or they all sound too difficult, you could simply sell your old computer to an organisation which will refurbish and sell it to someone else who can use it. If it’s too far gone, they will recycle it responsibly, in line with environmental guidelines, and make sure that any useful materials are salvaged and reused.

There is a range of potential buyers out there, so you need to shop around to get the best price. That’s why we set up Sell My Gadget, so we do all the hard work and you don’t have to. We vet all our buyers to ensure they have good customer feedback, pay promptly, and handle all the products they buy in a responsible way.

Whatever you decide, don’t leave your old laptop gathering dust in a corner. Either reuse it in a creative way or make sure that it goes to someone else who can benefit from it – and preferably get some money to put towards your next gadget.