What to enact with an feeble laptop: 10 artful tips


Even damaged laptops can own extra in retailer for them than merely consignment to a recycling pile.

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So that you’ve upgraded to a trace-fresh laptop in the ruin—or presumably you’re sooner or later clearing out clutter—and now you’ve got an feeble laptop to address. What to enact with it?

That relies in your conditions, the age of your laptop, and the length of time and deliver you are going to own. But likelihood is, your feeble hardware can rise to the difficulty of a second rent on life, even when it’s not with you. You have to perchance perchance perchance give it a fresh, single motive; donate it to a unparalleled living off; put it on the market (even when it’s merely for aspects); or responsibly lay it to leisure. To enable you to shield out in your laptop’s subsequent act, we’ve gathered up our high suggestions, with particular project tips to retract a stare upon at the same time as you happen to abet it.


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Turning your feeble laptop true into a Chromebook is a straightforward, straightforward project—and in some cases could well ruin up in a Chromebook that has better specs than on the present time’s low- and-midrange devices.

Before you exit and retract a fresh tool—mumble, a Chromebook or a media streamer—retract into consideration whether or not prospects are you’ll perchance perchance presumably reuse an feeble laptop to address the work as any other. 

These initiatives don’t require hardware upgrades, nonetheless in case your laptop is on the older aspect (7+ years), it will pack extra of a punch at the same time as you happen to add extra RAM or swap a arduous-disk force for an SSD. For successfully-veteran laptops, prospects are you’ll perchance perchance own to search out RAM thru a revered seller on eBay to get an cheap tag.

No longer sure in case your laptop will make stronger an enhance to a stable-deliver force? Peep our video that explains the actual map to deliver if your machine can retract an SSD.

Guest PC

It’s nice to be able to present residence company a laptop to consume without having to sacrifice your famous tool. Freshen up your feeble laptop with our suggestions to form it speed faster for free, then poke away it in a spare bed room or public deliver for visitors.

DIY Chromebook

This route doesn’t rule out consume for other gains, since prospects are you’ll perchance perchance presumably obviously consume a Chromebook as a customer PC, as an instance. But prospects are you’ll perchance perchance presumably lengthen the preference of devices to be used in your internet page by switching to a lighter-weight operating machine—a laptop that struggles in Windows 10 can feel grand extra responsive in ChromeOS. Turning a laptop true into a Chromebook doesn’t retract grand time, both, as you’ll behold in our fat step-by-step files.

In case your laptop isn’t like minded, prospects are you’ll perchance perchance presumably as any other decide to put in a lightweight Linux distro. Same belief, totally different OS flavor.

Media streaming tool

No longer supreme can your laptop scramble recount material from Netflix, Amazon Top Video, HBO Now, and other companies to your TV, it will moreover address area of skills websites not supported by in vogue streaming devices (e.g., foreign language recount material).

For a unswerving, stable connection, consume a cable to connect your laptop to your TV—prospects are you’ll perchance perchance own a DVI-to-HDMI or Mini-DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable for older laptops. Additionally shield up an cheaper wireless keyboard with a constructed-in trackpad like Logitech’s Okay400 Plus, at the same time as you happen to would take to leave the laptop shut to your TV nonetheless quiet sofa surf the listings.

Dwelling-brew NAS

Community-attached storage can host backups or media files to your entire devices in your internet page community. As a replacement of spending $200+ to bewitch a dedicated NAS enclosure and populate it with arduous drives, prospects are you’ll perchance perchance presumably as any other change into an feeble laptop true into a NAS the consume of free utility like TrueNAS Core (formerly identified as FreeNAS). You have to perchance perchance perchance even hook up exterior drives to it to lengthen its storage capabilities.

For other NAS utility alternate choices, the r/homeserver community on Reddit will be a correct internet page to search out suggestions tailored to the consume of a laptop as NAS. You have to perchance perchance perchance then dig into the utility’s internet sites, get the user files, and behold it to search out out the difficulty stage of set up, configuration, and repairs. Most utility developers present a user files—as an instance, TrueNAS Core affords detailed set up and configuration instructions.

Minecraft server

Desire to get a stable gaming atmosphere for younger kinfolk and their friends? Turn out to be your feeble laptop true into a Minecraft server, the put prospects are you’ll perchance perchance presumably control who has get entry to. Because this feeble authorized isn’t a hardware-intensive sport, many veteran laptops must always be able to address it with ease.

Kodi or Plex server

For folk that decide the next manner to ogle are residing TV and/or get entry to a lot of native video and audio files, prospects are you’ll perchance perchance presumably convert your feeble laptop true into a Kodi or Plex server. Which one prospects are you’ll perchance perchance presumably quiet install relies in your model and the forms of recount material you wish to abet watch over—in our notion, Kodi and its add-ons enable for the next personalized skills, while Plex affords an ever-rising differ of facets. (Plex reserves grand of its simplest perks for paid individuals, on the change hand.)

Retro gaming machine

Fan of retro games? Outdated school laptops can speed emulators to play your entire favorites—or last objects in your backlog. (For a extra seamless shield-up-and-play skills, though, you’ll have to get your maintain DIY Raspberry Pi retro gaming console.) Magnificent download and install the emulation utility for the platform you’re attracted to (NES, Sega Saturn, and loads others.) and pair it with a controller like the 8BitDo Pro 2 or PowerA’s model of the Xbox Controller. You have to perchance perchance perchance moreover retract a controller namely tailored to ascertain that of the distinctive console you’re emulating, like the 8BitDo SN30, N30, or M30.

For customary PC games, are trying sites like GOG.com, which does the dear work of developing sure these titles will work successfully on extra long-established hardware. You in overall supreme own to download and install to get going, with out a additional tinkering.



You have to perchance perchance perchance fall off tech donations at shield out Goodwill areas attributable to a partnership between the nonprofit and Dell.

You have to perchance perchance perchance donate an feeble laptop to a local college, library, or other nonprofit—attach a query to with native organizations to ogle what their wants are. Within the deliver native to PCWorld’s place of work, a preference of community-oriented gains exist to connect all these donations with of us who own restricted get entry to to technology. Nationwide donation gains exist, too, like Dell’s partnership with Goodwill.

Before you donate, endure in tips to soundly wipe all of your files from the laptop. In Windows 8.1 and 10, poke to Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Reset this PC > Make a choice every little thing, then own the Make a choice files and lustrous the force possibility. In case your machine is working an older model of Windows, or at the same time as you happen to would actually like extra control over the wipe, are trying these third-celebration suggestions for securely erasing your arduous force.

Alternate in or promote


You have to perchance perchance perchance promote your feeble laptop to a buyback provider, nonetheless at the same time as you happen to would actually like the most money that prospects are you’ll perchance perchance presumably accept as true with, you’ll have to put it on the market your self on a internet page like eBay or Supply Up.

You have to perchance perchance perchance have the selection to get a exchange-in credit score or outright promote your laptop for money. The map is uncomplicated, especially at the same time as you happen to enact a exchange-in or promote to a buyback provider, nonetheless you’ll have to retract into consideration the age and situation of your tool to maximise your returns.

Our files on the actual map to promote your feeble tech equipment walks you thru the particulars, nonetheless in a nutshell, exchange-ins in overall offer the most tag for more moderen devices, while buyback companies can differ in how grand they listen to detailed specs when valuing your laptop. You’ll own extra success offloading former or damaged laptops by promoting them your self—platforms like eBay enable collectors and refurbishers to scoop up outdated hardware they’ll’t otherwise get, even when merely for aspects. Magnificent make sure that to ticket and checklist your listings fastidiously to steer clear of purchaser disputes.


Perfect Snatch

Main stores like Perfect Snatch and Staples will retract laptops for recycling.

Don’t chuck an unwanted laptop in the rubbish—laptops could well quiet be recycled so that their environmentally toxic affords could well moreover be handled successfully. Bigger municipalities will have to own native amenities so that you can fall off laptops, nonetheless in case your native recycling heart doesn’t retract tech equipment, are trying any other: Perfect Snatch has a recycling program that takes unwanted tech equipment, in conjunction with laptops, as does Staples. And in case your deliver has no such alternate choices, prospects are you’ll perchance perchance presumably moreover are trying gains like Dell’s, which lets you send in laptops for recycling.

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