What to Do With Your Old Laptop

Laptop Recycling

Thursday, June 7, 2018/Categories: Home Internet

 

Nowadays stashed in everyone’s study, closet, attic, or basement is a laptop so old it doesn’t get used. The owner moved on to a newer technology long ago and left it to collect dust.

Instead of letting out of date computers go to waste, there are options for refurbishing, recycling, donating, and selling them. Here’s what you can do.

Make Some Upgrades

Start by checking the functionality on your old laptop. If it turns on, runs, and types on an uncracked screen, you can make upgrades. The first and easiest tune-up is to reformat the hard drive and reinstall your operating system.

Most older PCs will run Windows 10. If yours doesn’t, or you’re not a fan of Windows operating system, try installing an open source operating system like Linux or Chromium.

It’s not uncommon for old laptop computers to have non-functioning, glitchy hard drives. If the rest of your hardware works, invest in a new hard drive and replace it immediately.

Sell It

Though your older model laptop isn’t your preferential technology, it does have some appeal as a vintage item. You can put your laptop up for sale on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. eBay will take a small cut of the sale, while Facebook does not.

It’s important to be extremely careful when selling any kind of old electronics online. Avoid using sites like Craigslist, which do not verify the identity of the buyer or the seller. Predatory scammers surf online listings, trying to entice private sellers into a scam. Only sell to a real person who has been verified by the site you’re selling the laptop on.

It’s also important to protect your personal information. Your old laptop will have your search history, photos, and other critical data that you do not want getting into the hands of the wrong person. Take the time to remove all your data from the laptop. You may want to consider replacing the hard drive entirely, or selling the computer without a hard drive.

Donate It

As long as your older model laptop works, it’s eligible for donation. The World Computer Exchange (WCE) refurbishes old desktop and laptop computers and distributes them to schools, libraries, and universities in 77 countries. They also upload educational content and help to create computer labs in developing countries. Thus far, WCE has provided digital learning opportunities for more than 4.6 million children.

Before you donate, double check with WCE standards for acceptance.

Recycle It

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has put forth a major nationwide effort to expand electronic recycling, also known as e-cycling. The goal of this effort is twofold: first, to responsibly recycle materials that can be reused in other electronics and, second, to reduce the growing amount of electronics found in landfills.

If you cannot upgrade, sell, or donate your old laptop, e-cycling is your last resort. Check TIA’s E-cycling Central map for your nearest electronic recycling center. Remember to wipe all your data from your computer’s hard drive before you recycle it.

There may be life left in your laptop that was collecting dust, so reuse or recycle!

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