Recycle, donate, reuse a computer

Beyond selling it or giving it away to your parents or your little brother, there are many uses to give an old laptop in your day-to-day: you can learn new software, reuse components, make decoration with its parts, use it as a mini-chain … We leave you various uses for your old laptop so you can choose the one that convinces you the most.

Disassemble and reuse

It is not a use for an average user but it does if you like computers. If you have broken it may be one of the best options to take advantage of the most useful parts to assemble a new computer. For example, the hard drive. You can disassemble to take advantage of it although you can also disassemble to experiment, to test, to satisfy your curiosity or to know what it is like inside if you do not know it.

You can also disassemble to decorate. A glance on Pinterest is enough to know that with computer parts you can create true wonders … Take the plates and you can make earrings, pendants, cutting boards in the kitchen, lamps or all kinds of inventions that you can achieve by gluing and cutting.

If none of the above works for you, you can always sell the pieces separately.

laptop battery

Try new systems

You can use it to experiment, to test things. Try another operating system, try all kinds of retro games, emulators or whatever you need. If you like computing it is one of the best uses for an old laptop: use it for experience all kinds of software, alternatives to Windows, etc. You won’t be as afraid of it breaking down as your current computer should something go wrong.

TempleOS - Alternatives to Windows

Series and films

Having a laptop to watch series and movies is una of the best options if you share a flat or if you don’t have a Smart TV. It is comfortable if you want to watch series and movies from bed and you have changed it for a desktop that does not allow it, for example. It is also very practical if you want to use it to watch something on television and you do not have a Smart TV: just an HDMi cable and place the laptop next to the TV cabinet to watch Netflix from its website, HBO, Disney Plus or any other platform. Or take the opportunity to use it with a Chromecast without leaving what you are doing, etc. There are many options to watch series and movies both on TV and wherever you want.

The advantage is that watch it online It will allow you to do it without installing anything and you won’t need many resources either. But you can also configure the video applications to automatically play when you open the computer and thus you will have a kind of portable television.

netflix tv

Multimedia center

Beyond watching series on streaming platforms with apps or HDMI, you can make a multimedia center much more complete and interesting. You can have the photos, videos or movies you want and watch them with streaming to connect it to the PC for example. To make a multimedia center you can use Plex or Kodi, some of the most popular but not the only ones.


Retro games

You can try emulators and use your computer as retro games. In addition, you can customize it or ‘tune’ it to the maximum so that it happens to have a nostalgic console aspect and you will even find specific controls to play old video game titles like the NES, for example.


Auxiliary display

If you have space on the desk, one of the best uses for an old laptop It is an auxiliary screen that will be much more comfortable for us to work, to play or to study. It is perfect for this use as long as you have a hole. You can use specialized applications to configure secondary screens or do it via VGA or DVI cable to automatically detect it.



You can use video surveillance cameras connected to the Internet and using an old laptop to view them. If it is no longer useful for playing or working, you can always have the screen open with the cameras and you will have control of what happens with just a glance. Of course, it will take more space to have a table or an exclusive place to control the cameras, but if you live in a big house and you are concerned about privacy, it can be one of the best uses for your old laptop.

WiFi point

If WiFi doesn’t reach you to any part of the house, one of the uses for your old computer is to turn it into a Wifi point that improves coverage so that we can use our mobile phones, tablets, etc. It is not the most attractive and is far from being comparable to a mesh network in terms of design (you are not going to put an old laptop in the living room) but it can be useful if you have no other choice. There are applications that you can use to configure it as a repeater and give it a new life.

Wifi repeater - old laptop

For music

You may have wireless speakers and all kinds of devices capable of connecting to your mobile to play music. But not so many to play a CD. You can give it a second use as a mini chain or as a device to play your old CDs, something you cannot do from your mobile or tablet.


Digital photo frame

It can be a better use for an old mobile or a tablet because a laptop can be more bulky but it is enough to look at the Internet to find tutorials that will make have an original digital photo frame. If your grandparents are the ones who regularly repeat that they do not see the photos since they are on their phones, it is a good gift and you can get a good design if you are looking for a creative tutorial.


Donate it

It may not be useful to you but it may be useful to other people. There are many specialized NGOs that allow us to donate computers that may seem obsolete to us but that others can use. In 2020, with the COVID19 crisis, thousands of children in Spain needed a computer to do their homework and many NGOs sought to end this digital divide. If it works and you don’t want to have it at home, it is one of the best uses you can give it.

One of those websites, for example, is, an association in charge of collecting computers, mobiles, tablets or electronic books to help schools around the world as educational software.

Donate to science

Beyond donating your computer physically to someone else, you can collaborate with science with experiments of all kinds. There are universities and projects that allow you to “borrow” your computer to work. It is a program or application that is installed on your computer and downloads data, analyzes patterns, using your computer to work on mathematical calculations. This is the case of SETI Home, an experiment that you can join.

SETI - Uses old laptop

External hard drive

Can reuse the hard drive, if that’s fine, to have an external hard drive if you buy a specific case, for example. You can save all your photos, videos or documents without having to invest in a new hard drive.

wd my passport external hard drives

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