An old computer, here are the possible uses


Here is a list of the many possible uses for an old computer that still works well, to extend its life and prevent it from needlessly ending up in a landfill.

Above all, consider upgrading

If your computer is several years old, upgrading it is easier than current hardware as components are often soldered and cannot be removed.

Most of the time, the reasons for its slowness stem mainly from lack of RAM, hard disk, or both. These two components are usually easy to replace on your own, by a skilled friend or in the workshop.

Another important factor, SSD (solid state drive) storage and RAM modules are affordable and easy to find online. For example, a quick Amazon.ca search for a 480-512GB solid-state drive leads to a price range of $62-$85. As for the computer hard disk, it can be used as a backup in an external USB drive. For RAM, find the type of unit and the maximum capacity your computer will allow to replace it. Nowadays, you need at least 8 or even 16 GB of RAM to run your program well.


Here, too, you can find not only excellent products at good prices online, but also video instructions on how to exchange them.

Your computer will restore an atmosphere of youth and fluidity that will surprise you!

These upgrades also apply when purchasing a new computer. With large RAM and fast SSD storage, you will enjoy better performance throughout use and for longer.

As a dedicated PC

for guests

With a WiFi connection accessible from anywhere in the house, this computer can be used in the bedroom of friends who will no longer bother you to borrow your computers or because they forgot their computers.

Converting an old PC into a guest PC is simple. Simply create a new local account in the system for your guest.

in the garage

Have you always thought or dreamed of having a custom system for your garage? It can be used to manage your materials, 1000’s of your garden plants or your to-do lists for your projects. An old laptop or all-in-one works just fine.

Although its capabilities are limited, most older computers can access websites, document editing applications, and guided video streams.

for video surveillance

This computer will find a useful second life for managing surveillance cameras at home.

Many security cameras can connect to a computer on your local network and record video there. Look for home security cameras such as “IP cameras” that connect directly to your local network or the Internet.

house servant

Are your photo and video files cluttering your phones, tablets, and computers? This free old computer can act as a media center for storing and streaming media.

Just use what is called in the middle Plex, i.e. a multimedia center like iTunes on macOS or Windows Media Player on Windows, or one of the many third-party systems like JetAudio or Winamp.

In this case, an SSD instead of an old one will save you from losing patience in dealing with image files, audio and video files that can be quite heavy.

for scientific computing

Why not lend your computer’s computing power for scientific research purposes? Even if it would cost you a few kilowatts of electricity, your old Mac Pro for example (I still have one, version 1.1, 2006, which works flawlessly) can be used for climate research, mathematics, astrophysics, and molecular simulations , physics, artificial intelligence and biomedicine, etc.

The first version of Mac Pro, from Apple

The first version of Mac Pro, from Apple

A good place for your contribution to humanity starts here on the UC Berkeley Projects page, using the Boinc Program. or at Folding @ Home.

The computer is running at full speed, generating heat and noise. So put it in a cool place, like a garage.

Donate or recycle

If the desire to reuse it means nothing to you, your local donation centers will be glad to receive it to find a new useful life for it.

On the other hand, if it is too old or defective, avoid throwing it away with other waste. Electronic products such as computers should be recycled. Again, your local area offers take-back programs, or companies like Best Buy that recycle old electronics. I remember dropping my old eight-cartridge inkjet printer in there that cost a fortune to run.

Some PC manufacturers often have their own recycling programs and even cover shipping costs.


Anna Feelin – Unsplash

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