7 Creative Ways to Reuse an Old Mac at No Cost
Your old Mac’s heyday is over. It is now just sitting there gathering dust. What do you do with an old MacBook, iMac, or iMac? You can use these 7 creative ways to transform it into something unless you are looking to make it a home décor item.
1. 1. Install Linux on an old Mac
Linux is known for being a lifesaver, able to bring life back into old Macs. Linux is an open-source operating platform with thousands of programs. Linux offers many advantages over office suites like OpenOffice and LibreOffice. It also includes alternatives such as GIMP and mail clients. Linux supports games like Minecraft and Civilization V.
Linux OS is the best choice, as it can be installed on any computer. Linux OS can do almost everything that macOS cannot. Linux environment has a lot more customization options than macOS. There are many Linux-based systems available. They can mimic macOS (Ubuntu), or look more Windows-like with Linux Mint.
Linux can make your Mac run faster if it is too slow or old for any acceptable macOS version. Linux boots faster and eliminates the annoying spinning wheel problem. This operating system is also less likely to infect your computer with malware. Linux has its limitations, such as the inability to configure certain settings or lack of compatibility with peripherals like printers. Anyway, we highly recommend you repurpose your old Mac and try installing Linux.
2. Make your old Apple laptop a Chromebook
This special kind of laptop called Chromebook was introduced in 2011. It runs Chromium Linux, the Linux-based OS created by Google. This is an excellent choice for an older MacBook, as it has minimal system requirements.
Chromium can’t run Google Chrome or its extensions. However, if you have it installed on an older laptop it can be used as an extra device to access YouTube videos, search the internet, and cloud services. A Chromium laptop can also be used as a travel device to browse the web while on vacation.
Chromebook is perfect for web-based tasks. All data is safely stored in the cloud so there is nothing to worry about if your Chromebook gets damaged. If you feel like trying to turn your old Mac into a Chromebook–check out this guide on how to do this.
3. Your old Mac can be used to create a network-attached device
This is better than the iMac for repurposing an older MacBook Pro or MacBook Pro. You can turn your old Mac laptop into a network-attached storage device (NAS) to save your files and media. It’s simple: connect the drive to your home network so you can access files from any device, whether it is a computer, smartphone, or tablet. You can also access your files from anywhere you have an internet connection.
It’s a smart idea to have easy access to your files at all times and without any cost. Instead of dumping all your images to iCloud, you can transfer them to your NAS. Instead of storing your movies on your phone, you can stream them to your NAS. Do you get the idea?
4. Make an emergency Wi-Fi hotspot
Are you experiencing a weak Wi-Fi signal or a dead zone? You can use your old Mac to act as a router and signal extender. This is a great option if you use a wired connection often. Your old iMac/Macbook can be connected to the Ethernet. Place it wherever you want to receive Wi-Fi signals. You can easily adjust macOS settings to allow internet sharing and your old computer will become a Wi-Fi hotspot. This will save you money on a new router.
5. Recycle or sell your old Mac
This is a good way to make some extra money, even though it’s not the most innovative. You can either sell it as-is or make parts. It’s impossible to predict what other people might need for their DIY projects or repairs.
Apple offers a free recycling program for used Apple products that you can recycle responsibly if you are unable to sell them yourself. This is the last resort when Apple computers are not worth fixing.
If transferring all of your data to a new Mac is stopping you from selling it–know your options on how to transfer your content with less effort.
6. Trade-in an old Mac
Apple’s Trade-In program allows you to add credit towards your next purchase. It’s possible to trade your old iMac and MacBook as well as other Apple devices. You can always get an Apple Store gift card if your Mac is not eligible for credit.
7. You can do fun things with your old Mac
You can find creative ways to rekindle your old Mac if you are looking for new uses. You can find such inspiration and ideas wherever you go. Pinterest! We tried to find DIYs for repurposing older Macs but were completely out of touch with reality. Let your imagination go wild with these pins! You can make a Macquarium with your Mac Mini or MacBook. It could be a fish tank, wall clock, or coffee table. You choose!
Our favorite idea is an old Mac turned into a mailbox. Do you remember seeing such a mailbox before? Which pin is your personal number 1?
No matter how old your Mac is, creative thinking can bring new life to it.