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What to do with Old, Outdated MacBooks

Every year, Apple releases the newest version of macOS, making older generations of the operating system either old or obsolete. You may want to upgrade to the newer model with better functionality and features. 

If this sounds relevant, you may wonder, “What can I do with my old MacBook?” Fortunately, there are many ways to repurpose your old MacBook.

Let’s explore:

Mac Repair Speciaslist

Use it as a Temporary Wi-Fi Hotspot

Do you have a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or workspace? Are you planning to set up a Wi-Fi range extender? 

Well, you can turn your old Mac into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Yes, you read it right! Your old MacBook as a Wi-Fi hotspot will allow you to connect other devices to the internet using the Mac’s Wi-Fi connectivity. And it’s very easy to set up.

  • Simply use an Ethernet cable to connect your old Mac to your router. 
  • Place it near the Wi-Fi dead zone.
  • Configure your Mac’s Wi-Fi hotspot. Go to System Preferences > Sharing > Internet Sharing.

So, you’ll get around Wi-Fi dead zones without buying expensive Wi-Fi range extenders.

Use an Old Mac as a Chromebook

Google’s ChromeOS is a browser-based operating system designed for low-cost computers. Since almost everything is stored in the cloud, you don’t need much local storage; 16GB local storage with 4GB RAM should be sufficient. The ChromeOS Flex version can be installed on an old MacBook with an 8 GB USB drive.

Please note that ChromeOS Flex only works on MacBooks running Intel processors. It doesn’t work on Apple’s newer M-series processors.

Install Linux on your Mac

Linux is an operating system just like Windows and macOS. However, it’s more complicated than ChromeOS, but it is more like macOS. Fortunately, you can install any number of Linux distributions, like Ubuntu Linux, on your old device, enabling. The process is very simple, using a step-by-step installation guide

If you want to use your old MacBook to learn ethical hacking, you can install Kali Linux. If your device has a G3, G4, or G5 processor, you may need a specialized version of Linux’s PowerPC version. Debian and Gentoo have released updated PPC versions of their Linux distributions a couple of years ago.

Repurpose it for Home Automation.

Put into it a little effort, and your old MacBook can become a powerful home automation tool. You can use it to control many devices connected to your network. These include thermostats, air conditioners, lights, security systems, and more.

In this way, you’ll save money on buying new hardware to get started with home automation. Simply use software like HOOBS 4 to control devices that are not compatible with Apple’s HomeKit home automation system. Then, you’re ready to set up your smart home.

Please note that some features might not work on Macs, depending on the home automation software you use.

Make it a Classic Video Game Emulator.

Do you like classic video games? Then, you can turn your old, outdated MacBook into a retro gaming console for playing Sega, Nintendo, and other classic titles. Given that there is no disc drive, you’ll have to find ROM files of the desired games.

Some popular cross-platform emulators for Macs are PPSSPP, VICE, QEMU, RetroArch, and more. In fact, there are Android emulators for MacBooks that allow you to play Android games, as well as Windows emulators to play Windows games on Mac.

Turn Your Old MacBook into a Media Viewer

Good thing for entertainment lovers! MacBooks traditionally come with excellent screens. So, you may hang on to your old Mac after the upgrade for streaming purposes. Streaming videos from Netflix, Apple TV, and other sources doesn’t consume too much power. That is why older Macs can support them well.

Please note that too old MacBooks may not become your media viewer if they are not compatible with modern web browsers. However, most of the web browsers continue supporting old macOS every 2-3 years after Apple ends support.

Use It as a Secondary Laptop

Consider using your old MacBook as your second laptop with your primary device. For this purpose, you’ll need a cable that supports DisplayPort. Connect the cable from your old Mac to the new Mac. 

Then, on your new device, go to System Preferences > Displays. The Arrangement Tab will show your old Mac listed as a possible display. In addition, you can connect your old Mac to a Windows PC using third-party software.

Trade in an Old Mac

But you don’t want to keep your old MacBook? In this case, you can trade your MacBook for a discount on the new model. 

For this, you’ve to check with the Apple Trade-In Program or with other third-party MacBook retailers. Please note that the percentage of the discount depends on the model and condition of your MacBook.

In addition to the above-listed ideas, there are countless other ways to use your MacBook. Use it as network storage or recycle your old MacBook. You can even give it to a charity or school.

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