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a mother and daughter smiling sitting at a table using a laptop at home

How to repurpose your old laptop for children

Do you have an old laptop collecting dust in your cupboard? Have you recently bought a new laptop and are considering throwing away the old one? Before you think about putting your old laptop in the cupboard or even worse, in the rubbish, you might want to consider the benefits of bringing your old PC back to life.

In a few easy steps, you can repurpose an old laptop and get it working like a new device. This will increase its value if you decide to sell it or enable you to give it away to a friend or family member. Repurposing an old laptop is also a great option if you’re looking to set up a starter PC for your children. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to repurpose an old laptop for children.

Check it

Before you decide to repurpose an old laptop, it’s important to check that it’s still working properly. If you encounter serious problems or hardware issues, such as a dead battery or a faulty motherboard, it’s unlikely that it will work any better once you repurpose it. Some companies will still let you sell the laptop, but if you’re looking to repurpose it for another person or your children, we suggest you consider getting the device fixed by a professional.

Save it

Before you give your old laptop to another person, it’s important to reset it to factory settings. However, before you reset it, you should turn it on and check if you have any important files or documents that you want to save. The laptop might contain work documents or sentimental photos, so you should always double-check. Once you’ve identified everything you want to save, you now need to transfer the files to a new place.

You could use a USB drive or an external drive, to transfer the files from one PC to another. You could also use cloud storage systems, such as OneDrive, Google Drive or DropBox to copy files between PCs. Once everything is saved on another device, you will feel more comfortable moving to the next step.

Reset it

After you’ve retrieved all your important files from your old laptop, the easiest way to make a laptop child friendly is to reset it to its factory settings. This will remove any unnecessary programmes and make it easier to childproof. It will also ensure that the next person who uses your laptop won’t have access to any of your information or documents. At this stage, the computer is ready to sell, but if you want to give the laptop to another person, keep reading for the next steps.

Upgrade it

Once you’ve reset your laptop, you may realise that it doesn’t work as well as it used to. At this stage, there are different options to help increase the performance of your laptop. Increasing your computer’s memory and storage are both useful ways to bring a slow computer back to life. By adding more memory, your slow computer that struggles to perform multiple tasks at once will experience faster recall speeds.

You could also upgrade your hard disk drive to a solid-state drive as they are almost ten times faster and more reliable. You could also increase the storage capacity of your SSD in order to create more space for files and applications. Either way, upgrading your computer’s memory, storage or both will revitalise your struggling machine and increase your PC’s performance.

Load it

Once you have reset your old laptop to factory settings and upgraded it, it will work like a new computer. This means that you can load it with whichever programmes your child might need access to. You can even turn it into a gaming laptop for your child if you want.

Protect them

Protecting your children online is just as important as giving them access to a computer. The internet can be a scary place so if you’re repurposing a laptop for children, it’s a good idea to add parental controls. Most laptops have security settings that you can add to prevent your children from accessing certain websites or to limit their screen time. On most computers, it’s also possible to create a children’s account which will allow you to put restrictions in place so they can’t visit websites that are not suitable for them.

Overall, if you have an old laptop lying around, it can prove more useful than you might think. In just a few steps you can turn an old laptop into a working device that is safe and ready for children to use.


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