5 Uses for Your Old MacBook

You’ve have that old MacBook sitting in your closet collecting dust for long enough. It’s time to break it out and put it to good use. Here are five uses for your old MacBook.

So you bought a new MacBook and might be wondering what to do with the old one. Many people usually just sell their old gear, but sometimes they’ll just throw their old MacBook in the closet so as not to hassle with selling it. However, you can put that old piece of machinery to work even though it’s a bit older than you’d prefer.


As long as your old MacBook works, the possibilities are endless as far as what you can do with it. It might not be powerful enough to be your daily driver of a computer, but it’s capable of handling other minor tasks that you may not have thought of, like connecting it to your television to watch streaming content, or turning it into a media server of sorts.

If you have an old MacBook just laying around, here are five clever uses for it that will give it a new lease on life.

Home Theater PC

Your old MacBook may just be powerful enough to act as a home theater PC. Plug it in and you’ll be able to watch Netflix or any other streaming content on your television, thanks to your old MacBook.




Plus, you can even install VLC on it and play local movies. VLC is a very lightweight app and even watching a 1080p movie doesn’t take a lot of processing power, meaning that even an older computer can still deliver a punch when it comes to watching movies and TV shows online or locally.

One thing to be aware of is that your older MacBook probably doesn’t have an HDMI port, so connecting the computer to your television can get a bit interesting. You’ll most likely need a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, as well as an audio cable to send the audio to your television as well.

If you want to get more advanced, you could install media center software like XBMC or Plex in order to have a TV-friendly user interface that you can access to browse through apps and other content.

Use It for Experimentation

If there’s a new piece of software that you’re really wanting to try out, or if you’re just wary about installing something, using an old MacBook as a test ground for apps and other programs is a great use for it.



Sometimes we just don’t want to mess up what we have set up on your daily driver Mac, and installing new software all the time can build up a bunch of joke that we eventually won’t need any longer. You can keep your main Mac machine clean and experiment-free by using your old MacBook to try out new software.

For instance, if you’ve always wanted to try out a new Linux build but didn’t want to experiment with it on your main computer, this is where an old computer comes in handy. You’ll feel more open to trying new apps and programs without the fear of messing anything up on your main computer.

Use It for Medical Research

Before you get your hopes up about actually donating your old MacBook to a science lab for medical research purposes, it’s important to note that we’re talking about a piece of software that you can install on your old MacBook, called [email protected].

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[email protected] uses your computer’s processing power to help find cures for diseases. Since discovering cures involves understanding how complex proteins work, it takes supercomputers to figure that out, so [email protected] essentially combines the processing power from participating computers from all around the world and combines them into one giant supercomputer.

With this, you’re donating your old MacBook’s resources to cancer research in a way. Plus, it’s also a fun game to play, as there are a ton of [email protected] communities/groups that aim to have the “most folds” and see who can come out on top, so it’s a fun way to compete against friends while also donating to medical research.

Dedicate It to a Specific Room

Some users have iPads dedicated for the kitchen in order to make it easy to look up recipes and such, but you don’t need to spend $500 to have that kind of privilege. Instead, just use your old MacBook.



If you tend to spend a lot of time in a certain area of your house (other than your home office or living room), putting your old MacBook in there could be beneficial for many reasons. Like previously mentioned, it can be useful for looking up recipes while in the kitchen or even using it to watch videos to keep yourself entertained while you cook food.

You can even use your old MacBook in the garage to help you look up parts or watch DIY videos if you’re working on a project. Plus, the best part about an old MacBook is that you don’t really need to bother about keeping it clean, so dirty hands aren’t really a big deal.

Fix It Up and Sell It or Donate It

If all of the options above don’t really interest you, you can fix the computer up as best you can and either sell it to make a bit of money or donate it to a shelter or someone who really needs a computer, like Computers with Causes.


Furthermore, donating your old MacBook is far quicker and easier than trying to sell it, and you’ll likely make someone’s day by giving it to them.

However, before you sell or donate your old MacBook, be sure to delete any personal information that you might still have on there and wipe it clean. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to back up all the information before you wipe it, just in case you ever need it in the future.