What do you do with an old laptop in the UK?

21st January 2022
Old Laptops

Whether your laptop has broken, or it’s not working as well as it should, or you’re simply looking to upgrade to a better model, it can be difficult to know what to do with your old laptop.

old computer

There are a whole host of different things you can do with your old laptop – from donating it or recycling it, to selling it and refurbishing it.

Whatever you choose to do with your old laptop, it’s important you wipe the data to keep yourself safe. The vast majority of people think that a laptop with a dead battery or that won’t turn on is safe to dispose of. However, this is not the case. If your laptop falls into the wrong hands, those with the skills and know-how can still hack into your laptop and access its stored data.

Here are some of the things you can do with your old laptop:

But first – backup your device

Before parting with your laptop, it’s important that, if you can, you back up its data and content. This will provide you with the peace of mind that you won’t lose any of your important data. USB drives, external hard drives, and cloud-based storage are always good options to do this.

You will then need to destroy your hard drive or wipe it completely. Unfortunately, this is the only way to protect your laptop from data breaches.

Recycle your laptop

Choosing to recycle your laptop means you’ll be helping the planet while disposing of your old device. Your local recycling centre may be able to take the laptop off your hands so get in touch to see if they will accept it.

Donate it

Alternatively, you can donate it to a specialist charity that will refurbish it and send it to a developing country, or donate it to a youth centre or school, assuming it is in good working order.

Sell the parts

Re-marketing your laptop is not only a safe and secure way to dispose of your laptop but it will also allow you to recoup some of the money for its parts. It’s important to note that this option is best for people who have a good knowledge of laptops and their hardware as they’ll be able to find and remove the most valuable parts without any damage.

Gift it

If you’ve got a friend or family member in need of a laptop, why not give it to them? It could also provide an opportunity to give your children their first laptop, without the financial commitment or risk.


Trade it in

If your laptop is in working order, you may be able to trade it in and put the value towards the cost of a new one. It’s always worth checking with the retailer to see if this is a service they offer.

Sell it

If your laptop is in good condition and a sound working order, why not resell it? This is a great way to earn cash and providing you’ve wiped the hard drive and there is no data left on your laptop, it is safe. You can even use the cash you earn from the sale to purchase a new laptop!

Keep it as a streaming device

Why not repurpose your laptop as a streaming device? Use the laptop to access streaming sites online, and then connect it to your TV so you can watch on the big screen. Again, this one needs your laptop to be in full working order, but it’s a great way to re-use a laptop with limited space or memory as you won’t need to use or save files.

Keep it for emergencies

macbook pro 14 decision tree

Your laptop might not be up to meeting your daily usage needs anymore, but it can probably handle key tasks in an emergency. So why not hold onto it just in case your new one breaks, is damaged or stolen.

Looking for a new laptop?

If you lease your next laptop, you won’t need to worry about what to do with your old one when you upgrade. Get in touch to find out more about the benefits of leasing and how HardSoft can help you find your next laptop.