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What to do with old laptops in the UK?


In today’s technology-saturated world, equipment like laptops plays an essential role in our day-to-day activities. Nonetheless, technological advancements are constantly changing, and a device that was once state-of-the-art can rapidly become outdated. When the prospect of upgrading to a newer laptop presents itself, it’s vital to consider how best to responsibly dispose of or repurpose your old device. This piece provides several alternatives to assist you in making an informed decision about handling your previous laptop in the UK.

1. Sell your old laptop

If your old laptop is still in good working condition, selling it can be a great way to recover some of its value while giving it a second life. Several online platforms and marketplaces allow you to sell used electronics, including laptops. Some popular websites where you can list your laptop for sale include:

  • eBay
  • Gumtree
  • Facebook Marketplace

Make sure to clearly describe the specifications, condition, and any accessories that come with the laptop to attract potential buyers.

2. Donate your old laptop

If your old laptop is still functional but you no longer have use for it, consider donating it to someone in need. Several organizations in the UK accept old laptops and refurbish them to distribute among individuals or communities who cannot afford new devices. Some notable organizations include:

  • Computers 4 Africa
  • SocialBox.Biz
  • IT Schools Africa

Donating your laptop not only helps someone access technology but also contributes to reducing electronic waste.

3. Trade-in or recycling programs

Many laptop manufacturers and retailers offer trade-in or recycling programs to encourage responsible disposal of old devices. These programs allow you to exchange your old laptop for a discount on a new purchase or simply recycle it. Some well-known brands with such initiatives include:

  • Dell
  • Apple
  • HP

By participating in these programs, you can ensure that your old laptop is properly recycled or refurbished, minimizing its impact on the environment.

4. Repurpose your old laptop

If your old laptop is no longer suitable for your everyday needs, you can repurpose it for various other purposes. Here are a few ideas:

a. Media or file server

Transform your old laptop into a media server by connecting it to your home network. This way, you can stream movies, music, or other media files to your TV or other devices within your home.

b. Home surveillance system

With the help of suitable software and webcams, you can repurpose your old laptop into a home surveillance system. Monitor your home remotely by setting up the laptop as a security camera.

c. Dedicated gaming or entertainment system

If your old laptop can handle basic gaming or entertainment needs, you can repurpose it as a dedicated system for playing retro games or streaming content on a secondary display.


When faced with the question of what to do with your old laptops in the UK, it is essential to consider sustainable options that benefit both you and the environment. Whether you choose to sell, donate, trade-in, recycle, or repurpose your old laptop, each option provides a unique opportunity to extend the lifespan of the device and minimize electronic waste. So, the next time you upgrade to a new laptop, make an informed decision and take responsible action.


Q: Can I sell my old laptop in the UK?

A: Yes, you can sell your old laptop through online platforms and marketplaces such as eBay, Gumtree, and Facebook Marketplace.

Q: What should I do if my old laptop is still functional but I don’t need it anymore?

A: If your old laptop is still functional, you can donate it to organizations in the UK such as Computers 4 Africa, SocialBox.Biz, or IT Schools Africa.

Q: Are there trade-in or recycling programs for old laptops in the UK?

A: Yes, many laptop manufacturers and retailers in the UK offer trade-in or recycling programs, such as Dell, Apple, and HP.

Q: How can I repurpose my old laptop in the UK?

A: You can repurpose your old laptop in the UK by using it as a media or file server, connecting it to your home network and streaming media files to other devices.