Your old Mac is gathering dust in a corner? Or maybe you’ve just upgraded to a newer model and aren’t sure what to do with the old one. Luckily, there are a ton of ways to reuse your old Mac.
Whether you want to use an old Mac as a media center, turn it into network storage, or use it for work, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best ways to reuse an old Mac.
1. Use it as a secondary monitor for your primary computer
Macs have great displays, and a great way to repurpose an old Mac is to use it as a secondary monitor for your main computer. This will increase your screen real estate and make working on projects easier and more efficient.
To use your old Mac as a second display for your new Mac, you’ll need a cable that supports DisplayPort. Once you have the correct cable, connect it from your old Mac to your new Mac. Then, on your new Mac, go to System Preferences > Displays. Under the Arrangement tab, you’ll see your old Mac listed as a possible view.
Also, if you want to connect your Mac to a Windows PC, you will need to use third-party software like Deskreen.
The possibilities for using an additional monitor are endless. For example, you can keep your live broadcast stream on one screen while you cast your screen on the other. Or, you can use one screen to browse the web while you work on a document on the other.
2. Set up your Mac as a temporary Wi-Fi hotspot
If you have a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office, you may need to set up a Wi-Fi range extender. However, an easy workaround may be to use your old Mac as a hotspot. Wi-Fi instead.
This will allow you to connect your other devices to the internet using your Mac’s Wi-Fi connection. All you need to do is connect your old Mac to your router with an Ethernet cable, place it near the Wi-Fi dead zone, and configure your Mac’s Wi-Fi hotspot by going to System Preferences > Sharing > Internet Sharing.
It’s a great way to bypass Wi-Fi dead zones without spending money on expensive range extenders.
3. Use it as a web server
If you’re a web developer, designer, or administrator and also have an old Mac, you can reuse it to host a website, create a local development environment, or even run a simple blog.
In fact, an old Mac is arguably much better than a small dedicated server in some ways. It’s very power efficient and if it’s a MacBook, it also has a built-in display, trackpad, and keyboard that makes it easy to set up. It takes up much less space compared to a small server and even has its own built-in backup battery in case of power failure!
The best part is that it is extremely affordable because you don’t need to invest in any new hardware or software.
To turn your old Mac into a web server, you will need to install web server software such as Apache, NGINX, or Microsoft IIS. Then you need to configure it to serve the content you want to share on the web, point your domain name’s DNS to your old Mac’s IP address, and your web server is ready.
4. Install Linux on it
Installing Linux on an older Mac can breathe new life into it while giving you a lightweight yet powerful operating system to work with. The best part is that since Linux is much lighter than macOS, it runs better on older hardware, boots faster, and even helps eliminate the annoying spinning wheel of death.
And that’s only scratching the surface, because there’s so much more you can do with Linux. For starters, Linux has a reputation for being one of the most secure operating systems, even more so than macOS. This is because there are fewer vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malware and hackers.
Another benefit of using Linux is that it offers alternatives to office suites, photo editors, email clients, and a host of other software that aren’t available on macOS, especially older ones. macOS versions. Check out our complete guide on how to install Linux on any computer.
5. Create network storage from your old Mac
If your old Mac has decent storage capacity, you can reuse it as a network-attached storage (NAS) device. This will turn your old Mac into personal cloud storage, which you or the people you share it with can access from anywhere in the world.
However, macOS doesn’t offer any built-in utility to turn your Mac into a NAS device, so you’ll have to use third-party software like FreeNAS or openmediavault. You’ll also need to make sure your Mac is still connected to your router, preferably via an Ethernet cable.
6. Use it for home automation
With a little effort, you can turn your old Mac into a powerful home automation tool that you can use to control almost any device that connects to your network. This could include your lights, thermostat, security system, air conditioners, and even your coffee maker!
One of the best things about using your old Mac for home automation is that you don’t have to buy new hardware to get started. All you need is software like Homebridge or HOOBS 4 that lets you control devices that don’t natively work with Apple’s HomeKit home automation system, and you’re ready to set up your smart home.
However, this software is not supported on all versions of macOS, so some features may not work properly on Macs running operating systems earlier than macOS High Sierra.
7. Turn your Mac into a Chromebook
By turning your old Mac into a Chromebook, you can combine the lightweight ChromeOS with the powerful hardware of a Mac. All you have to do is install Chrome OS on your old Mac.
This will give you a lightweight yet powerful operating system that’s perfect for everyday tasks like web browsing, checking email, and working on documents that can otherwise be quite difficult for an older Mac running macOS.
Additionally, since Chrome OS is Linux-based, you will be able to install a wide variety of Android and Linux apps on the same machine. You can add more customizations to your Mac and even access the built-in shell to run commands.
Since Macs have great displays, a smart way to reuse one is to use it as a media viewer. It’s a great way to save space on your main machine because you can store your movies or TV shows on your old Mac and watch them whenever you want.
The only setback may be online streaming, as some popular web browsers are no longer compatible with older versions of macOS. You need at least macOS 10.12 Sierra for the latest versions of Edge and Firefox, while Chrome requires macOS 10.13 High Sierra. However, you can always get around this problem by installing a lightweight browser for older machines, like Vivaldi or Opera, which still supports older versions of macOS.
9. Trade in an old Mac
If you don’t want to keep your old Mac, you can trade it in for a discount on a new one. The Apple Trade In program offers credit for a new device when you trade in your old MacBook or iMac. However, the amount of credit you will receive depends on the condition of your old Mac.
There are also many other third-party resellers, such as Decluttr, Swappa, and Best Buy, where you can sell your old Mac for a reasonable price without having to worry about finding a buyer directly. The only downside to going with resellers is that you won’t get as much money as if you sold it directly to a buyer on eBay or Craigslist.
Is your old Mac really too old?
If your old Mac is still functional, you might want to keep it a bit longer and reuse it as a secondary monitor or turn it into your personal cloud storage. However, if you don’t want to go through the effort of setting it up in one of these, you can always keep it as a backup machine in case your primary computer fails.
Or, you can always pass it on to a child to help them learn how to use it. But if you really don’t want to do anything with it, selling it might just be the best option for you.