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Have an old laptop that is gathering dust in your closet? You recently bought a new laptop and are considering throwing out the old one? Before considering throwing your old laptop in the closet, or worse yet, in the trash, consider the benefits of reviving your old PC. With a few simple steps, you can repurpose an old laptop and make it work like a new device. This adds value if you decide to sell it or gift it to a friend or family member. Repurposing an old laptop is also a great option if you want to set up a bootable PC for your kids.
Access to a digital device was crucial during the coronavirus pandemic, so there couldn’t be a better time to install kids on a laptop. Most old laptops start to collect dust when they are too old to do anything useful. Bring your old gadgets to life and secure and turn an expensive paperweight into a fun playpen and educational tool for kids.
Setting up an old laptop for kids
“Clean” old laptop
The first thing to do when preparing a laptop for older children is to ensure that it does not contain content that is distracting or inappropriate. You can perform a Windows or Mac update, uninstall any unnecessary programs, and delete all your files.
If you have taken all the important files from your hard drive, the most reliable way to make a kid’s laptop is to return the device to factory settings. If it’s a Windows machine, you can use the Reset your Windows 10 PC feature, reinstall Windows 7 from scratch, or reset your Windows 8 PC. If it’s a Mac, you can install the latest version of macOS. You may still encounter hardware problems, such as broken batteries, hard drives, or old motherboards. If an old laptop battery is damaged or deformed in any way, replace it. Unfortunately, repairing an old computer is often more expensive than buying your child a new Chromebook.
Establish the necessary security measures
After your laptop has been thoroughly cleaned and is running smoothly, you need to make sure it is safe and secure. This does not mean that complex security measures have to be implemented. In fact, most Windows computers come with Windows Defender, which is powerful antivirus software. With a Mac, you still need to protect your device from malware to make sure it’s safe while using it.
Once the proper safety measures are in place, you should implement the second most important safety feature for young children using laptops: parental controls. Limited use of time, certain functions, and access to inappropriate websites and content are essential for the development of a healthy relationship between children and technology and the Internet.
Add the necessary things for a laptop
Now your unused laptop is “clean” and safe. Now is the time to make sure the content your child accesses is engaging, educational, and healthy. When looking for family-friendly content, keep in mind that most free content will have ads. It can be a bit confusing to find high-quality content for kids, so the article has some suggestions for you:
- PBS Kids (https://pbskids.org/) offers many games, videos, and activities for children of all ages.
- Minecraft (https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/) is the most popular computer game for children and helps increase creativity and ingenuity.
- Hoopla (https://www.hoopladigital.com/my/hoopla) works with libraries to provide free access to e-books for children.
- Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/) from MIT focuses on teaching programming basics for 4-year-olds.
- ABC Mouse (https://www.abcmouse.com/abt/homepage) brings together learning games on a variety of topics in one subscription-based package.
- Virtual tours (https://www.discoveryeducation.com/community/virtual-field-trips/) provide an interesting opportunity to explore famous places together.
- Google Classroom is one of the most popular home learning apps.
Speed up the computer
If you still can’t do anything on your laptop, it might be time to download a bit. Upgrading an old laptop to a new version of the operating system can overwhelm that old hardware. Instead of using something “heavy” like Windows 10, you can install operating systems like Google’s Chrome OS, which are designed to run on devices that aren’t powerful enough. Also, all the little things you can do to speed up your old Windows or Mac computer are worth considering.
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