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Everything you can do to keep an old computer running

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While Windows gives you the option to keep your personal files when you restart the operating system, for best results (on both macOS and Windows) you need a complete wipe. You will need to remove all your files and applications from the drive and then put them back. With this in mind, make sure they are in a safe place while you perform the reset – the OneDrive and iCloud services built into Microsoft and macOS can be used for this, but you can choose whichever backup method you prefer.

In Windows, go to Settings in the Start menu, then choose windows update, Advanced Options, Recoveryand Reset this PC.

On macOS, open the Apple menu, then select System settings, General, Transfer or resetand Erase all content and settings.

Install Linux

ChromeOS Flex can give new life to an old computer.

Courtesy of Google

Maybe you can move away from Windows and macOS entirely: Linux, for the uninitiated, is a free and open source Desktop operating system that comes in a wide variety of versions known as distributions. While Linux lacks the polish and power of platforms developed by Microsoft and Apple, it is lightweight and easy to use.

In other words, certain Linux distributions will run well on older computers that make Windows and macOS slow, and you have a large number of these distributions to choose from. You’ll find plenty of lists and comparisons online, but companies like ubuntu, mint linuxand Zorin They are all great to start with.

Alternatively, turn your Windows or macOS computer into a Chromebook with Flexible Chrome OS from Google (which is actually also based on Linux). It’s easy to download and install, and although you’ll only be able to use a browser and web apps on your newly upgraded device, these days that’s all many people really need.

Reuse your computer

Plex can deliver multimedia content to all your devices.

Courtesy of Plex

Your computer can still be useful (and saved from the recycling center) even if it’s not actually a computer anymore. You can repurpose a desktop or laptop computer to take on a different role that isn’t as demanding, so you can enjoy something of a well-deserved retirement.

One option is to use your computer as a server, meaning you simply store media files and send them to other devices on your home network. He plexus The software package is pretty much the best option available for this: all of its core features are free to use and easy to set up. After setting up your computer as a Plex server, you can install the free Plex app on your phone, tablet, Roku, or Apple TV and stream your music and movies throughout your home.

You can also use an old computer as a security camera, if it has a webcam connected. I spy is the program you need for this and will allow you to burn images to the old computer’s hard drive, as well as log into the stream from wherever you are.

Depending on where your computer is and what it’s connected to, it can also function as a basic media player. It doesn’t take much processing power to stream Netflix or Disney+, and you may be able to use an HDMI cable to connect it to an older TV that doesn’t have smart apps already installed.

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