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How to set up an old laptop for children



  Family with Laptop
LightField Studios / Shutterstock

Most old laptops start collecting dust when they are too old to use anything useful. Revitalize and secure your old devices and turn an expensive paperweight into a fun playground and educational tool for kids.

Cleaning Up

The first thing to do as you prepare to unleash a child on your old laptop is to make sure it is free from intrusive, distracting, or inappropriate content. This can be as simple as updating your Windows or Mac machine, removing unnecessary programs and deleting all your files.

If you have already retrieved all important files from the hard drive, this is the most reliable way to make the laptop child. -friendly to restore the device to the original factory settings. If it's a Windows machine, you can use Windows 1

0's Reset Your PC feature, reinstall Windows 7 from scratch or reset your Windows 8 PC. If it's a Mac, you can get a fresh install of the latest version of macOS.

You may still experience hardware issues with dead batteries, faulty hard drives, or dusty motherboards. If your laptop battery is somehow deformed or deformed, replace it. Some of these problems can be worth the time and money to solve them. Unfortunately, it can often be more expensive to repair your old computer than to buy your kids a new Chromebook.

RELATED: How to Clean Your Gross Laptop Properly

Lock It Up

Once your laptop is thoroughly cleaned and running smoothly, you need to make sure it is safe. This does not mean that complicated security measures have to be taken. In fact, most Windows machines come with Windows Defender, a solid antivirus. If the child is using a Mac, you still need to protect your Mac from malware to ensure it is safe while browsing.

  Kid in Glasses Leaning Into Laptop
Morrowind / Shutterstock

Once security is in place, you want to set the second most important security feature for youngsters with laptops: parental controls. Limiting usage time, certain features, access to inappropriate websites and content is essential to developing a healthy relationship of a child with technology and the Internet. Macs have the ability to create user accounts specific to children, with limits on app usage and screen time. Both Windows 7 and Windows 10 have robust parental controls. Windows 10 even allows you to create and check a child's account for even more security as they work and play.

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Now that your disused machine is clean and safe, it's time to ensure that the content your child has access to is engaging, educational and healthy. When looking for family-friendly content, keep in mind that most free content will be flooded with ads. It can be a daunting task to find quality content for kids, so we went ahead and did it for you:

  • PBS Kids offers a wide variety of games, videos and activities for kids of all ages.
  • Minecraft is the most popular computer game for children with a lot of creativity and ingenuity.
  • Hoopla works with libraries to provide free access to ebooks for children.
  • Scratch, from MIT, focuses on teaching the basics of coding to children as young as ages 4 and up.
  • ABC Mouse collects learning games from a variety of topics in a subscription package.
  • Virtual excursions are a great opportunity to explore famous places together.
  • Google Classroom is one of the most popular home learning apps.

As always, make sure you keep a close eye on your children when they are working or playing. While the parental controls linked in the previous section can help limit your child to only approved websites, children are wise and always find some way to get around the rules.

Speed ​​it up

If you are still unable to do anything on your laptop, it may be time to lighten the load. Updating an older laptop to a newer version of the same operating system can overload that old hardware. Instead of using something heavy like Windows 10, you can install operating systems like Google's Chrome OS that are built to work on underpowered devices. This can be a somewhat technical undertaking, but that makes it the perfect opportunity to teach your children about technology. It's always worth considering all the little things you can do to speed up your Windows or Mac machine.

If you're willing to get your hands dirty, you can breathe new life into your laptop by installing Chrome OS on every laptop. Your device probably won't be able to run many Chrome apps, but it should be enough to at least use the Chrome browser. This gives your child access to a healthy selection of websites for learning and playing.

RELATED: 10 Quick Ways to Speed ​​Up a Slow PC with Windows 7, 8, or 10


Starting with an unusable piece of outdated technology, we've managed to revive your device blowing, which can now be used by your children for work or play. Your device doesn't have to be fast or streamlined. Now that it's cleaned, secured and filled with high-quality content, your old laptop is ready to educate and engage the next generation.


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