What to Do With an Old iMac

Are they worth selling?

If you have an old iMac, it may be an upgrade for someone else, or it may be the start of a fun DIY project. Here’s how to give your old iMac a second life instead of letting your house become a tech graveyard.

What to Do Before Trading In

You need to prepare your old iMac before disposing of it. Whether you intend to sell or donate it, you have no control over where it ends up afterward. Aside from backing up files you want to keep, you need to remove personal information from the device for your security. Here's how to get your Mac ready for resale (or donation).

Can I Get Money For My Old iMac?

Whether or not someone will buy your iMac depends on its age and condition. If your computer is a few years old and in working condition, you should have no problem selling it. Very old iMacs look cool, but they aren’t valuable other than maybe as collector’s items. Even if your iMac is nothing but broken parts, we’ll have a recommendation for you.

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For Good-Condition iMacs: Sell It

Your old iMac may be a wanted upgrade for someone else. If you want to sell your iMac, you’ll need to identify your iMac. Find the serial number on the underside of your iMac and use Apple's site to get your iMac's model number. Once you know which model your iMac is, you can check what hardware it has and provide that information to potential buyers.

To see how much it’s worth, search for your iMac model on eBay, including sold listings in the search. Once you know what to ask for your computer, you can sell your iMac on eBay or another website. You can get it off your hands quicker by finding a local buyer with Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. However you decide to sell it, include as much information as possible to speed up the sale.

When selling valuable items, be sure to meet your buyer in a well-lit, public place.

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Donating old devices is faster and easier than arranging a sale. Call local charities and youth centers to see if they accept computers. National organizations like Goodwill and Habitat For Humanity run thrift stores to fund their charitable operations. You can find more electronics recycling options on Love To Know.

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For Broken iMacs: Recycle It

If your old iMac doesn’t work any more, you can still recycle it. Electronics can’t go in your city recycling bin, but many companies accept old electronics for recycling. You can drop off your old iMac at a local Staples or Best Buy. Old Apple products can also be returned to Apple for recycling. If you want to see more options, check out the EPA list of companies that accept electronics for recycling.

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For The Tech Savvy: Make an iMac Server

Maybe it was time for an upgrade, but your old iMac could still be useful as a server. Depending on its RAM and CPU, it may be able to host your website or run a Minecraft server.

FAQ
  • How do I use an old iMac as a monitor?

    If your iMac supports target display mode, you can use your iMac as a monitor. Connect your iMac with another Mac using a Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort cable. Then press Command+F2 on your iMac to display the other Mac's desktop. To exit target display mode, disconnect the Macs or press the Command+F2 keyboard combination again.

  • How do I speed up an old iMac?

    You have several options for upgrading your older iMac. If your model allows it, you can upgrade the RAM by replacing or adding more memory in the provided slots. Other methods include replacing the hard drive or using an external solid state drive (SSD) for file storage or as your startup drive.

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