Home » Reuse Ideas » What To Do with an Old Mac Mini – Best Ideas

What To Do with an Old Mac Mini – Best Ideas

Wondering what to do with your old Mac mini?

The Mac mini is a great computer and has a lot of useful features, but it is aging and no longer has the cutting-edge performance of the more recent models.

Many people have upgraded their computers and purchased the newest and fastest Mac available, but if you’re looking for something else to do with your old Mac mini, there are many ways to repurpose it.

What to do with an old Mac Mini

We all want the latest and greatest Mac, but sometimes you need to let go of the newness in your life and focus on what is important.

A computer is no different, but with a little creativity and flexibility, you can repurpose an old Mac mini into something useful.

If you’re looking for a way to give your aged computer some new life or just want a good way to put it to work, here are some practical ideas for what to do with an old Mac mini:

Install Linux

Linux is an amazing operating system and is very flexible.

There are many different distros to choose from, but the most popular are Ubuntu and Mint.

These are GNU/Linus-based Linux systems that do not require any unnecessary software.

They are very light on resources and can be run on older computers.

Secure and easy to use, they make a wonderful operating system for all kinds of purposes.

One of the best uses for an old Mac mini is a Linux computer that you can take anywhere.

They are very portable, and if you have an SSD drive they are very fast.

Be sure that you have a copy of the operating system before installing it on your old Mac, as this will be what your computer is running when you go to boot it up.

There are plenty of tutorials that explain how to install Linux on your Mac mini, so be sure to do a little research and make sure you know what you’re doing.

Installing Linux on a Mac mini is pretty simple.

All you need is a USB thumb drive with the distro you want and then to download the newest version of Boot Camp from Apple.

Boot Camp will then allow you to partition your drive or install it directly, whichever you prefer.

Once it’s installed, your old Mac mini will be a Linux-powered computer.

Enjoy surfing the net and using your old computer for all sorts of different things.

Transform it into a home media server

If you’re looking for an easy way to repurpose an old Mac mini, you can use it as a home media server.

The Mac mini is a terrific little computer, and it makes a great home media center.

Using your old Mac mini as a media server is very simple and incredibly useful.

All you need to do is install Plex Media Server on your computer, and then download Plex Media Player on the other devices that you want to stream the content to.

Use the server to stream a wide variety of content to all the devices connected to your network.

There is no doubt that we need entertainment in our lives, and there are many different ways to enjoy movies and music.

With the media server feature in Plex, you can stream music, videos, and photos to all sorts of devices.

You can watch a movie on your TV or record it so that you can watch it later.

It’s also easy to access your home files through the server.

If you’ve got an old Mac mini lying around collecting dust, consider using it as a media server powered by one of the most customizable media servers available.

You’ll have control over your media and get to relish the power and flexibility of your new computer.

Make it a Chromebook

Give your old Mac mini a new lease on life by making it into a Chromebook.

A Chromebook is a stripped-down version of the Chrome operating system.

It is proprietary and runs off Google’s cloud services, but it is incredibly easy to use and can be customized to your liking.

The best part about using a Chromebook is that it keeps you connected to the net all the time without eating up your battery.

If you’re looking for a way to repurpose your old Mac mini and you want something that is easy to use and stays connected, a Chromebook is great.

It is light on resources and perfect for the user who doesn’t want to worry about installing anything or worrying about security issues.

Now when you install it on your old laptop, it’ll only run on the Google Chrome app and its extensions, nothing else.

However, it may be handy for browsing the web, watching YouTube videos, and accessing cloud services.

Learning to make a Chromebook out of your old Mac computer just requires some basic computer knowledge.

All you need is about 5-10 minutes to get it running.

Turn it into a TV set-top box

If you’ve got an old Mac mini lying around, consider using it as a TV set-top box.

The Mac Mini has a built-in HDMI output and can act as a set-top box for all your cable needs.

Using the built-in Ethernet port, you can have it connect to your home network so that all of your streaming services are available.

Turning an old Mac mini into a set-top box is a great way to reap the benefits of having a computing device without needing to buy any additional hardware.

Using your old Mac mini as a set-top box will allow you to easily access all of your streaming services, watch movies, and listen to music.

You won’t have the hassles of setting everything up or messing with outdated technology that no longer works well anymore.

Create an emergency Wifi hotspot

The truth is not every part of your home will receive a strong Wifi signal.

Some parts will work great, but others won’t even pick up the signal.

The Mac Mini is small and has a built-in Wifi antenna that can be used to create a free Wifi hotspot.

If you’re looking for an easy way to repurpose an old Mac mini, your best bet is to use it as an emergency Wifi hotspot.

It will work similarly as a router or Wifi extender to bring your Wifi signal to areas of your home where it is weak or doesn’t even exist.

In this case, you will need a wired connection to the Mac Mini to ease setup.

Connecting it to your ISP’s router via an Ethernet cable is the best way to create a free Wifi hotspot.

From there, go to the settings and turn on the Wifi hotspot.

Place the device in a place that needs better Wifi reception and enjoy a stronger signal.

While using an old Mac mini as a hotspot can be handy, it isn’t the fastest solution out there.

Most users find that the best way to extend their Wifi network is with a wireless extender or router.

Make a network-attached system out of it

If you have an old Mac mini that is still working, why not use it to create a network-attached storage system for your home computer?

This can be handy for backing up the files on all of your computers.

You’ll have one central location for everything and will eliminate the need to use a USB thumb drive or external hard drive.

Using an old Mac mini as a network-attached storage system is incredibly useful.

It allows you to back up all of your data and keep them stored safely even if one of your computers fails.

You can easily access the drive from any computer on your network and save the files that you need.

In addition, you’ll be able to access all of your saved files from anywhere as long as there is a stable internet connection.

Trade in your old Mac mini

Apple has an excellent trade-in program that can get you up to $300 for your old Mac.

If you’re thinking about trading in your old Mac mini, you can use it to purchase a new one or any other Apple device.

That’s because Apple gives you cash or credit for your device.

The only thing Apple doesn’t do is give you cash for your old devices.

Instead, you have to purchase a new device with that money.

There are certain limitations as to which devices qualify for the program and what price you can get for them.

You’ll have to check Apple’s website for information on which devices are accepted, but most Macs, iPads, and iPhones can be traded in.

If you’re looking for a way to trade your old Mac mini in, you have to give Apple’s trade-in program a try.

You’ll get either cash or credit for your device and be able to put that money towards a new Apple device.

Sell it

There is a lucrative secondary market for used laptops and desktops, which include Macs.

If your old Mac mini works, you can sell it on websites that specialize in buying and selling computers, such as eBay or Craigslist.

Macs aren’t the most popular devices on the secondary market because they’re not particularly sought-after by computer enthusiasts who enjoy tinkering with hardware and building their machines.

However, Macs are still worth money if they work properly.

It is important to note that you can only sell a device if it’s in good condition and still works.

If the device doesn’t work or has too many problems, you probably won’t get much money for it.

You might not get anything at all if buyers think it will cost them more in repairs than what they’re likely to get for it.

Also, consider selling it at a local computer repair shop or on a local classifieds website.


E-waste is a huge problem according to these UNEP stats, Computers and other electronics get thrown away every year, and they sit in landfills poisoning the environment while plastic components break down into smaller parts over time and wash up into water sources.

Recycling old Macs with Apple’s own Recycle Program is a good way to help prevent this. Apple has an excellent recycling program that will send you instructions on how to ship your device to them.

In most cases, you’ll have your recycling fees waived if you buy a new Mac within six months of recycling it.

If you decide to go with this method, it’s best to search around for recycling facilities in your area.

A lot of them will handle just about any computer or laptop, regardless of its make and model.

Final Thoughts

There are many other ways you can use your old Mac mini.

These are just a few of the top methods that have been successful in the past.

The important thing is to find a use for your old Mac that could help improve your daily life and make it more enjoyable or useful.

No matter what you decide to do with your old Mac mini, it is extremely important to take precautions when recycling it.

It’s also important to make sure that any information that was on your computer is completely wiped from the device.

Doing this will help prevent identity theft and other problems down the road.


Are old Mac minis worth it?

An old Mac mini can be worth it if it works properly.

However, you should always research the device before selling or recycling it.

Certain models are more desirable than others and can fetch a higher price.

What can I do with my old Mac mini 2012?

Trade it in at a local store.

With the Apple trade-in program, you can get money or credit toward a new device.

If you sign up for the program, you get an online letter that describes how much you’ll get for your Mac and other important details.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!