How to Recalibrate a Dell Laptop Battery

One of the biggest challenges laptop owners have is extending the life of their laptop batteries. The batteries of Dell laptops are generally long-lasting, but battery life will also depend on how a person uses his computer. An effective way of improving the condition of laptop batteries is recalibration. This is a must especially when the duration of your battery life has gotten shorter after a few months or years of usage. It is recommended that you recalibrate the battery of your Dell laptop every two months to maintain its good performance.

Connect the power adapter to your laptop (with the battery attached) then plug the other end to the electrical outlet. Check to make sure that it is charging properly.

Charge the battery completely. Monitor the battery indicator, which is usually found that the bottom of your computer screen, to check if the battery is already fully charged.

Plug off the power adapter and use the laptop until the battery is completely drained. To drain the battery faster, run several programs at once and keep the contrast of your screen to its highest levels. Turn off all power-saving features as well.

Make sure that the battery is totally drained by waiting for your laptop to shut off or go into sleep mode automatically because of very low battery charge.

Plug the power adapter again and charge the battery again completely. Once this is done, restore the power-saving features and adjust the contract settings of your screen to normal.

 

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Toshiba Laptop Battery Problems

Toshiba has come a long way when it comes to the battery life in their laptops, but that does not make them immune to the occasional hiccup. Poor charging practices can cause issues with battery life, and power-sucking settings can deplete a charged battery, especially an older one, at a surprising rate. For many Toshiba laptops, even temperature can affect whether and how your battery charges and discharges.

Charging New Batteries

If your laptop is brand new, you have an opportunity to maximize your battery’s health from the get-go. CNET authors Asher Moses and Brian Nadel state that long-term battery vitality can be ensured if “when first using your notebook on battery power, [you] let the battery completely drain before you recharge it. Don’t recharge when the battery is only half drained. Do that for at least the first two sessions.” If you continue to do this every time you use your laptop battery, you will extend the length of time your laptop can run on battery power.

Power Settings

One of the main reasons battery life is so short on many laptops is because of the power settings. You can access the power settings on a Toshiba either by right-clicking the battery tray icon in the lower-right corner of your screen and click “Power Options”, or by going to Control Panel > Power Options. Here, you can select the settings your computer will use when it is running on battery power, adjust when the display turns off, choose when the computer will go to sleep, and decide how bright your display is. The default “Power Saver” settings adjust the display brightness to about 40%, turn off the display after 3 minutes of inactivity and put the computer to sleep after 15 minutes. Think about which settings make the most sense for you, and adjust your computer accordingly to save power.

Temperature

Extreme temperatures can negatively affect your laptop’s battery. According to Moses and Nadel, you should not expose your battery to extreme heat or cold. Heat causes batteries to lose their charge very quickly and cold batteries don’t perform as well. In addition, some Toshiba laptop batteries can detect when they have heated up too much, and will not charge even when the AC power is plugged in. The computer will display “AC power plugged in; battery not charging,” in this case. If this happens, you can charge the battery by shutting down your computer and letting the battery charge while the computer is off.

Age

Laptop batteries generally last for 2 to 3 years. If your battery is not holding a charge and it is older than 3 years, consider purchasing a new battery. Remember to fully deplete and fully charge the new battery the first few times you use it.

Still Not Charging

If you have considered all of these possible battery problems and find that they are not the reason for the problem, try taking the battery out and gently cleaning the contacts on the battery and in the laptop’s battery compartment with a dry, lint-free cloth. If there is no improvement, you may need to look into updating the computer’s BIOS or using the recovery CD that came with the laptop to clear any internal problems that may be affecting your battery.

 

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How to Charge a Laptop Battery for the First Time

One of the most vital components of any laptop computer is the battery. You can purchase a laptop with a powerful processor and other top-of-the-line hardware, but if you don’t properly care for the battery, the laptop is quickly rendered useless. When you first purchase a new laptop or laptop battery, make sure you charge it properly the first time.

Insert the battery into the battery slot of your laptop if it didn’t come with the battery already inserted. This slot is typically located on the underside or back of your laptop.

Plug your laptop into a power source and allow the battery to charge to 100%. Most laptop batteries come discharged, or empty, and should be fully charged before use. Sometimes the battery indicator will show 100% after only a few minutes. If this happens, turn your computer off, remove the battery and attempt to charge the battery again.

Discharge the battery fully. Simply turn your computer on and disconnect the power source. Don’t turn it off until the battery is completely discharged. Allow the laptop to shut down by itself.

Recharge your battery fully again. After the battery is fully charged, it has been calibrated once.

Repeat the calibration process two or three more times. Your laptop battery is now charged correctly.

 

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Why We’re Still Working With Mainframes in 2017

Mainframe – the term sounds like a relic from another era, decades before anyone even heard of smartphones or laptops.

But the appliance-sized computers that helped NASA put men on the moon are actually still widely used at big companies and government agencies – the devices store 80 percent of the world’s corporate data and handle $6 trillion in annual credit card transactions, according to IT company Ensono.

But what exactly are mainframe computers, and why haven’t they been replaced with newer types of machines?

What is a Mainframe?

Mainframes are powerful computer servers designed to handle large numbers of operations on big volumes of data simultaneously. They’re generally the central authority to which other computers connect to execute transactions, like bank transfers, credit card purchases or airline ticket operations. A mainframe released by IBM in 2015 is said to be able to process 2.5 billion transactions a day.

They trace their ancestry back to the System/360, a computer first released by IBM in 1964. It introduced some of the features we take for granted in computers today, like being able to share data across multiple versions of computing hardware, and being able to do multiple types of tasks on the same machine – back then, that generally meant being able to handle both scientific computation and business math on the same type of hardware.

IBM, which makes the vast majority of new mainframes today as part of its “z Systems” line, says the term itself likely comes from the huge metal boxes, some as large in area as a house, that were used to hold the early machines. Now, the computers are a more manageable size – around the scale of a tall refrigerator.

Consistency and Reliability

Mainframe computers are designed to be extremely reliable, not just speedy. They typically have redundant versions of hardware components like disk drives and electrical power supplies, so even if a component fails, the computer can continue to run. They generally also have the ability to add computing power to a given task as needed in essentially real-time, making them well suited to handle spikes in workloads without going down.

At the same time, they’re renowned for what’s called “backward compatibility,” meaning that software created years, or even decades, ago can often still run on today’s mainframes. That’s in contrast to PCs or cellphones, where it can often be impossible to run programs bought for older machines without a lot of specialized work.

That backward compatibility is important for the enormous banks, insurance companies, airlines and other companies that have used the systems since the middle of 20th century. Having to rewrite the computer code that handles the world’s critical transactions in order to run on newer styles of computers would not only be costly, it would also be risky for these large businesses, who will quickly incur bad publicity if the new machines aren’t as reliable as the old. While some businesses have migrated tasks to newer styles of computer hardware and software, many are happy to stick with the ultra-reliable devices. And while mainframe programs may have interfaces that look like they were taken from a 1980s computer hacking movie, but the companies that rely on them know they still work perfectly fine.

Recruiting New Talent

One challenge mainframe-heavy companies can face, though, is hiring engineers and programmers who are familiar with the machines. For at least a decade, computing magazines have reported that techies fresh out of college just aren’t interested in working with the old line of machines. Even in the 1990s, some companies were pull older programmers out of retirement to ensure their mainframe software was ready for the year 2000, when programs designed to store years using two digits rather than four would malfunction.

But mainframe hardware and software companies have responded by offering training and incentives to young people willing to become experts in the machines, as the devices continue to be vital to so much of the economy.

 

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How To Never Forget a Password Again

It seems like every time you turn around there is a new data breach with experts warning everyone to change their passwords. This means not just changing your password once for every website and online service you use, it usually means changing it on your home computer, your work computer, your smartphone, and your tablet if you own one.

When it comes to online security, one of the best things you can do today is to use a password manager. Not will you never need to memorize dozens of passwords, you don’t even need to know what they are. A good password manager creates passwords for you, fills them in and remembers them across multiple devices.

The Myth of Strong Passwords

A few years ago, a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters and a number or two were all you needed to create a strong password, provided you didn’t use a name or a word found in the dictionary. That just isn’t true anymore. Today’s password cracking programs can hack most eight-digit passwords in a minute or less. If you use something clever – and common – like, paSSword, or trustno1, it can be cracked in milliseconds.

What Makes a Strong Password

The most important aspect of a strong password today is its length, regardless of what characters you use. A password like mulberrystreet, which contains 13 letters is much stronger than even a complex password like 9L*rtPq1. The first would take over 50 years to crack – according to the website How Secure Is My Password? – while the shorter password would take a few hours. A series of 20 random characters would take the same software about a billion years. If you used a password that was 22 characters long, every star in the galaxy would burn out and grow cold before a hacker’s computer could figure it out.software about a billion years. If you used a password that was 22 characters long, every star in the galaxy would burn out and grow cold before a hacker’s computer could figure it out.

Using a Password Manager

A password manager is a small program you install on your computer and other web-accessible devices that stores passwords for every website you use. On your computer, it is usually a browser plugin, while on a tablet or smartphone, it’s a small app.computer and other web-accessible devices that stores passwords for every website you use. On your computer, it is usually a browser plugin, while on a tablet or smartphone, it’s a small app.

You need to remember only one password – the one that opens the password manager. When you go to a website, it fills in the username and password for you automatically. If you want to change your website password or create an account on a new website, it will generate one for you automatically, usually between 20 and 22 characters long. Your login information is kept encrypted and is updated between all of your devices automatically as soon as you connect to the internet. Some are free, while others require a small annual fee, while most offer a free version with payment required for advanced features.devices automatically as soon as you connect to the internet. Some are free, while others require a small annual fee, while most offer a free version with payment required for advanced features.

Using the Cloud Vs. Local Storage

Before choosing a password manager, you should first decide whether or not you are comfortable with your passwords being stored in the cloud, or if you would prefer they be stored only on your devices. When companies refer to the cloud, of course, they mean their own servers. While the majority of password managers do keep this information encrypted, it is a matter of comfort and personal preference. Millennials, for example, are more trusting of cloud-based services, while older generations may prefer having their information stored on their own devices. KeePass, 1Password and SplashID offer local storage, while Dashlane and LastPass use encrypted cloud-based storage.devices. When companies refer to the cloud, of course, they mean their own servers. While the majority of password managers do keep this information encrypted, it is a matter of comfort and personal preference. Millennials, for example, are more trusting of cloud-based services, while older generations may prefer having their information stored on their own devices. KeePass, 1Password and SplashID offer local storage, while Dashlane and LastPass use encrypted cloud-based storage.

1Password

1Password is supported by Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. It stores passwords locally on your device and offers an optional cloud storage service. You also have the option os using DropBox or iCloud. If your devices are connected on your home network, it can synchronize passwords using Wi-Fi. If you want to share passwords in your home or office, it gives you the option to share your password file on your local network too.Mac, iOS and Android. It stores passwords locally on your device and offers an optional cloud storage service. You also have the option os using DropBox or iCloud. If your devices are connected on your home network, it can synchronize passwords using Wi-Fi. If you want to share passwords in your home or office, it gives you the option to share your password file on your local network too.

Dashlane

Another another password manager that gives you an option between storing passwords locally or online is Dashlane. It uses a two-step authentication process to register each of your devices, using your master password and an email confirmation. Its free service lets you use it on a single device, however you will need the premium service to synchronize all of your devices, or share more than five items, as well as get customer support.devices, using your master password and an email confirmation. Its free service lets you use it on a single device, however you will need the premium service to synchronize all of your devices, or share more than five items, as well as get customer support.

KeePass

Keepass is an open source software project, which means it is free to use, but also may require some technical know-how to use all of its features. For example, to syncrhonize your account across mutlipled devices, you need to install a plug-in. However, it also has plugins to do things like change the encryption algorithm it uses or to write your own automation scripts. It has an optional cloud backup option, otherwise it stores your passwords locally, which you can share across multiple devices using DropBox, Google Docs or Microsoft OneDrive. You can share your password file with multiple users, or manage different password files yourself – like one for home and one for the office.software project, which means it is free to use, but also may require some technical know-how to use all of its features. For example, to syncrhonize your account across mutlipled devices, you need to install a plug-in. However, it also has plugins to do things like change the encryption algorithm it uses or to write your own automation scripts. It has an optional cloud backup option, otherwise it stores your passwords locally, which you can share across multiple devices using DropBox, Google Docs or Microsoft OneDrive. You can share your password file with multiple users, or manage different password files yourself – like one for home and one for the office.

LastPass

LastPass is an extremely popular password manager that offers a free and a premium service. All passwords are stored encrypted in the cloud. It too supports Apple, Windows and Android operating systems. The free version includes synchronization between multiple devices, including its app on mobile devices and web browser plugins on Apple and Windows computers.Android operating systems. The free version includes synchronization between multiple devices, including its app on mobile devices and web browser plugins on Apple and Windows computers.

SplashID

SplashID also gives you the option between local and cloud-based storage. It supports Apple, Windows and Android devices as well as BlackBerry. An account for a single device is free, while the ability to share or synchronize across multiple devices requires a modest monthly or annual fee. Like Keepass, you can share your password file with people at work or at home, however this costs an additional fee. One unique feature of SplashID is the ability to decide if you want a specific login to be cloud-based or local storage. For example, you can keep all of your less-important passwords in the cloud, but keep your banking and credit card login information only on your device if desired.Android devices as well as BlackBerry. An account for a single device is free, while the ability to share or synchronize across multiple devices requires a modest monthly or annual fee. Like Keepass, you can share your password file with people at work or at home, however this costs an additional fee. One unique feature of SplashID is the ability to decide if you want a specific login to be cloud-based or local storage. For example, you can keep all of your less-important passwords in the cloud, but keep your banking and credit card login information only on your device if desired.

 

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How to Improve My Phone’s Battery Life

Mobile phones have grown incredibly sophisticated, with a growing number performing many of the functions of a full-size computer, as well as some things a desktop computer can’t do, such as navigating with GPS or starting a car. A 2011 Pew Internet Project survey found that 25 percent of smartphone owners do most of their Internet browsing on their phones.

The dilemma is that the more you depend on your phone, the faster you’re going to drain its battery. While screen, processor and storage technology has advanced significantly, lithium-ion batteries haven’t changed much in 15 years. Incremental improvements in battery efficiency have been far outpaced by processing power and screen size and brightness, as well as 3G and 4G radios, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas, HD cameras, GPS and a variety of other hardware, all of which require power.

To conserve battery life on your phone, turn off what you don’t need, optimize what you do and perform a few tasks manually instead of automating them. You can both increase the time between charges and add to your battery’s usable life.

1

Dim your screen to significantly improve your battery’s life. Your phone’s screen is the largest power draw on the device, and the brighter it is, the more power it draws. Dim it as much as you feel comfortable with. The phone’s automatic brightness setting, which dims the screen in low-light conditions, isn’t as effective as reducing the brightness manually.

2

Set a short screen timeout interval to black out the screen when you’re not using it. If the timeout is very short, you may have to periodically touch the screen to keep it from timing out while you read content. However, if you mostly use the phone for short tasks like checking email or sending SMS messages — battery-consuming tasks when you do them frequently — you’ll see significant battery savings when you have a shorter timeout interval.

3

Reduce the frequency of application updates and syncs. For example, set your social-media applications to update manually instead of automatically, so they aren’t constantly running in the background, or while you’re not using your phone at all. Apple’s iCloud also syncs frequently, and you should turn it off when you don’t need it.

4

Eliminate unnecessary widgets and animations. On many phones, the bells and whistles on the home screen may use significant resources, especially if they’re updating news or weather frequently, or using animations where a static image would suffice.

5

Disable Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS when you don’t use them. Each receiver or transmitter on your phone uses juice even when it isn’t connecting, and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi periodically search for devices in the background, using up even more battery charge. Some smartphones include a widget that allows you to enable or disable these antennas when they’re not needed. When you’re in an area without 3G or 4G service, consider disabling them as well, to spare your phone the battery-hungry effort of searching for service that isn’t there.

6

Use the Battery Saver or Power Saver mode if your phone’s operating system has one. These features help you to control the functions that sap your battery’s power, including background apps, widgets, animations and screen brightness. Third-party apps like JuiceDefender or Battery Saver for Android may help you conserve even more power.

7

If your phone uses an Organic Light Emitting Diode screen, use a dark-colored wallpaper as your phone’s background. OLED pixels light up individually, so keeping most pixels as dark as possible results in power savings. Unfortunately, this method won’t work with LCD screens, which use a backlight that remains at a constant level.

Tips

  • Phones can vary widely in battery life, and resources such as CNet’s battery-life comparison charts can help you select a phone with better power usage.
  • You may come across the misguided recommendation to wait until the battery is almost completely discharged before recharging it. This advice is unfounded. Although lithium-ion batteries do have an approximate number of charge “cycles” before they lose charging capacity, a partial charge is simply a partial cycle. For example, if you use 30 percent of your battery’s charge and plug the phone in until the battery is fully charged, that usage represents only 30 percent of a charge cycle.
  • However, to ensure that your battery is properly calibrated, many manufacturers recommend that you fully discharge and charge the battery about once a month.

 

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Laptop Battery Maintenance Tips

The batteries in a laptop will not have to be replaced often, if they receive proper maintenance. Most users will plug in the power cord when their batteries are running low, but they do not remove and check the laptop battery until it goes dead. When you take care of your laptop, cords and battery, you will be able to prolong the life of your computer hardware.

Always Fully Charge Laptop Batteries

Chargeable batteries will wear down quickly, when they are only charged for a short period of time. When the laptop is not in use, such as at bedtime, plug it into an outlet and leave it to charge until the battery power is full. When you first buy a laptop or any electronic device that needs to be charged before you can use it, always charge it to full capacity. A laptop will work with only a small bit of power, but if it is not fully charged frequently, it will start to lose its ability to hold a charge.

Power Management Tools

Every computer and laptop has options that allow them to make changes to the power management tools. In a Windows laptop, check under “Control Panel” and you will find the power options. You will be asked to identify the type of computer that you are using. It is important to choose “Laptop” from the drop down menu. Each type of PC will bring up a different option that will save power. For a laptop, the power management tools will set a time to turn on the screen saver, or it will shut down the hard drives if the notebook sits idle for a specific amount of time. By turning off hardware that is not in use, the laptop will not use as much power and the batteries will not die as fast.

Close Unnecessary Programs

Look at the programs that start up along with your operating system. If you don’t have to use them immediately, right click on the icon and go into options. Scroll through the list until you can turn off the option to have the program open whenever you start the laptop. When you use an application, close it when you are done. Programs that are left open will use system resources and power that are needed for other software. If you only have a few programs open at the same time, the laptop will use less power and it will be able to stay on battery power longer.

Purge and Discharge Laptop Batteries

At least once a month, every laptop user should purge and discharge their batteries to prolong their life. To purge a laptop, remove the AC power cord. Turn on the laptop and let the battery drain until the low battery sign pops up. Plug in the power cord and let the notebook charge to full capacity while the laptop is still on. Batteries can be discharged in a similar fashion. Go into the power management option and turn off all of the power saving tools including hibernation, sleep mode and the screen saver. Allow the battery to drain completely until the laptop shuts itself off. Without turning on the laptop, reconnect the power cord and allow it to charge until the battery is full.

Use AC Power

Most laptop users will plug in the AC cord even when the battery is not low. However, this is also causing the battery to drain in small increments. Before you use the laptop, remove the battery and then plug in the power cord, so that the laptop is running on only AC power. Store the battery on a cool, dry surface and replace it when you shut off the laptop.

 

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How to Use Your iPhone to Its Full Potential

Let’s be honest, FOMO is especially real every time Apple makes an announcement that it’s coming out with a faster, sleeker, prettier iPhone. But what if the phone you have in your own two hands is enough? Use these hacks and discover how your iPhone can perform magic that may even rival some of your friends’ flashy new purchases. You’ll feel like you know the inside scoop, and you’ll also stretch your hard-earned dollars a little further than you imagined. So even if you don’t have the the latest iPhone in your back pocket, you surely won’t be missing out.

See Through the Screen

Your screen can be the difference between watching a video like you’re in the picture, and watching video like you’re in 1999. Use these screen tips to figure out how to do everything from removing scratches to changing out the font.

Don’t Let the Juice Go Dry

Next up: tackling the phone’s all-too-important battery life. Use this simple trick to keep your battery percentage within view, and you won’t have to wonder if you have enough power to watch yet another YouTube video.

Keep a Tight Leash on Your Prized Possession

Another scary situation? Losing your phone. Though it may serve as a good excuse to go out and toss money at a new phone, try tracking your phone using an IMEI number instead. This will definitely save time and moola if your phone is found.

Have a Good Sense of Direction

Still at a loss as to where your phone may be? Try one of these location-finding tricks to track it down. While it may be under your bed (or not), it’s always a good idea to do a thorough search.

Always be Ready for Your Close-Up

The iPhone’s camera lens essentially rivals that of a compact digital camera. And with photography playing such a major role in social media these days, it’s best you learn how to take better photos ASAP.

C’mon, Vogue

Of course, the iPhone and the #selfie basically go hand-in-hand. Which is why it’s time to turn that camera on yourself like a vlogging expert once you’ve nailed all of the necessary photo skills. Cheese!

Protect Your Gallery with a Back-Up Plan

Once you’ve filled your library with a collection of Instagram-worthy shots, move those photos to a PC with ease. Then, you can delete some of those pics and take some more!

Get the Word Out

Want to tell all of your friends and family how awesome you’re doing at hacking your iPhone? Then send all the contacts on your phone a message about it!

Play Tunes Everywhere You Go

Whether you have a PC or a Mac, follow these tips on setting up Apple Music the right way. Once you have the service streaming on your device, you can listen to your favorite music — and some exclusive albums — whenever you please.

Know Who is Saying Hello

Want to hear your boo’s favorite song every time she calls? Try this hack to get free ringtones, and set her hellos to a familiar track.

 

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How to Update an Old Computer

If you’ve noticed your old computer is a bit sluggish or isn’t performing at 100 percent, it may be time to update it. Often the software or hardware in your machine can become outdated only months after you purchase it, creating incompatibilities and crashes. There are a myriad of ways you can update your old computer, so it’s important to analyze the problem before rushing out to buy new components. And remember that individual components can be updated, saving you from purchasing an entirely new computer.

1

Determine exactly what needs to be updated. For example, do you need new software, or hardware? If your hard drive lacks free space, it may be time to upgrade to a larger drive. Check how much space you have left by right-clicking the hard drive icon (usually the “C” drive) and selecting “Properties.” The amount of available space will be displayed in the following dialogue box. If your computer is running slow, you may need to upgrade the processor, or the Random Access Memory (RAM). RAM is the temporary memory your computer uses when it is actively working. Increasing the amount of your RAM is generally the most effective computer upgrade you can make. Consult your owner’s manual to determine which drives, memory cards or processors are compatible with your computer’s motherboard.

2

Research components and products that are on the market. Magazines like PC World (see link in Resources) have thousands of product reviews you can browse to find the right item for you. Shop around for the best prices, as many items can be bought online for a fraction of the retail price. Bear in mind that sometimes the cost of purchasing and installing certain components, such as the processor or motherboard, can be greater than buying a new computer.

3

If your system only has a CD drive, consider replacing it with a DVD drive. If you watch videos, listen to music or play games on your computer, consider upgrading your video and/or audio cards.

4

Install your components according to the manufacturer’s specifications. If you’re upgrading software, simply insert the CD and follow the installation prompts. If you’re installing new hardware, investigate if your upgrade can be done as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project; you may be able to save yourself a few dollars in labor costs. But if you aren’t confident tinkering around in your machine, call in the experts to do the work for you.

Warning

Doing DIY upgrades on your computer may void your warranty. Check with your supplier before doing any work.

 

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7 Ways to Use Your Old Smartphone

Getting a new smartphone is always exciting. Not only do you get more power and more features, but a new phone is also usually faster and in better shape than your old one. However, this begs the question: What should you do with your old phone? Rather than letting it gather dust or sit in a drawer in a state of permanent mute, here are seven ways you can give your old phone a renewed purpose.

  1. A Versatile Universal Remote

Many of the Android smartphones released over the past several years contain the same infrared technology used by your TV remote control. If your phone contains what is commonly called an IR blaster, you should have no problem downloading an app and using it it as a universal remote for your entertainment room. Perhaps the biggest benefit of these apps is that if you’re doing a search for your favorite TV show, you can just type it into your phone, rather than scrolling through the alphabet one letter at a time.

If your old smartphone doesn’t have an IR blaster – like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy models after S6, you still may be in luck. Apple TVs and most WiFi-enabled smart TVs have apps that will work over your home network.

  1. A Portable Media Player

When the iPhone was first released back in 2007, Apple described it as a widescreen iPod with touch controls and a built-in mobile phone. Once you remove the SIM card, what you are left with is an advanced iPod. Most Android models have the added benefit of adding additional storage with an SD card. Delete the apps you no longer need, and fill your old phone with all of your favorite music, videos and photos. Not only will this free up space on your new smartphone, it will help prolong the battery life if you aren’t using it to listen to music all day.

  1. An Onboard Computer and Nav System

If your car doesn’t already have a sophisticated computer system, GPS and on-dash display, it may be worth turning your old smartphone into an onboard computer. Just get a decent dashboard mount for your phone, connect it to your stereo with its headphone jack – or bluetooth if your car comes equiped – and load up your favorite songs too. Even without a cellular data plan, your old smartphone should work as a reliable GPS, since GPS systems are independent of cellular data.

  1. A Security Camera or Baby Monitor

Provided your smartphone can connect to your home WiFi network there are many things you can do with its video and audio capabilities. There are hundreds of apps available that turn your phone into a video monitoring tool, without the need of cellular access. Mount your old phone in your front window to see who’s at the door, put it in your baby’s room to keep an eye on her while you’re downstairs watching TV, or even use it to keep an eye on your dog while you’re at work. Depending on which app you get, the phone can alert you when there is motion, or send you a constant video and audio feed from home, wherever you might be at the time. Some of the apps do cost a few dollars, but are much more affordable than buying a dedicated IP camera.

  1. A Cheap Gaming Platform

Any parent with young children know that a smartphone touchscreen is irresistible to tiny hands. Yet at $1,000 or more for the latest technology, letting a child play with your phone can be an expensive accident waiting to happen. Letting your kids play with your old phone, however, reduces the potential cost considerably. Load up some games and let them have fun! A few sticky fingerprints won’t matter nearly as much.

  1. Connected Digital Storage

Even if you don’t need the audio and video capabilities of your old smartphone, there’s probably still a lot you can do with the digital storage space. A Wi-Fi-enabled portable flash drive can cost hundreds of dollars, just to do what your old phone does already. Use it to keep backup copies of your most important files, you contacts and photos. If you have an Android, swap out the storage card with a larger one to give yourself lots of extra room.

  1. Pass It On

If your phone is still in working condition, or if its parts can be salvaged, there are thousands of people who could really use it. Verizon’s HopeLine, for example, has collected hundreds of thousands of phones, which it gives to victims and survivors of domestic violence, along with free cellphone minutes. If the screen is cracked, they may be able to replace it before passing it on to someone else, or use its components to repair another phone.

Even if your old smartphone can’t be used by someone else, its components can always be recycled. Smartphones contain rare metals that may be soon in short supply, so manufacturers have a financial incentive to recycle the products they sell. Apple, for example, has a recycling program in most countries where it sells its iPhones. You may even receive a free gift card for your recycling efforts.

 

High Quality HPC-1000-G14C Adapter for 1000W Rock Solid Modularized Cable Management ATX EPS PC Supply

ADP-65MH_B AP.0650A.013 Acer Aspire S5-391 S7-391 Ultrabooks Iconia W700 W700P Change Power Supply fast shipping

High Quality PA-1121-08 Adapter for Toshiba Equium M70

Adapter For HP ENVY TS 23-D028d AiO PC SING HP Power Adapters TPC-BA521

Adapter For Logitech G25 Steering Wheel New Power Adapters Power Adapters DPS2425