How to dispose of old gadgets

Many of us have gadgets like smartphones, tablets and laptops on our Christmas list, but the holiday season is full of shiny new technology. But once you have the latest smartphones, tablets, and laptops, what happens to your old gadgets?

A study by Vodafone has revealed that British homes have more than £20bn of unused technology stored in them, including old smartphones, laptops and tablets. Even if you weren’t lucky enough to be gifted new technology for Christmas, Boxing Day sales are often a great way to treat yourself to a new gadget, with more to come. There may be more.

So what to do with your old gadgets? The obvious options are to sell or donate them. Getting rid of old technology won’t just help you stay organized, it might even make you some money. Or you can help others by donating your gadget. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide on what to do with old technology.

How to trade in old technology

Many retail stores and mobile networks O2 and EE allow you to exchange your old technology for money or gift cards. How much you get depends on the age and condition of your device, but you should get something even if it’s broken.

At the time of writing, Carphone Warehouse offered us a working 64GB iPhone 8 Plus for £95.90 cash. Meanwhile, Apple (which previously only offered trade-ins for its own devices, but has since offered trade-ins for competing products as well) now offers this. £75 on credit. There were also offers for a working Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus for £120 from Carphone Warehouse and £80 from Apple.

What to do with old technology gadgets

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Amazon lets you trade in your old Kindle e-readers and tablets, Echo smart speakers, Fire TV streaming devices, and even home security devices like Ring doorbells for Amazon gift cards. With the Amazon Trade-in Program, you can also get a 20% off coupon when you purchase a new device in the same category as the device you traded in. However, it jumps to 25% on trade-in or purchase. New Echo smart speaker. When we tried it out, we were offered a second-generation Echo smart speaker for £25, which cost £79.99 when we bought it at launch in 2017.

However, Amazon doesn’t just offer trade-ins for its devices. You can also trade in your smartphone or game console. Once again, in good standing, he checked to see what he would get if he bought a 64GB iPhone 8 Plus and was offered a gift card worth £65.02.

It’s worth noting that you can also trade in your old laptop or tablet.

GHI Tips: According to, you can earn 10% more when you trade in a phone that is unlocked, meaning it’s not restricted from being used on a particular network. If you’re a Pay As You Go customer or your contract has ended, contact your mobile phone provider to see if they can unlock your phone for free.

How to recycle old technology

There are also recycling sites that will take your old cell phone or laptop for cash. These devices will be reconditioned for sale in developing countries where new technology is out of reach for many. Mazuma Mobile aims to reuse 95% of the phones it receives, while Envirofone claims to reuse 98%100% of the phones it collects in some way.

EcoATM is a kiosk service where you pay to recycle your old cell phone. Just place it in the machine and it will examine your device and figure out how much it’s worth. If you decide to sell, you’ll get the money right away. You can find it in some supermarkets and shopping centers.

Other sites like MusicMagpie and CeX buy and sell mostly older technology, including laptops, e-readers, MP3s, and GoPros.

What to do with old technology gadgets

Peter Daisley//Getty Images

How to sell old technology privately

Another option is to sell your gadget to someone on a one-to-one basis. If you’re wondering how much it costs, eBay can help you estimate how much similar devices are currently selling for. When I looked at the 64GB iPhone 8 used in the calculations above, the ‘trend price’ was £120.

How to donate technology

Donating old technology is a great way to help people who otherwise can’t afford it. Initiatives such as Three’s Reconnected Scheme and Vodafone’s Great British Tech Appeal allow you to donate your mobile phone by post, which can then be passed on to a charity to donate to those in need. New owners of donated phones will also receive 90 days of free calls, text messages and data for a limited time.

To donate your laptop or other gadgets, check out WeeeCharity, which collects working electronics for free to reduce waste. It is then recycled, refurbished and resold.

Not many high street charity shops accept old electronics because they need to be tested and certified before they can be resold, and this requires a certain level of expertise. However, the British Heart Foundation is an exception. Check the list of items that cannot be sold in-store and if you don’t see your device, please bring it to your local store or arrange for collection.

What to do with old technology gadgets

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How to clean your smartphone or tablet

As you know, we store a lot of personal information on our phones and tablets. Before selling, donating, or recycling your device, there are steps you should take to ensure that all of this data is erased.

First, remove your SIM card and microSD card if you have them. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you probably use iCloud to store your contacts, photos, documents, email, and apps. Be sure to sign out of your storage service before handing over your device so that the person you give it to doesn’t have access to your information.

To do this,[設定]Open the menu, tap your name at the top of the screen, then scroll to the bottom and select[サインアウト]Tap. Enter your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off to disable the Find My iPhone service.Make sure the option to keep a copy of your Contacts, Stocks, and Safari data is unchecked (the switch slides to the left) and again[サインアウト]Press lastly,[サインアウト]Press three times (this time on the dialog that pops up).

Then, use the factory reset tool to remove photos, music, documents, and contacts stored on your device. Erase your signed-in Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other accounts.

To do this on your iPhone or iPad,[設定]Open the[一般]Select and scroll down to[リセット]Tap. Here, select “Erase all content and settings”. If your phone uses a passcode, you will need to re-enter it to complete the reset.

On your Google Android smartphone or tablet,[設定]Open the menu and[システム],[詳細]Tap . Then tap Reset options, then tap Erase all data (factory reset).

What to do with old technology gadgets

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how to wipe your laptop

Preparing your laptop for sale or donation is more than just deleting your files and logging out of your account. This information is relatively easy to restore, so simply deleting cookies is not enough and puts you at risk.

To be able to transfer your laptop completely safely, you need to remove all traces of data from the device. But before you do that, make sure you’ve transferred any files you want to keep to your new laptop or backed them up to an external hard drive.

Now you can erase all data from your laptop by following the steps below.

  • On a Windows 10 or Windows 11 laptop, use the reset feature.Connect your laptop and in the bottom left corner[スタート]Select menu. Type “reset” and from the menu[この PC をリセットする]Choose. Then press “Start” and select “Remove All”.On the next screen, if you want to download the latest version of Windows from the web, click[クラウド ダウンロード]If you want to reinstall a version already saved on your computer, click[ローカル再インストール]Click. Confirm the reset on the last screen of this pop-up.
  • If you are using an older version of Windows, there is no reset feature. Instead, download Eraser 6, which overwrites your files several times with carefully selected patterns and ensures that all data is removed from your hard drive.
  • If you’re a Mac user, there are different reset methods, and which one you use depends on the version of the MacOS operating system you’re using. However, before you do this, be sure to sign out of iCloud, iTunes, and iMessage services if you use them.
  • If you’re running the latest version of the operating system, MacOS Ventura, go to the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your screen.[システム設定]Choose. Here select “General” and then “Transfer” or “Reset”. From the options provided, select Erase All Content and Settings.
  • If your Mac is running MacOS Monterey, go to the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen again, but this time you’ll find an option called System Preferences. Select this and[すべてのコンテンツと設定を消去]Choose.
  • If you have an older Mac, you’ll need to use Disk Utility to erase your laptop. Press and hold the Command and R keys at the same time. From the MacOS Recovery window that appears, select Disk Utility. Select your device from the sidebar, click the Erase tab, enter the required information, and click Erase.
  • If you’re using a Chromebook, you’ll need to use Powerwash. Press ctrl-alt-shift-r and select Restart. When the box appears, click Powerwash, then Continue, and follow the onscreen instructions.
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