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How to set up an old laptop for kids

Joel Cornell has spent twelve years writing professionally, working on everything from technical documentation at PBS to video game content for GameSkinny. Joel covers a bit of everything technology-related, including gaming and esports. He’s honed his skills by writing for other industries, including in architecture, green energy, and education. Read more.

Most old laptops start collecting dust when they’re too old to run anything useful. Revitalize and secure your ancient devices, turning an expensive paperweight into a fun playground and educational tool for kids.

Clean It Up

The first thing to do when preparing to let a child loose on your old laptop is to make sure it’s free of any intrusive, distracting, or inappropriate content. This could be as easy as updating your Windows or Mac machine, uninstalling any unnecessary programs, and deleting all your files.

If you’ve already retrieved all important files from the hard drive, the most reliable way to make the laptop kid-friendly is to roll the device back to its original factory settings. If it’s a Windows machine, you can use Windows 10’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 last version of macOS.

You may still encounter hardware issues with dead batteries, failing hard drives, or dusty motherboards. If the battery on your laptop is misshapen or deformed in any way, replace it. Some of these issues may be worth the time and money of fixing them. Unfortunately, it can often be more expensive to repair your old computer than just buying your kids a new Chromebook.

Lock It Up

Once your laptop has been thoroughly cleaned out and runs smoothly, you’ll need to make sure it’s safe and secure. This won’t involve setting up any complicated security measures. In fact, most Windows machines come with Windows Defender, which is a solid antivirus. If the child will be using a Mac, you’ll still need to protect your Mac from malware to make sure that it’s safe and secure while browsing.

How to set up an old laptop for kidsMorrowind/Shutterstock

Once security is in place, you’ll want to set up the second most important safety feature for younglings using laptops: parental controls. Restricting time for use, certain features, access to inappropriate websites and content is essential for developing a child’s healthy relationship with technology and the internet. Macs have the ability to create user accounts specifically for kids 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 monitor a child’s account for even more safety while they work and play.

Fill It Up

Now that your disused machine is clean and secure, it’s time to make sure that the content your child is accessing is engaging, educational, and healthy. When searching for family friendly content, keep in mind that most free content is going to be riddled with ads. It can be a hassle to find high-quality content for kids, so we went ahead and did that part for you:

  • PBS Kids provides a wide range of games, videos, and activities for kids of all ages.
  • Minecraft is the most popular computer game for kids with plenty of creativity and ingenuity.
  • Hoopla works with libraries to provide free access to ebooks for kids.
  • Scratch, from MIT, focuses on teaching the basics of coding to kids as young as 4.
  • ABC Mouse collects learning games from a variety of subjects into a subscription-based package.
  • Virtual field trips make for an enjoyable chance to explore famous places together.
  • Google Classroom is one of the most popular learn-from-home apps.

As always, make sure you’re keeping a close eye on your kids when they’re working or playing. While the parental controls linked to in the previous section can help restrict your child to only approved websites, kids are savvy and always find one way or another to circumvent the rules.

Speed It Up

If you’re still unable to run anything on your laptop, it may be time to lighten its load. Updating an older laptop to a newer version of the same operating system can overload that ancient hardware. Instead of using something heavy like Windows 10, you can install operating systems like Google’s Chrome OS which are built to run on underpowered devices. This can be a slightly technical endeavor, but that makes it the perfect opportunity to teach your kids 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 give your laptop new life by installing Chrome OS on any laptop. Your device probably won’t be able to run many Chrome apps, but it should be enough to at least run the Chrome browser. This will give your child access to a healthy selection of websites for learning and playing.

Starting with an unusable piece of outdated technology, we’ve managed to breathe life back into your device that can now be used by your kids for work or play. Your device doesn’t have to be fast or sleek. Now that it’s cleaned out, secured, and filled with quality content, your old laptop is ready to educate and engage its next generation.

Updated May 26, 2021

We’ve updated the advice in this guide for 2021.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

How to set up an old laptop for kids

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More students and parents are attending school and work from home—either part time or full time—than ever before. But due to increased demand and supply-chain issues, new laptops are in short supply. So what should you do if you need a laptop for your kid right now?

Whether you need a computer for your child to use for schoolwork and distance learning, entertainment, or a combination, you have a few options. We’ll walk you through updating an old computer that has been sitting in a closet for years, and we have advice on how to shop for a decent laptop even if you can’t find our picks in stock anywhere. We’ll go through four different scenarios—the newer the computer you’re trying to revive, the easier it will be to reuse that machine, but even eight- or nine-year-old computers can still be useful if you’re just trying to get by.

If you do have an old computer collecting dust but don’t know how old it is, do a Google search for the manufacturer name plus “serial number look up.” The manufacturer’s support site may let you enter the serial number (often in the fine print somewhere on the computer) and show you its model name and number, when it was made, and what operating system was originally installed on it.

Windows 8 and Windows 10 PCs: Reset and start fresh

Computers running Windows 8 or Windows 10—that is, most laptops sold between late 2013 and now—are fairly easy to get up and running if they have no major hardware problems. Microsoft still supports both operating systems with security updates, and apps and Web browsers like Chrome will run on either without complaint.

The best way to make a computer of this vintage feel new again is to totally reset Windows, which will wipe all files and applications from the operating system and return it to a like-new state. 1 A computer that has been off the grid for even a year or two will be missing all kinds of security and application updates, and one that was used for a few years before being put away might have strange software-configuration problems that are more trouble than they’re worth to track down.

Microsoft has pages walking you through how to reset Windows 8 and Windows 10. Wait for the reset process to complete, and then install all Windows updates—this step may take two or three reboots, depending on how long your PC has been out of commission. After that, it’s safe to go online and start downloading whatever apps you need to use.

Four- or five-year old computers may be worth upgrading if they feel a bit slow but you want to keep using them. Use the Crucial System Advisor to find extra memory that’s compatible with your system; 8 GB is the amount we recommend for new computers, for most people. Our guide to SSDs has advice for replacing a slow spinning hard drive. Memory installation is one of the easier DIY computer upgrades, so if you can’t bring your computer to a professional to install the memory for you, try looking up instructions on iFixit, searching for “[model number] memory upgrade,” or following Crucial’s generalized instructions.

Older Windows 7 PCs: Install Windows 10

PCs running Windows 7 are a little harder, but not impossible, to repurpose. These PCs were typically sold between 2009 and 2012, though some older computers were eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 7 and some Windows 8 computers were sold “downgraded” to 7 because of Windows 8’s significant user interface changes.

The main issue with these computers, age aside, is that Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7 with new security updates in January 2020. Most common apps and Web browsers will still run on Windows 7, but using it can expose you to malware that newer versions of Windows aren’t susceptible to.

Although Microsoft officially recommends buying a new PC rather than trying to upgrade one running Windows 7 to Windows 10, the newer operating system will usually run reasonably well on these old computers. On the PC you’re trying to upgrade, download and run Microsoft’s Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, choose the Upgrade this PC now option, and wait for Windows 10 to download. When you reach the “Ready to install” screen at the end of the process, click Choose what to keep, and select Nothing to start with a clean slate—you don’t want a bunch of old apps and files slowing down an already older and slower computer.

Revive and secure your old devices, turning this once-thought-only laptop into a fun playground and educational tool for children.

  • 5 best laptops for children
  • Cheap laptops – Hope for poor children

Most old laptops start to leave empty when they are too old to run anything useful. Revive and secure your old devices, turning this once-thought-only laptop into a fun playground and educational tool for children.

“Clean up” old laptop

The first thing to do when preparing a laptop for older children is to make sure it doesn’t contain any distracting or inappropriate content. You can perform a Windows or Mac update, uninstall any unnecessary programs and delete all your files.

If you’ve taken all the important files from your hard drive, the most reliable way to make a kid-friendly laptop is to return the device to factory settings. If it’s a Windows machine, you can use the Reset Your PC feature of Windows 10, reinstall Windows 7 from the beginning, or reset your Windows 8 PC. If it’s a Mac, you can install the latest version of macOS. .

How to set up an old laptop for kidsYou should “clean” the old laptop before letting children use it

You may still encounter hardware problems such as broken batteries, hard drives, or old motherboards. If the battery on an old laptop is damaged or deformed in any way, replace it. Unfortunately, repairing an old computer is often more expensive than buying your child a new Chromebook.

Establish the necessary safety measures

Once your laptop has been thoroughly cleaned and working smoothly, you will need to ensure that it is safe and secure. This does not mean that any complex security measures must be established. In fact, most Windows machines come with Windows Defender, which is a powerful antivirus software. With a Mac, you still need to protect your device from malware to ensure that it can be safe and secure while in use.

Once appropriate security measures are in place, you’ll want to establish the second most important safety feature for young children using laptops: Parental Controls. Limited use of time, certain features, access to inappropriate websites and content is essential to developing a healthy relationship between children and technology and the Internet.

Macs have the ability to create child-specific user accounts with restrictions on app usage and device time. Both Windows 7 and Windows 10 have powerful parental controls. Windows 10 even allows you to create and monitor a child’s account to make it even safer when they use the device.

Add the things needed for a laptop

Now your unused laptop is “clean” and safe. Now is the time to make sure that the content your child is accessing is engaging, educational and healthy. When searching for family-friendly content, keep in mind that most free content will have ads. It can be a little confusing to find high quality content for kids, so the article has some suggestions for you:

  1. PBS Kids(https://pbskids.org/) offers many games, videos and activities for children of all ages.
  2. Minecraft(https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/) is the most popular computer game for kids, helping to increase creativity and ingenuity.
  3. Hoopla(https://www.hoopladigital.com/my/hoopla) works with libraries to provide free access to children’s eBooks.
  4. Scratch(https://scratch.mit.edu/), from MIT, focuses on teaching the basics of programming for children aged 4.
  5. ABC Mouse(https://www.abcmouse.com/abt/homepage) gathers games for learning from a variety of subjects in a subscription-based package.
  6. Virtual field trips(https://www.discoveryeducation.com/community/virtual-field-trips/) provide an interesting opportunity to explore famous places together.
  7. Google Classroom is one of the most popular home learning apps.

As always, make sure you are watching your children closely as they learn or play. Although the parental controls in the previous section may help restrict your child’s access to approved websites, they are smart and always find one way or another to ‘bypass the law’.

How to set up an old laptop for kidsRemember to carefully supervise children to use the computer! They are very smart

Speed ​​up the computer

If you still can’t run anything on your laptop, maybe it’s time to offload. Updating an old laptop to a new version of the 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, built to run on devices that aren’t powerful enough. Besides, it’s worth considering all the little things you can do to speed up your old Windows or Mac computer.

Do you have an old laptop collecting dust in your cupboard? Have you recently bought a new laptop and are considering throwing away the old one? Before you think about putting your old laptop in the cupboard or even worse, in the rubbish, you might want to consider the benefits of bringing your old PC back to life.

In a few easy steps, you can repurpose an old laptop and get it working like a new device. This will increase its value if you decide to sell it or enable you to give it away to a friend or family member. Repurposing an old laptop is also a great option if you’re looking to set up a starter PC for your children.

Access to a digital device has been vital during the coronavirus pandemic, so there couldn’t be a better time to get children set up on a laptop. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to repurpose an old laptop for children.

Check it

Before you decide to repurpose an old laptop, it’s important to check that it’s still working properly. If you encounter serious problems or hardware issues, such as a dead battery or a faulty motherboard, it’s unlikely that it will work any better once you repurpose it. Some companies will still let you sell the laptop, but if you’re looking to repurpose it for another person or your children, we suggest you consider getting the device fixed by a professional.

Save it

Before you give your old laptop to another person, it’s important to reset it to factory settings. However, before you reset it, you should turn it on and check if you have any important files or documents that you want to save. The laptop might contain work documents or sentimental photos, so you should always double-check. Once you’ve identified everything you want to save, you now need to transfer the files to a new place.

You could use a USB drive or an external drive, to transfer the files from one PC to another. You could also use cloud storage systems, such as OneDrive, Google Drive or DropBox to copy files between PCs. Once everything is saved on another device, you will feel more comfortable moving to the next step.

Reset it

After you’ve retrieved all your important files from your old laptop, the easiest way to make a laptop child friendly is to reset it to its factory settings. This will remove any unnecessary programmes and make it easier to childproof. It will also ensure that the next person who uses your laptop won’t have access to any of your information or documents. At this stage, the computer is ready to sell, but if you want to give the laptop to another person, keep reading for the next steps.

Upgrade it

Once you’ve reset your laptop, you may realise that it doesn’t work as well as it used to. At this stage, there are different options to help increase the performance of your laptop. Increasing your computer’s memory and storage are both useful ways to bring a slow computer back to life. By adding more memory, your slow computer that struggles to perform multiple tasks at once will experience faster recall speeds.

You could also upgrade your hard disk drive to a solid-state drive as they are almost ten times faster and more reliable. You could also increase the storage capacity of your SSD in order to create more space for files and applications. Either way, upgrading your computer’s memory, storage or both will revitalise your struggling machine and increase your PC’s performance.

Load it

Once you have reset your old laptop to factory settings and upgraded it, it will work like a new computer. This means that you can load it with whichever programmes your child might need access to. You can even turn it into a gaming laptop for your child if you want.

Protect them

Protecting your children online is just as important as giving them access to a computer. The internet can be a scary place so if you’re repurposing a laptop for children, it’s a good idea to add parental controls. Most laptops have security settings that you can add to prevent your children from accessing certain websites or to limit their screen time. On most computers, it’s also possible to create a children’s account which will allow you to put restrictions in place so they can’t visit websites that are not suitable for them.

Overall, if you have an old laptop lying around, it can prove more useful than you might think. In just a few steps you can turn an old laptop into a working device that is safe and ready for children to use.

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How to set up an old laptop for kids

This tutorial is about the How to Set Up an Old Laptop for Kids. We will try our best so that you understand this guide. I hope you like this blog How to Set Up an Old Laptop for Kids. If your answer is yes then please do share after reading this.

  • Check How to Set Up an Old Laptop for Kids
  • Setting up an old laptop for kids
  • “Clean” old laptop
  • Establish the necessary security measures
  • Add the necessary things for a laptop
  • Speed ​​up the computer
  • Final words: How to Set Up an Old Laptop for Kids

Check How to Set Up an Old Laptop for Kids

Have an old laptop that is gathering dust in your closet? You recently bought a new laptop and are considering throwing out the old one? Before considering throwing your old laptop in the closet, or worse yet, in the trash, consider the benefits of reviving your old PC. With a few simple steps, you can repurpose an old laptop and make it work like a new device. This adds value if you decide to sell it or gift it to a friend or family member. Repurposing an old laptop is also a great option if you want to set up a bootable PC for your kids.

Access to a digital device was crucial during the coronavirus pandemic, so there couldn’t be a better time to install kids on a laptop. Most old laptops start to collect dust when they are too old to do anything useful. Bring your old gadgets to life and secure and turn an expensive paperweight into a fun playpen and educational tool for kids.

Setting up an old laptop for kids

“Clean” old laptop

The first thing to do when preparing a laptop for older children is to ensure that it does not contain content that is distracting or inappropriate. You can perform a Windows or Mac update, uninstall any unnecessary programs, and delete all your files.

If you have taken all the important files from your hard drive, the most reliable way to make a kid’s laptop is to return the device to factory settings. If it’s a Windows machine, you can use the Reset your Windows 10 PC feature, reinstall Windows 7 from scratch, or reset your Windows 8 PC. If it’s a Mac, you can install the latest version of macOS. You may still encounter hardware problems, such as broken batteries, hard drives, or old motherboards. If an old laptop battery is damaged or deformed in any way, replace it. Unfortunately, repairing an old computer is often more expensive than buying your child a new Chromebook.

Establish the necessary security measures

After your laptop has been thoroughly cleaned and is running smoothly, you need to make sure it is safe and secure. This does not mean that complex security measures have to be implemented. In fact, most Windows computers come with Windows Defender, which is powerful antivirus software. With a Mac, you still need to protect your device from malware to make sure it’s safe while using it.

Once the proper safety measures are in place, you should implement the second most important safety feature for young children using laptops: parental controls. Limited use of time, certain functions, and access to inappropriate websites and content are essential for the development of a healthy relationship between children and technology and the Internet.

Add the necessary things for a laptop

Now your unused laptop is “clean” and safe. Now is the time to make sure the content your child accesses is engaging, educational, and healthy. When looking for family-friendly content, keep in mind that most free content will have ads. It can be a bit confusing to find high-quality content for kids, so the article has some suggestions for you:

  • PBS Kids (https://pbskids.org/) offers many games, videos, and activities for children of all ages.
  • Minecraft (https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/) is the most popular computer game for children and helps increase creativity and ingenuity.
  • Hoopla (https://www.hoopladigital.com/my/hoopla) works with libraries to provide free access to e-books for children.
  • Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/) from MIT focuses on teaching programming basics for 4-year-olds.
  • ABC Mouse (https://www.abcmouse.com/abt/homepage) brings together learning games on a variety of topics in one subscription-based package.
  • Virtual tours (https://www.discoveryeducation.com/community/virtual-field-trips/) provide an interesting opportunity to explore famous places together.
  • Google Classroom is one of the most popular home learning apps.

Speed ​​up the computer

If you still can’t do anything on your laptop, it might be time to download a bit. Upgrading an old laptop to a new version of the operating system can overwhelm that old hardware. Instead of using something “heavy” like Windows 10, you can install operating systems like Google’s Chrome OS, which are designed to run on devices that aren’t powerful enough. Also, all the little things you can do to speed up your old Windows or Mac computer are worth considering.

Final words: How to Set Up an Old Laptop for Kids

I hope you understand this article How to Set Up an Old Laptop for Kids, if your answer is no then you can ask anything via contact forum section related to this article. And if your answer is yes then please share this article with your family and friends.

Most old laptops start collecting dust when they’re too old to run anything useful. Revitalize and secure your old devices, turning an expensive paperweight into a fun playground and educational tool for kids.

Clean that up

The first thing to do when preparing to release a child on your old laptop is to make sure it doesn’t contain any intrusive, distracting, or inappropriate content. It could be as easy as updating your Windows or Mac machine, uninstalling all unnecessary programs, and deleting all of your files.

If you have already recovered all the important files from hard drive, the most reliable way to make the laptop child-friendly is to restore the device to its original factory settings. If it’s a Windows machine, you can use Reset your Windows 10 PC, reinstall Windows 7 from scratch, or reset your Windows 8 PC. can get a clean install of the latest version of macOS.

You may still run into hardware issues with dead batteries, failed hard drives, or dusty motherboards. If your laptop battery is deformed or deformed in any way, replace it. Some of these problems may be worth the time and money to resolve. Unfortunately, repairing your old computer can often cost more than buying a new Chromebook for your kids.

Lock up

Once your laptop has been thoroughly cleaned and is working properly, you need to make sure that it is safe and secure. This does not imply the implementation of complicated security measures. In fact, most Windows machines come with Windows Defender, which is a solid antivirus. If the kid will be using a Mac, you will still need to protect your Mac from malware to make sure it is safe and secure while browsing.

With security in place, you’ll want to set up the second most important security feature for young people using laptops: parental controls. Limiting usage time, certain features, access to inappropriate websites and content are essential for developing a healthy relationship between a child and technology and the internet. Macs have the ability to create user accounts specifically for children with limits on app usage and screen time. Windows 7 and Windows 10 both have robust parental controls. Windows 10 even lets you create and monitor a child’s account for even more security while they work and play.

Fill it out

Now that your disused machine is clean and secure, it’s time to make sure the content your child is accessing is engaging, educational, and healthy. When looking for family-friendly content, keep in mind that most free content will be riddled with ads. It can be difficult to find high quality content for kids, so we went ahead and made this part for you:

  • PBS Kids offers a wide range of games, videos and activities for children of all ages.
  • Minecraft is the most popular computer game for kids with a lot of creativity and ingenuity.
  • Hoopla works with libraries to provide free access to e-books for children.
  • Scratch at MIT focuses on teaching coding basics to children as young as 4 years old.
  • ABC Mouse brings together learning games from a variety of topics in a subscription-based package.
  • Virtual tours offer a pleasant chance to explore famous places together.
  • Google Classroom is one of the most popular home learning apps.

As always, be sure to keep a close eye on your children when they are working or playing. While the parental controls related to the previous section can help restrict your child to only approved websites, kids are warned and always find some way to get around the rules.

Accelerate

If you are still unable to run anything on your laptop, it might be time to lighten its load. Updating an older laptop to a newer version of the same operating system can overload that older hardware. Instead of using something heavy like Windows 10, you can install operating systems like Google’s Chrome OS, which are designed to run on underpowered devices. It may be a slightly technical effort, but it makes for the perfect opportunity to teach your kids 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 ready to get your hands dirty, you can breathe new life into your laptop by installing Chrome OS on any laptop. Your device probably won’t be able to run many Chrome apps, but that should at least be enough to run the Chrome browser. This will give your child access to a healthy selection of websites to learn and play.

From unused and unusable technology, we have succeeded in bringing your device back to life which can now be used by your children for work or play. Your device doesn’t have to be fast or stylish. Now that it’s cleaned, secure, and filled with great content, your old laptop is ready to educate and engage its next generation.

My thought was the same, Edubuntu is far more stable and easy on your pocketbook since it’s all free. You can try it out online here: http://edubuntu.org/weblive/connect/weblive-appserv01.nx.stgraber.org/6522/desktop/fullscreen

They allow you to login on their demo server for 2 hours free. I highly recommend you give it a try!
posted by nogero at 3:41 PM on July 4, 2011

I’m going to suggest Ubuntu as well. If you’re going to give a kid a laptop (Especially running XP, instead of vista or 7) and let him go nuts, there’s a decent chance he’ll get spyware. Ubuntu is pretty easy to install, from my experience. I don’t know how to setup web filtering on it, though (ideally, it would be best if you could set up a proxy server, rather then relying on software on the machine itself — kids can be pretty good a bout getting around those things.)

I haven’t tried Edubuntu, but sounds like what you’re looking for. Kids don’t have the legacy of being used to windows, and they’re much more open to trying new things and learning then adults
posted by delmoi at 3:48 PM on July 4, 2011

Give Sugar On A Stick a try before committing to edubuntu.

You might be surprised.
posted by mhoye at 5:03 PM on July 4, 2011

Turning it into a Hackintosh running any recent version of OS X would give you Apple’s very fine-grained Parental Control.

One of the great things about learning about computers at a young age is the combination of courage and curiosity that leads one to tinker. An OS geared towards making its users into little more than content consumers is not a good outlet for that. An OS that takes steps to *prevent* users from taking control of their machine, modifying things, breaking things, and learning how to make things work is a *bad* start.

If my first experiences had been with such a locked-down OS, I might never have become interested in hacking (not in the media’s sense of the term) and later in programming. I would have viewed the OS as a simple appliance that let me play games and watch movies rather than a removable, modifiable piece of something which *I* could control. That sort of control can be wonderful fun and very confidence-inspiring to some kids, and to deprive them of that from the start seems wrong.

But hey, maybe I’m from a different generation. At this rate I feel like I should be yelling at kids to get off my lawn any day now.
posted by -1 at 9:19 AM on July 5, 2011

Use Microsoft’s Family Settings to create a safe environment for your child.

If you are buying a Windows laptop for your child as a holiday present or because it’s required for school, then you need to know how to set it up with Microsoft’s parental controls to cordon off certain corners of the Internet. You can even set up time limits and sign up to get a weekly report on your kid’s online activity. Let’s get started.

Create an account for your kid

Microsoft allows you to create separate accounts for children, which you, as the adult in the room, can then manage. After signing into your own Microsoft account on your kid’s laptop, go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users and click Add a family member. Next, select Add a child and then click The person I want to add doesn’t have an email address to create an account if your child doesn’t already have a Microsoft account.

How to set up an old laptop for kidsScreenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

After creating an account for your child, you will then need to log in to your account and, to prove you are an adult, provide your credit card information and agree to a $0.50 charge, which Microsoft will donate to charity. Upon making your tiny charitable donation, your kid’s account will no longer be listed as “pending” on the Family & other people page in Settings, and you can start setting parental controls.

Family safety first

After signing in to your own account, click Family in the top right to view your family members. Under your child’s account, you’ll see four items listed: Activity, Screen time, Content restrictions and Spending.

For Activity, the setup is simple. Toggle on Activity reporting, which shows you the searches and web history of your child along with the apps and games he or she has used. You can view this information on the Activity page and also click a toggle switch to get a weekly report emailed to you.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

For Screen time, you can set time limits for the laptop or PC registered to your child’s account as well as an Xbox. If your kid tries to use the laptop outside the time window you set, he or she will not be able to log into their account and will be told to either log into a different account or turn off the PC.

For Content restrictions, you can set an age restriction for apps, games & media as well as for web browsing. For the latter, you can blacklist sites you know you don’t want your child accessing or you can create a whitelist and allow access only to the sites you specifically add. Microsoft tracks usage only in its Edge browser, but to prevent unfettered internet access from another browser, Microsoft blocks Chrome, Firefox, Opera and a few other browsers by default. Also in Content restrictions, you can require Microsoft Store purchases to get your approval first.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

For Spending, you can add money to your kid’s account as sort of a digital allowance for the Microsoft Store.

If your children use Google Classroom, this simple switch will make life easier.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

A computer and an 8GB flash drive are all you need to go Chromium.

The coronavirus dumped a whole mess of wrenches into the machine of everyday life. I suddenly have three kids at home all doing schoolwork online through Google Classroom and other services , and only one of them has a school-issued Chromebook , which is a laptop running on Google’s Chrome operating system .

Back before their school year started, though, I knew we might eventually need an extra laptop, so I converted an old Windows 7 HP netbook into a Chromebook. It wasn’t especially fast when I bought it in 2011, and I made the mistake of updating the laptop’s OS from Windows 7 to Windows 10 in 2016, which essentially turned it into a battery-powered paperweight. This has now turned out to be lifesaver given the current circumstances.

Google’s Chrome OS isn’t available for consumers to install, so I went with the next best thing, Neverware’s CloudReady Chromium OS. It looks and feels nearly identical to Chrome OS, but can be installed on just about any laptop or desktop, Windows or Mac. And, although Neverware has paid versions for enterprise and education users, its Home Edition is free for personal use. You don’t get tech support and it can’t be managed with the Google Admin console, but again, free.

To be clear, you do not need a Chromebook or Chrome OS to access Google Classroom — any web browser will work. However, it’s easiest to use Google’s free Chrome browser and your child just needs to sign in to their Classroom account aka G Suite for Education. If you do this in Chrome, though, you can install the Classroom web app to simplify things for the next time they sign in.

Switching to a Chromebook or Neverware’s CloudReady will give your child a more secure, controlled environment than working in a browser on a Windows PC or MacBook, though. They’re not going to inadvertently install malware or a virus, or access things your school district has blocked. Plus, since everything stays synced with their account, it’s easier for multiple kids to use one computer.

You can boot CloudReady from a flash drive if you want to try it out first.

You choose: Trial run or full install

Installing CloudReady is completely painless. In fact, you don’t even have to overwrite your current OS first to test it out. If you have a Windows 7 PC or newer all you need to get started is an 8GB or 16GB flash drive to create a bootable USB drive. (SanDisk drives are not recommended because some, but not all, don’t work for one reason or another. There is a workaround you can try if that’s your only option.) The basic steps are below so you can see how little is involved, but you can head to Neverware’s install page for full instructions. Note, however, older Windows PCs and Macs require a manual install.

  • Download and install CloudReady on the flash drive (it takes about 20 minutes and you don’t need to babysit it).
  • Turn off the laptop or desktop you want to run CloudReady on and plug in the flash drive.
  • Turn it on and press the function key needed to enter your computer’s boot menu options. (CloudReady has a list of function keys for different manufacturers in case you’re not sure.)
  • You should then see a screen giving you the option to boot from either internal storage or the flash drive (see photo above). Select the USB drive and hit Enter.

CloudReady will live boot from the flash drive and you can use the OS just as if it was installed on the computer. You can keep using it that way, too, though it will slow down the performance. Or you can wipe your internal drive and install it. Instead of overwriting my laptop’s old drive, I simplified the process by slipping in a $28 120GB Kingston SSD. I just removed the old hard drive — a few screws and a cable — and replaced it with the SSD, and then booted from the flash drive again. Plus, this way I still have the original Windows install if I need it for some reason.

If you want to install, click on the clock in the lower right and click Install OS.

Once you’re in CloudReady again, you can click on the clock in the lower right corner of the screen. The settings menu will pop open and you’ll see an option to install the OS. After it’s installed you don’t need the flash drive, it will just boot from the internal drive.

Ta-da, Chromebook! At least, close enough for my kids’ needs. It doesn’t start up as instantly as an actual Chromebook, but it’s still quick at about 30 seconds to go from off to sign in. Performance is going to depend on what your PC has in it. With the Pavilion dm1z’s netbook specs, it can take a few extra seconds to load sites and open web apps, but it’s noticeably faster than when it was doing the same tasks on top of Windows 10.

If you’ve got a USB flash drive and an old laptop, it’s certainly worth the effort to test out and, again, it’s free.

Have you given CloudReady a try? Or would a different Linux OS be better for an older laptop? Let me know in the comments.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Most old laptops start collecting dust when they’re too old to run anything useful. Revitalize and secure your ancient devices, turning an expensive paperweight into a fun playground and educational tool for kids.

The first thing to do when preparing to let a child loose on your old laptop is to make sure it’s free of any intrusive, distracting, or inappropriate content. This could be as easy as updating your Windows or Mac machine, uninstalling any unnecessary programs, and deleting all your files.

If you’ve already retrieved all important files from the hard drive, the most reliable way to make the laptop kid-friendly is to roll the device back to its original factory settings. If it’s a Windows machine, you can use Windows 10’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 last version of macOS.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Most old laptops start collecting dust when they’re too old to run anything useful. Revitalize and secure your ancient devices, turning an expensive paperweight into a fun playground and educational tool for kids.

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The first thing to do when preparing to let a child loose on your old laptop is to make sure it’s free of any intrusive, distracting, or inappropriate content. This could be as easy as updating your Windows or Mac machine, uninstalling any unnecessary programs, and deleting all your files.

If you’ve already retrieved all important files from the hard drive, the most reliable way to make the laptop kid-friendly is to roll the device back to its original factory settings. If it’s a Windows machine, you can use Windows 10’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 last version of macOS.

Sharing is caring!

I have a love-hate relationship with technology.

Being able to sync all of our devices to keep everyone on the same page – love.

Being able to work from home – love.

Being able to easily find solutions for just about any issue that presents itself – love.

But…the frequency in which we go through computers is something I could honestly do without. It seems like every year one of our family members needs a new computer. Batteries die (and then go off the market), hard-drives fry, malware, memory issues…you name it, it happens.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

How to set up an old laptop for kids

So this year when my eight-year-old girls came to me needing a computer for school I was well…hesitant. My husband and I are hard enough on our computers, could I really handle handing over a laptop to kids? That’s when my husband had a brilliant idea – why not take one of our old laptops out of the office and see if we could bring it back to life? This would give the kids a computer that they could learn on without us having to make a big investment. Pretty brilliant right? That’s when we found FreshStart.

What is FreshStart?

According to the FreshStart website, FreshStart “begins with the installation of a brand new, high speed hard drive that will make your old computer run like new. The hard drive contains software that will install a new version of Windows and other select software, and will run a full Norton Security virus scan of your PC. We also automatically copy all your data, settings, and favorites to your brand new drive. You now have everything securely back in place and your PC is running faster than when you first bought it!”

Will a FreshStart Work on My Computer?

To be a FreshStart candidate, your computer must meet the following criteria:

-Can power on and boot to Windows
-Must be a laptop or desktop PC
-For Windows 7 users, the license key sticker must be legible to be able to get the free upgrade to Win 10
-Must be less than 10 years old

If your computer meets these specifications, it’s a FreshStart Candidate!

Ready to give it a try? Book a FreshStart Service here or give them a call at 800-625-1134

Laptops for Kids aims to increase access to learning for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds across the North of England. The non-profit campaign sources donations of new and used devices, carries out secure erasure and distributes to schools according to need.

According to the Children’s Commissioner, nine per cent of children live in households without a laptop, desktop or tablet computer. The coronavirus pandemic exposed this inequality with up to 1.78 million young Britons unable to take part in online learning during classroom closures.

Laptops for Kids launched in Sheffield in September 2020 and has expanded to northern towns and cities including Barnsley, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Lancaster, Newcastle and Warrington. By March 2021, the campaign had sourced 14,000 new and used devices and 10,000 data dongles from partners and supporters.

We thank you for your continued support!

Laptops for Kids welcomes donations from businesses and individuals. A donation of one device is as important as 1,000 devices. Our drop-off points for your unwanted devices are located in:

How to set up an old laptop for kids

How your donations are making a difference

Robert, a father of three, said:

“The donated device from Laptops for Kids has opened up my daughter’s world in the lockdown. She loves being connected with her teachers and the kids in her class. She is excited to get on with her work.”

Fatima, a mother of five, said:

“When we were growing up, we played outside all of the time. But with lockdown, our mindset changed. The children need devices to do their school work at home and this donation has really helped us as a family.”

Violet, a mother of three, said:

“I am working every day to help look after vulnerable people in care homes but I still cannot afford to provide for my children. They want to make a better future for themselves. Thank you so much to everybody who has supported the Laptops for Kids campaign.”

by Hedy Phillips August 24, 2021

The best laptops for kids may be on your mind as the back-to-school season commences. School supplies lists seem to get a little longer each year, and we’ve reached the point in time when it can include technology, including laptops for kids. Long gone are the days when absolutely everything is done with a pencil and paper — now kids surf the web for research more than they use the library and type out their essays on a screen rather than a typewriter. But the beauty of a laptop is that it can make learning fun for kids of all ages, and after all, tech-savviness is a key to success in today’s society.

The other big thing that’s changed with kids laptops is that they’re so much more affordable now. These days, you can find a reliable machine for $200, and while that’s still a pretty penny to spend for classroom supplies, it can really benefit your child in school. Though some schools don’t require (or don’t even allow) your children to actually have their laptops in class, they’re still a great tool to have at home. If you’re in the market for a new laptop for your child or even one to share with the whole family, check out the options below.

Best Laptops For Kids

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Lenovo Chromebook S330 Laptop

The Lenovo Chromebook S330 Laptop is cool in that it requires absolutely no setup, so your kid can definitely handle it on their own. All they need is a Google account to get going — everything is stored in the Cloud. This is especially appealing for kids — and parents, TBH — who regularly forget to save things or lose flash drives easily. This computer also has a MediaTek MTK8173C Processor, which is just a very fancy way of saying it can keep up with your child when they’re doing schoolwork.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Apple MacBook Pro

If you’ve got an older kid who’s interested in anything techie, listen up. An Apple MacBook Pro is an investment, for sure, but these high-quality laptops will last your kids for years. If you have an Apple-loving house, a MacBook will seamlessly sync with your child’s iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and whatever other Apple products your house is currently running. Apple computers are also very easy for children to use because they function similarly to iPads and iPhones, so if your child has one of those, they’ll have no problems figuring out a MacBook. This 2020 edition can handle all your child’s homework projects — and side projects galore — and while it’s fairly light and easy to transport, this is one pick you’ll probably want them to leave safely at home.

Best Laptops For School

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop

There’s a lot to love about the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop. We think this is a great little laptop for your older kids to cart to and from school. Not only is it lightweight, but it’s versatile in how you can use it. Your kiddo can use it as a regular laptop or flip it and use it tablet-style. It also offers a fully touchscreen experience. The battery lasts up to 10 hours, which means students should have no problem making it through a school day without recharging.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a little more expensive than some of these other laptops for kids, but it’s a really quality machine that is perfect for taking to school. This laptop is under 2 pounds, so even your younger children can easily carry it to school (though with a stern warning to take very good care of it so it doesn’t get broken). It also functions as a laptop and a tablet in one for a more versatile learning experience. It has more than 10 hours of battery life and a super-fast charge, so your kid can leave in the morning with a full battery and make it through the day.

Best Gaming Laptops For Kids

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

For your young gaming aficionado, this Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop is a solid setup for them to use. Though serious gaming (and we mean serious) will eventually call for a sick desktop setup, a gaming laptop is a fine way to casually game at first. This laptop has a very cool backlit with red lighting, and extra cooling technology for when it starts to overheat. Because gaming is hard work for a computer, it can easily warm up, but the fans will help keep that in check. Plus, it’s running NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, which ensure an excellent picture while you play, as well as an Intel Core i5 processor.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Razer Blade 15

The Razer Blade 15 is one of the best gaming laptops for all ages. It’s operating with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics and an Intel Core i7 6 core processor, which all add up to a crystal clear and fast experience. You’ll find no lag here! (Most of the time anyways.) It also has a really impressive battery life for when your kid inevitably forgets to plug in, too.

Cheap Laptops For Kids

How to set up an old laptop for kids

HP Chromebook 14

Look, we get it. Kids are destructive as hell, so you might not want to spend a lot on a laptop just in case it doesn’t last very long. This HP Chromebook 14 is under $200, so you’ll get a really solid machine for a pretty decent price tag. You actually won’t find too many laptops for much cheaper than this, and even fewer that run better. What we also love about this laptop is how fast it charges. It’ll charge up to 50% in just 45 minutes and while that’s practically a lifetime to a kid, as a parent you’ll appreciate the efficiency.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

SAMSUNG Galaxy Chromebook 4

The SAMSUNG Galaxy Chromebook 4 is a great little budget-friendly laptop for children of all ages. You can get this model with 64GB of space for just over $200, but this computer actually comes in a slightly smaller storage size for even cheaper. (Depending on how much storage you think your child needs, you may be able to get away with the cheaper model.) This computer will do everything your kiddo needs for school, from surfing the internet for research to providing a place to type of essays they probably don’t want to write. And because of the budget-friendly price tag, you don’t have to worry too much about it getting carried around in a backpack and plonked down on a school desk.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 2-in-1 laptop

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DELL XPS 9380 13.3-inch Laptop

With new 8th Gen Intel Quad Core processors, more cores mean increased performance, even with multiple applications running.

HP Chromebook Thin & Light Touchscreeen Laptop

This laptop for kids is further powered by Intel Celeron N4020 (1.1 GHz base frequency, up to 2.8 GHz burst frequency, 4 MB L2 cache, 2 cores).

Lenovo Ideapad Duet Chromebook Tablet

The laptop for kids is replete with 4 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM, hard drive 64 GB eMMC and is expandable up to 256 GB.

Microsoft Surface GO 2

If you’ll be using Surface Go 2 for multitasking or everyday productivity, then make the Intel Core m3/8GB/128GB your constant companion.

HP 15 (2021) Laptop

Mi Notebook Horizon Edition

AVITA Cosmos 2 in 1 Intel Celeron Dual Core 11.6 inches 2 in 1 Laptop

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Did your child recently get a new laptop? They – and you – are probably excited to explore the possibilities and potential of this technology, especially for their education. You’re likely also concerned, because we all know the online world is full of dangers, such as identity theft, phishing and spam. But there are ways to counter the dangers and keep your family safe while they’re using their new devices.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

One thing you can do is set up a family group of accounts, which helps families stay connected and keeps kids safer on Windows 10, Xbox One devices and Android devices running Microsoft Launcher.

Sign in with your Microsoft account, select Create a family group, and invite family members to join. Once they accept the invitation, you can do things like block inappropriate apps and websites, receive activity reports and set screen time limits. Once you set up your group, you can add or remove members.

Check it out in action:

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Other things you can do for your family:

  • Make sure your child is safe through location sharing.
  • Turn on Ask a Parent, which requires adult approval for the things your child wants to buy in Microsoft Store, except what they get with gift cards or money in their Microsoft account.
  • Schedule events on your family calendar.
  • Track kids’ spending and add money to their Microsoft accounts. Sign in with your Microsoft account, find your child’s name, then select More options>Spending.

On some specific websites and apps, parents who want to protect their kids will need to adjust safety settings.

If you like this, check out more Windows 10 Tips.

Editor’s note: Additional video links were added after publication.

According to one survey, 81% of teachers in America said their schools monitor devices. Students are not always aware

‘Classrooms are full, kids are hanging out again face to face, which means we have to start worrying about school shootings again.’ Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

‘Classrooms are full, kids are hanging out again face to face, which means we have to start worrying about school shootings again.’ Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Last modified on Mon 11 Oct 2021 11.23 BST

W hen the pandemic started last year, countless forms of inequality were exposed – including the millions of American families who don’t have access to laptops or broadband internet. After some delays, schools across the country jumped into action and distributed technology to allow students to learn remotely. The catch? They ended up spying on students. “For their own good”, of course.

According to recent research by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), “86% of teachers reported that, during the pandemic, schools provided tablets, laptops, or Chromebooks to students at twice the rate (43%) prior to the pandemic, an illustration of schools’ attempts to close disparities in digital access.”

The problem is, a lot of those electronics were being used to monitor students, even combing through private chats, emails and documents all in the name of protecting them. More than 80% of surveyed teachers and 77% of surveyed high school students told the CDT that their schools use surveillance software on those devices, and the more reliant students are on those electronics, unable to afford supplementary phones or tablets, the more they are subjected to scrutiny.

“We knew that there were students out there having ideations around suicide, self-harm and those sorts of things,” a school administrator explained to the CDT researchers. “[W]e found this [student activity monitoring software]. We could also do a good job with students who might be thinking about bullying … [I]f I can save one student from committing suicide, I feel like that platform is well worth every dime that we paid for [it].”

Thousands of school districts across the United States have installed surveillance software on school-provided devices to monitor their students’ online interactions. If a student emails or chats with another student saying they’ve been thinking of hurting themselves or that there is trouble at home, an AI bot or a human moderator watching over the messages in real time can send an alert to a teacher or administrator, allowing the teacher to jump in within minutes and ask if everything is OK.

These programs, such as Bark, Gnosis IQ, Gaggle, and Lightspeed, can cost the schools tens of thousands of dollars to implement, and they can be set up to search for language and online behavior indicating the possibility of violent tendencies, suicidal ideation, drug use, pornography use, or eating disorders.

I can certainly understand why schools would jump on technology they think might prevent teen suicide, bullying, and the like. The pandemic has been hard on everyone, and increased isolation and uncertainty is particularly hard on kids and teenagers. Students are reporting an increase in self-harm incidents and aggressive impulses since the beginning of lockdowns, and shoving everyone back together for a new school year is going to require adjustments. The only problem is that we’ve tried this before, in a different form. Everyone’s proposed solution to the advent of school shootings was, “Well, let’s just watch these little deviants much more closely.” Metal detectors at the entrance to schools became the norm, police had a more visible presence, and security cameras went up in classrooms and hallways.

That was a big business; schools spent billions of dollars on security infrastructure that mostly proved to be ineffective. And the results were, well, you’ll never guess! Kids felt unsafe, Black students were followed and harassed most frequently, and punishments increased as educational outcomes worsened. And, while some schools have started questioning whether their contracts with the police create more harm than good, others are simply adding digital surveillance to their physical systems.

Students from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to have private electronics not subject to surveillance, and will have less privacy when it comes to doing the perverted embarrassing things all teenagers do. And if students’ references to drug use or pornography or violent thoughts might be forwarded to law enforcement, it will be, as usual, the kids already subjected to a greater number of interactions with police and social workers and other forms of monitoring and punishment who will suffer the increased attention.

Although schools and parents are quick to voice concerns over privacy, it remains unclear whether the result of all of this monitoring is safety – and if so, safety for whom? Safer for students? Surveys suggest students are mostly aware they are being monitored but are not fully cognizant of the extent. Many of these programs boast that teachers have direct access to the screens of their students, even after school hours are over. Teachers and administrators can hijack control of the computers remotely, closing problematic tabs and overriding their keyboards. Does that make kids feel safe?

Then there is the tricky question of the promise of “intervention”. The goal of the surveillance, according to the software companies, is to allow for a problem to be spotted and intervened with early on. That intervention can lead to the presence of police and social workers, each with their own difficult histories when it comes to involvement in private homes. And information about the child’s attempts to access outside help might be forwarded to their possible abuser: their parents. The Rape Abuse Incest National Network (Rainn) reported that during the pandemic more than half of their callers seeking assistance and counsel were minors, who were more likely to be trapped in their homes with abusive family members under stressful circumstances.

The software companies’ other big promise about monitoring children for problems is that mental health professionals can be alerted and services provided. But again, the outcomes for mental healthcare with children varies wildly. Children with Medicaid coverage are more likely to be prescribed anti-psychotics and other debilitating medication than get access to talk therapy.

It’s not clear whether students are going to benefit from this surveillance, or if it is merely going to reduce schools’ liability when an act of violence or self-harm takes place. If teens are in need of help, it seems obvious that the best way to protect them is to ensure they have trusted adults in their lives they can turn to. A snooping AI is no substitute for that.

Teens deserve privacy for the same reasons the rest of us do: to not have our rights trampled on, feel paranoid and be disciplined for minor transgressions. Besides, teens need their privacy to create confusing memes and frantic new TikTok dances. It’s their job to freak out adults; we need to give them the space to do it.

I created a Microsoft account as a user account for my child. How do I set up Family Safety for this account?

More Information

Set up Family Safety for a Microsoft account in Windows 8

You can use Family Safety to protect a user account in Windows 8 that was created by using a Microsoft account. Doing this enables you to protect your children from content on the local PC or from web content that might be harmful to children, to control access times to the PC, and to determine which games, programs, and apps your children are allowed to use.

Note This article describes using Windows 8 together with a mouse and a keyboard. Please make sure that Family Safety is turned on. You can turn on Family Safety when you are setting up the accounts for your children.

1. Display the Charms bar by pointing the mouse to the upper-right or lower-left corner of the Start screen.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

How to set up an old laptop for kids

3. Click Settings.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

4. Enter Family Safety.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

5. In the left pane, click Set up Family Safety for any user.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

6. In the next window, click the account for which you want to control access rights and restrictions.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

7. Leave the settings unchanged, and click Web filtering to determine which web contents this person can display.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

8. Make sure that the [. ] can only use the websites I allow option is enabled in the upper pane. Click Set web filtering level.

How to set up an old laptop for kids
9. In the next window, accept the default Online communication setting, or select the Designed for children option.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

10. In the left pane, click Allow or Block Websites to create a list of allowed or blocked web pages, or click User Settings to edit more settings.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

11. Click Time limits to select the days and times that your children can access the PC.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

12. Based on the options on the Time Allowance tab, you can determine how many hours and minutes your children can use the PC on weekdays and weekends.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

13. Based on the options on the Curfew tab, you can determine the times for each day when this person is not allowed to use the PC at all.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

14. Then, click User Settings to edit additional options.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

15. Click Microsoft Store and game restrictions to restrict the use of games.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

16. Click Set game and Microsoft Store ratings to determine that this person can use only the installed games that are age-appropriate.

How to set up an old laptop for kids
17. In the next window, select a game rating level that’s based on the age of your child.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

18. To block or allow specific locally installed games, click Allow or Block Games on the left bar. Otherwise, click User Settings.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

19. To allow or block access for this person to specific apps that are locally installed on this PC, click App restrictions.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

20. Select the appropriate check box to determine which apps this person can use.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

21. Close the window. The changes are immediately applied.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

22. The next time that this user signs in, a notification is displayed that states that this account is monitored by Family Safety.

Posted January 15, 2021 by Peacock Computers .

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Drop in point for laptop donations

Peacock computers are working with the New Forest Basics Bank to help refurbish & distribute old laptops to Children in the local area, who don’t have access to a computer for their home-schooling, the BBC have this to say about it:

Last summer local BBC radio stations helped members of the public donate thousands of old laptops and tablets for schoolchildren to use across England. For those pupils, who were sharing phones at home while learning in lockdown, it made a huge difference.

With schools now closed again we’re once more asking you to help those pupils still in need.

Perhaps you received new laptops, tablets or mobiles for Christmas or you may have old devices you don’t need anymore?

We are working to join the dots between your devices and the children who may need them the most. We are sharing details of companies and charities who can help us achieve our aim of getting devices to pupils.

So, if you’ve got an old laptop computer that’s no longer needed and collecting dust why not show your support through these difficult times and donate it?

We’ll refurbish the laptop as needed:

Give it a new HDD drive, wipe your old drive of data and recycle this responsibly

Give the internals a full clean before re-assembly

PAT test your existing charger cable and test the device for electrical safety issues

Don’t worry if you can’t find your charging cable the laptop, in some circumstances we will be able to find a suitable spare replacement

To get involved, please get in touch and make a difference today 🙂

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With schools remaining shut to most children in a bid to curb the alarming rise of COVID-19, millions of children are expected to learn digitally. Yet, according to Ofcom, an estimated 9% of children in the UK don’t have access to a laptop, desktop, or a tablet at home.

In these unprecedented times, lack of computer access means that many of our most vulnerable children could miss out on their education — further entrenching inequalities for families living in poverty.

However, a new campaign spearheaded by The Restart Project seeks to bridge the digital divide by providing children in urgent need with laptops. The London-based technology charity is appealing to Londoners to donate their unused laptops so they can be repaired and distributed to disadvantaged students across the capital.

To do so, The Restart Project has teamed up with eight not-for-profit organisations to prepare the laptops for reuse. If you’ve got a device to donate, these are the places to go:

  • Catbytes* (Lewisham)
  • Don’s Local Action* (Wandsworth, Merton and Kingston)
  • Lambeth Tech Aid (Lambeth)
  • Little Lives (London-wide)
  • Mer-IT (Islington)
  • Power to Connect (Wandsworth)
  • Ready Tech Go* (Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster)
  • Tech Inclusion UK* (Tower Hamlets)

* Also accepting cash donations.

Other ways to get involved

If you don’t have a laptop collecting dust in a drawer somewhere, you can still get involved in the project by donating cash to any of the asterisked organisations above, or to The Restart Project’s own donation drive.

Another way you can help — if you’ve got tech skills — is to volunteer at your local hub and ensure that laptops are ready for distribution as soon as possible.

“The best part of Hai’s vision is reusing a device to pay it forward. Now that’s Philly love.”

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Meet Hai Thai, a software engineer who refurbishes donated computers and gives them away for free.

• Internet connections: “Ten people without internet access is too much. The way I see this is you change one person’s life, they’ll change another life, or another 10.”

• Work ethics: “I’m a hard worker. I know that any job that I do, regardless of whether it’s butchering or engineering, I want to be good at it.”

At his home in Northern Liberties, the connections Hai Thai makes inside of old laptop computers helps them to work smarter, stay powered up for longer, and process data quicker.

But for Thai — whose first laptop in college “totally changed my life” — the best connections he makes are when he gives the computers he fixes away for free to people in need.

“For me, having access to the internet opened a world of information. It was a goldmine,” Thai, 42, said. “By doing this, not only do I feel like I help someone else, but it makes you appreciate what you take for granted, being able to buy a computer.”

Since beginning his one-man TechCycle project last spring, Thai has repaired and given away nine laptops to students and families in Philadelphia; to a family in Guatemala; and even to a convent of nuns in Brooklyn who needed a computer to attend virtual church services.

“The nuns are thankful and they pray for me,” Thai said. “Even though I’m not Christian, it’s positive energy.”

When Fishtown community activist Venise Whitaker heard of Thai’s project through a mutual friend last year and asked if he had a computer to donate to a struggling family she was assisting, he was more than happy to help.

“Pre-pandemic the cost of a computer or tablet was unreachable for many families. Now during the pandemic it’s unattainable,” Whitaker said. “The best part of Hai’s vision is reusing a device to pay it forward. Now that’s Philly love.”

So far Thai — who funds the repairs out of his own pocket and does them on his own free time — has built his program strictly through word of mouth, but he wants to scale it up with more donations, more giveaways, and especially, more volunteers.

“I want to teach people to do what I’m good at,” said Thai, a senior manager of software engineering and development at Comcast. “Part of this program is that I want to mentor people who want to fix computers so they can build their resume and skills.”

Thai didn’t start out in tech. His first job was pushing carts at a supermarket as a teen. Then he worked as a dishwasher, waiter, blueberry picker, and garment worker at a sewing factory while growing up to help support his family, who immigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. in 1990. The Thai family first arrived in Lansing, Mich., before moving to the Philly area in 1993.

After graduating from Upper Darby High in 1996, Thai enrolled at Temple University where he planned to major in architecture. But when he got his first laptop and fell in love with software engineering and coding, he switched majors to computer science.

Yet despite finding his calling, Thai couldn’t seem to find his motivation.

“I was not doing well in school at all because I was not motivated,” he said.

During his sophomore year, Thai took a semester off because he was late applying for financial aid and didn’t have the money to pay for tuition. So he got a full-time job as a butcher at a Northeast Philly supermarket, cutting meat and cleaning floors.

It was all the motivation he needed.

“It was a lot of physical work,” he said. “After that butchering job, I completely changed 180 degrees. I started doing very well in college.”

Thai graduated in 2002 and worked on contract jobs with a consulting company before starting his career at Comcast in 2006.

Two events inspired him to create his TechCycle program. First was his mother’s death from cancer two years ago.

“It slowed me down and changed my perspective,” he said. “I felt I needed to make something of my life. I wanted to be more impactful.”

The second was when he saw a fellow member of Fair Trade Philadelphia (a group which promotes fair-trade-certified products) asking for help to buy laptops for a family in Guatemala. Thai created a GoFundMe for the family, which raised nearly $2,500.

Then, he one upped himself and decided to refurbish a few computers for them, too, “so we could use the money we fund-raised for other things like food and water for them,” he said.

From there, Thai’s mission spread. He partnered with his friend, Hang Dinh, owner of Pretoria Salon & Spa at Park Towne Place apartments on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, for her salon to serve as a drop-off point for laptop donations. And he works with Elemental Inc., a certified electronics recycler, to take any donated devices he can’t fix.

While the cost to refurbish a laptop averages about $50 for parts, the time it takes Thai to fix one can vary from a few hours to a few weeks. Currently, he’s got seven laptops awaiting repair and will decide who receives them by listening to stories from members of his community who know where they’re needed most.

Thai said the recent rise in attacks against Asian Americans in the wake of COVID-19 have left him shaken but more determined than ever to help people connect with the internet and with each other.

“The stuff I’m doing here, I treat everyone the same. I don’t ask what color they are,” he said. “With all the hate against Asian Americans today, I hope this is another example that we’re Americans, too.”

Those interested in donating laptops, receiving laptops, or volunteering with Thai’s TechCycle program may reach him via email at [email protected]

Want more We the People?

South Philly designer Jacqueline City applied to New York Fashion Week on a whim and got in. Now, she’s headed to Paris.

Tulleesha Burbage helps Philly kids through adoption and parole and just discovered her own storied family history.

Why pay money for a baby monitor when you can use a pair of old phones instead?

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How to set up an old laptop for kids

Maybe you’re visiting a friend and your baby needs a nap. Maybe your toddler nodded off in the car and you’re not especially inclined to wake them. Maybe you flew to grandma’s house and forgot to grab the video baby monitor on the way out the door. Whatever the reason, there are going to be times when you need eyes on your sleeping child that are not your own and find yourself without a baby monitor.

Thankfully, that’s not a problem in a world where pretty much everybody carries a smartphone. In a pinch, it’s easy to turn phones, tablets, or laptops into makeshift video monitors in a couple of easy steps — or, honestly, into a fixed monitor for the nursery if you have a spare laptop or a few old phones lying around.

Either way, the process is the same. Here’s how to do with iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

iOS Devices

What you’ll need: Two iPhones, iPads, or a combination of both. They can be either your current devices or old phones you aren’t using anymore.
Setup time: Two minutes.
How it works: Using FaceTime (it’s the easiest method), you’ll set up a video call between you and your sleeping child.

How to do it:

  1. Set up one phone or tablet in clear view of your sleeping kid ⏤ that’s your camera. Obviously, you may need to prop it up with a book or something to ensure the proper angle, but just make sure it’s not within reach of said child when they wake up. Also, if you don’t want the screen to distract a kid as they fall asleep, use the back camera.
  2. Open the FaceTime app on the second phone, that’s your monitor, and enter the phone number/email associated with first. (Apple allows users to Facetime themselves on multiple devices so if both phones or tablets are yours, simply enter your Apple ID. If it belongs your partner, dial their phone number or Apple ID.)
  3. Now select the green camera icon in the FaceTime app to start the video call.
  4. Accept the FaceTime call and you should now see your child on the screen. Turn down the volume on the camera phone (but don’t mute if you want to hear any potential crying) and proceed with whatever it was you were doing.

Pros: Super fast setup and only requires one account.
Cons: Only works on Apple devices and accounts.

Android Devices

What you’ll need: Same deal, either two Android smartphones or tablets.
Setup time: 5 minutes.
How it works: If you use Google Duo, Google Hangouts, or Skype to make video calls, then the process is pretty much identical to using FaceTime above. You can also, however, download one of the many baby cam apps in the Google Play Store ⏤ they work just as well. We like Nancy Baby Monitor because it also works on iOS, which means that if you and your spouse are a divided (iOS/Android) family, you can still connect both phones.

How to do it:

  1. Download the Nancy Baby Monitor from the Google Play Store and install/open on both devices.
  2. On the camera device, select the ‘Baby’ icon. A number should appear.
  3. On the monitor device, select the ‘Parent’ icon. Enter the number from the camera device.
  4. With both devices paired, the video should appear on the screen. Make sure you select the Video tab and adjust the motion sensitivity
  5. Again, make sure the volume is down on the camera device but the microphone isn’t muted, assuming you’d like to hear audio.

Pros: Cross-platform, free, very little delay, simple to set up.
Cons: The security of the 4-digit pin is questionable and there are few options for customizing.

Windows Laptops

What you’ll need: A laptop with a built-in webcam. (Apple MacBooks can use Facetime so this section is targeted more to Windows laptops.) A pair of Google or Skype accounts.
Setup time: 5 minutes
How it works: Same as above, except you’ll use Google Hangouts or Skype to set up a video chat from the laptop to your phone. Either device can work as the camera.

How to do it:

  1. Place the laptop or phone somewhere within view, but out of reach, of the soon-to-be-sleeping child.
  2. Log into Google Hangouts from the laptop with Google account A.
  3. Log into Hangouts from the smartphone using Google account B.
  4. Send a video chat request (little camera icon) from the laptop to the phone.
  5. Accept the request from the phone.
  6. After the chat is initiated, dim the screen of the laptop completely and make sure the volume is down. Also, if you’re using battery power, make sure the Power Save options aren’t set to turn the computer off mid-streaming.

Pros: Frees up a phone if you don’t have a spare. Totally cross-platform and free. You can get work done on your laptop while your child sleeps.
Cons: You need two different Skype or Google accounts to make it work. It can be tricky to set up if the baby is already sleeping, as laptops are large and awkward to place.

One final word of warning: Keep an eye on battery levels and cellular data limits. You don’t want the camera to cut out mid-nap or be stuck with a pricey phone bill at the end of the month because you forgot to enable Wi-Fi.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

  • Your 3-year-old now
  • Your life now
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Your 3-year-old now

Computers can be great learning tools, and software for preschoolers is plentiful — but this kind of play is by no means necessary at 3. If your child seems very interested and you’re prepared to keep close tabs on his play, look for games and websites that promote art creativity or math and reading readiness, stressing skills like counting, letter recognition, and patterns. Preschooler-friendly games rely more on sound and images than on written prompts. Consider your child’s abilities and choose games that fit him.

The main caveat is that time in front of the screen — no matter how educational the software — shouldn’t replace more active pursuits. Parents are often vigilant about limiting TV but softer on computer time because it’s perceived as more educational. But scientists say that the best way to develop a young mind is hands-on exploration and interacting with people.

Your child may need your help in maneuvering the mouse or running the program. As with television viewing, your child will get more out of the experience if you talk about what he’s doing and ask questions, relating it to his everyday life.

Less than an hour of computer time, with your child on your lap or at your side, is plenty for now. Bonus: This is a great opportunity to start teaching him that screen time has limits. Set a timer. If you notice him getting fidgety or cranky, cut the session short. Above all, don’t be overeager to introduce computer play. All too soon you’ll be looking for ways to actively discourage your school-ager from the addictive computer screen.

Your life now

You may have heard the advice that consistency counts when it comes to discipline. It’s true, and here’s a parallel that can help you see the wisdom in that adage: How would you feel if the traffic laws or income tax regulations changed from day to day without notice? You’d probably feel a lot of stress from not being sure of the rules. You’d also be tempted to see what you could get away with. Firm, consistent boundaries, on the other hand, breed security and obedience.

Sources

BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

Looking to speed up your laptop? Check our tips on cleaning your hard drive, deleting temporary files, installing more memory, and cleaning up your system to get the most out of your laptop.

Identify programs that slow down your computer

If you have programs that use a lot of resources, you need to decide if they’re worth the resources they’re using. These could be high-level apps that you’re using, or it could be items that start automatically that you don’t use, or a program you opened previously and have forgotten about.

Some programs use very few resources when they’re idle. Others, especially if they’re checking the internet for updates or working on a task, can use a lot of processing power and a lot of RAM storage. There are then fewer resources for other programs to use. This can make switching between programs slow, and even data updates slow in some apps.

To see which programs are using the most resources, press the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys at the same time. Select Task Manager. On the Processes tab, you can see the items that are currently open and how much of the CPU and Memory each is using. You can then close programs that you’re not using to reallocate resources to programs you are using.

Clean up your disk

Cleaning your disk will remove files that are no longer needed and can be safely deleted. It also deletes temporary files and empties the Recycle Bin.

To perform a Disk Clean up, follow the procedure below:

  1. Click on the Start menu or Windows button
  2. Select My Computer or Computer
  3. Right-click on the drive you want to clean. This is usually the C: drive.
  4. In the dialog that appears, there will be a representation of how much free space there is on your disk. If the free space is less than 20% of the total size of the disk, click the Disk Clean up button.
  5. Verify the disk you want to clean. The computer will calculate how much space will be freed up.
  6. Check all the boxes, then click OK

A clean hard disk will allow your computer to find files faster.

Uninstall unused programs

Many computers come with programs and apps pre-installed; you might not even know they’re on your laptop. Or, you downloaded an app that you don’t use any more. Deleting these programs can free up disk space so your system can find the files you want faster.

To uninstall programs, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start menu or Windows button
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Click on Programs
  4. Under Programs and Features, select Uninstall a program
  5. Select programs you’re not using and click the Uninstall button

The computer will not show the Uninstall option for programs that are necessary to run the system.

Prevent start-up pgrograms

Computers can also come with programs set to start automatically in the background. These can be programs you want and use occasionally, but not start automatically.

To prevent programs from starting automatically, follow this procedure:

  1. Right-click on empty space on the taskbar
  2. Select Start Task Manager
  3. Select the Startup tab
  4. Look through the list of programs for items that don’t need to start automatically. Right-click on any programs you want to prevent from starting automatically
  5. Select Disable

Depending on how many programs you prevent from starting automatically, you should see a faster start up time. After start up, there will also be an increase in speed because you’ve freed up resources that are no longer running these programs in the background.

Delete temporary files

Every time you visit a site on the internet, a temporary file can be installed. After you’ve left the site, these files are no longer needed. They continue to take up room on your storage drive, so deleting them will free up space.

Follow these instructions to delete your temporary files:

  1. Click on the Start menu or the Windows button
  2. Select Computer or My Computer
  3. In the left-nav bar, click the small arrow to expand the files on a local drive, usually C:
  4. Expand the Windows folder
  5. Select the Temp folder
  6. Select the first file in the list, hold down the Shift key, then select the last file with yesterday’s date
  7. All the files before today will be highlighted. Press the Delete key

With the freed-up space, your storage drive will be able to find your files faster.

Wondering what to do with an old computer? Read on to find out how and where to recycle laptops and desktop computers.

How to set up an old laptop for kids How to set up an old laptop for kids

As easy as ABC

Recycle laptops: your quick-start guide

If you’ve decided to recycle a laptop or desktop computer, here’s how – in three easy steps

Have you backed up files that you want to keep? Did you remove memory cards, and batteries? Have you erased your personal data? Use our guide to deleting data.

BAG IT

Bag up your unwanted computer and accessories until you’re ready to take them for recycling. Recycle the battery pack with your other batteries if it’s removable – they are a fire risk if mixed in with other recycling.

CHECK

Find your nearest electricals recycling or donation point by using our locator. If you’re buying a new computer you can now hand over your old one in store for recycling.

Are you sure you want to recycle your laptop or computer?

Your laptop or desktop computer could live on. Here are your options.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Repair your laptop

Instead of buying a new computer, a repair could save you money. So check with your manufacturer, retailer, local PC repair shop or Repair Cafe.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Donate your laptop

Charities can refurbish your computer for someone who needs it, or recycle or sell it to raise funds. More on donating electricals.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Sell your laptop

Your old computer may be perfect for someone else. Try online market places to see if you can make a little cash towards your next computer.

Still want to recycle your laptop?

No problem. Your computer contains precious materials that can be reused if you recycle it.

How to set up an old laptop for kids

Did you know?

Retailers will now take your old electricals when you buy new.

There are 10,000 new recycling points across the UK

And some larger stores take back your old gear for recycling even if you’re not purchasing from them.

Where to recycle old laptops and desktop computers

Pop in your postcode to find your nearest reuse and recycling point

How to set up an old laptop for kids How to set up an old laptop for kids

Did you know?

Humans! Anything with a plug, battery or cable can be recycled

That includes old laptops, their batteries or power packs, power leads and accessories like trackpads, additional monitors – and USB, thunderbolt or firewire cables.

And especially the mouse.

31 million laptops

That’s how many unwanted laptops are estimated to be sitting idle in homes across the UK.

When we recycle them instead, the metals and plastics in them can be made into medical equipment, bicycles – even new laptops.