8 Ways to Repurpose Your Old PC That Can’t Run Windows 11

From October 2025, regular editions of Windows 10 will no longer receive security updates, but you might not be able to upgrade your computer to Windows 11 due to its strict hardware requirements. That doesn’t mean you should throw that PC out yet! There are plenty of great ways you can repurpose your computer.

1. Install Linux Instead

Linux has many distros that are more than capable of replacing Windows for the vast majority of users. All the most important productivity software works on Linux, and most people really only need a browser to get most things done.

If you’re a gamer, you don’t need to give it all up either, since gaming on Linux continues to get better. There are plenty of great Linux distros for beginners; in most cases, you don’t have to remove Windows to try them.

2. Use It as a NAS

Cloud storage is great, but it stops working when the internet goes down, is limited by your internet speed, and comes with some privacy concerns. So why not take your old computer and turn it into a NAS (Network Attached Storage) server.

Stuff a few cheap hard drives in there, load the NAS operating system and software of your choice, and let everyone store and access data on your fast local LAN.

3. Make a Streaming Server

This is adjacent to the idea of turning your computer into a NAS, but with the added ability to stream video content from your personal collection of videos to anyone on your network (or outside it, depending on your setup.)

You can use a commercial solution such as setting up a Plex server, or you can turn your computer into a DLNA media server.

4. Host Your Own E-book Library

If you have a collection of e-books, comic books, or any other documentation, you can use software such as Caliber to organize and serve them to your device like tablets or e-readers.

5. Make a Dedicated Gaming Server

Many multiplayer games eventually lose popularity and the number of servers become fewer and fewer—and worse in quality. If there’s a certain game you love that’s short in servers these days, you can use your old computer to host a dedicated server for that game.

Whether you can run that dedicated server on a non-Windows operating system will depend on the specific game, but it can be a great way to create a fast, private game server for yourself and your friends.

6. Create Your Own Web Server

Usually, when creating and hosting a website, you’d pay a hosting service for space on their servers, but you can simply turn your computer into a web host and have complete control over your website. That said, not everyone can host a web server on a home connection because many ISPs specifically forbid it.

Assuming your ISP is okay with you hosting a web server on your home connection, it can be a cool way to run a small forum community or blog. If you want to run a site as a hobby and really get to grips with the nuts and bolts of the process, this is a great way to get started.

7. Make a Hackintosh

While many consider the days of the Hackintosh to be numbered, others would argue that Hackintoshes are still worth it. If your old computer happens to have a Hackintosh-friendly motherboard, CPU, and GPU, it’s a great way of extending its life—as long as it will run a version of macOS that’s still getting security updates.

8. Build an Arcade Cabinet

You may have seen projects where people take small and inexpensive computers such as a Raspberry Pi to make their own arcade emulation cabinets (one of many great Raspberry Pi projects.)

Your Windows 10 computer is probably way more powerful than a Pi, so it will work a treat as the heart of an arcade cabinet. Since you already own the PC part of the equation, it should work out far cheaper than a pre-built system and you can easily buy arcade cabinet kits from sites like Amazon.

Don’t Let Windows 11 Make E-waste

While your computer might not be compatible with Windows 11, it’s still more than capable of serving as a handy machine for many tasks. It would be a real shame if your capable computer went to your local landfill for no reason other than Windows 11 being too picky about what hardware it will accept.

So save the planet from yet more e-waste and repurpose that Windows 10 computer to give it a new lease of life.

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