How to breathe life into an old Mac

Your old Mac might be a bit creaky but there’s plenty you can do to restore its youthful vigour—and much of it doesn’t cost a dime.

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Install Linux

Even the suggestion is heresy, we know, but one of the problems with using an old operating system these days is that if you’re connected to the Internet—and who isn’t?—you’re more vulnerable to attacks. And since it’s often impossible to update an old Mac to a new version of the Mac OS, you could look to the Linux community. Not only will you get a more secure computer, but you’ll get access to lots of modern features, too.

refresh an old mac install linux Christopher Phin

Now clearly it’s quite a big step, and it often needs even just a little bit more tech savvy to get started than many Mac users might be comfortable with, but especially if you stick to popular, user-friendly versions (“distros”) of Linux such as Ubuntu, it’s definitely much less of a geekfest than most probably assume. We’ve happily had Ubuntu running on a Blue & White G3 with aftermarket Broadcom-based Bluetooth and Wi-Fi added without having to muck about with drivers.

Follow all this advice and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t eke out another three, four, five years or even more out of your Mac’s useful life; if only extending our own lives were as easy! Share your own tips and stories of long-lived Macs in the comments below.

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