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How To Get Free Broken Computers

Written by: John Crawford
Last updated: January 30, 2024

Global PC Market Decline: Worldwide PC shipments decreased by 11.5% in Q2 2023, continuing a downward trend in the market.[1]


Market Recovery Signs: Signs of recovery in the PC market are emerging, driven by public sector funding and increased demand during the back-to-school season.[1]


Refurbishment for Detroit Families: Decommissioned computers in Detroit are being refurbished to assist families without access to technology.[2]


Eco-Friendly Disposal: Outdated or irreparable devices are being disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.[2]

Various government agencies, non-profits, and companies provide free broken computers for parts or repair to low-income individuals. These organizations often have eligibility criteria for recipients.

To obtain a free broken computer, search for local providers, contact them to understand their services, and apply if you meet their requirements. These computers, often recycled or refurbished, can be a valuable resource for those needing technology or components. Read on to get a better idea of how to get free broken computers and access to parts if you're from a low low-income community. 

What to Know about the PC Industry in 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the global PC market has experienced notable fluctuations. In Q2 2023, a significant downturn was observed, with worldwide PC shipments declining by 11.5%, marking a continuation of the market's downward trend.[1]

However, amidst these challenges, signs of a potential rebound emerge. This anticipated recovery is fueled by an infusion of public sector funding and a surge in demand attributed to the back-to-school season. These factors contribute to renewed optimism in the PC market, suggesting a possible turnaround from the previous quarters' declines.[1]

Fast Facts

Donating broken computers for refurbishment reduces e-waste and promotes sustainable electronics reuse.

Refurbishment Efforts and Helping Low-Income Communities

As we pivot from the broader trends in the PC industry to more localized efforts, the impact of broken computers on refurbishment initiatives becomes increasingly significant, especially for low-income communities. In Detroit, a commendable project is underway where decommissioned computers are refurbished to provide essential technology access to needy families.[2]

This initiative addresses the digital divide and underscores a commitment to environmental stewardship. Devices beyond repair are disposed of in an environmentally sensitive manner, ensuring responsible e-waste management. Such efforts exemplify how technological challenges can be transformed into opportunities for community support and environmental sustainability.[2]

Who Qualifies for Free Broken Computers?

How To Get Free Broken Computers

Individuals and organizations seeking affordable technology solutions can benefit from free broken computers. Eligibility often extends to students, low-income families, non-profits, and small businesses needing technological resources.

These computers typically range from slightly damaged to non-functional units, offering various repair possibilities. For the tech-savvy, they present an opportunity to refurbish and upgrade. Educational institutions might use them for repair training programs.

Before acquisition, it's essential to assess the extent of damage and the feasibility of repairs, considering factors like the availability of parts and technical expertise. This initiative not only aids in digital inclusion but also promotes environmental sustainability by reducing e-waste.

Eligibility To Getting Old Computers For Free

Any company giving away free broken computers must set some criteria regarding eligibility. They are limited in resources, so they must set strict eligibility requirements. There are more applicants than they can accommodate. Check out the following common eligibility requirements.

  • Single moms
  • Disabled people
  • People who have registered their non-profit businesses with their state
  • Federal tax exemption from the United States government
  • An organization that provides services to children or the underprivileged

Fast Facts

It's essential to assess the extent of damage and the feasibility of repairs, considering factors like the availability of parts and technical expertise.

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining Free Broken Computers

Navigating the process of acquiring free broken computers can be straightforward if you follow these steps:

  1. Identify Potential Sources: Research organizations like Freecycle, Craigslist, InterConnection, and local non-profits. Universities and tech companies may also offer broken computers.
  2. Check Eligibility Requirements: Each organization has its own set of criteria. This may include income level, student status, or affiliation with certain groups. Ensure you meet these requirements before proceeding.
  3. Prepare Necessary Documentation: Gather required documents such as proof of income, student ID, or a letter of need. This documentation will support your application and demonstrate your eligibility.
  4. Submit an Application: If the organization requires an application, complete it with accurate and complete information. Be clear about your need for a broken computer and how to use it.
  5. Follow Up Regularly: After submitting your application, follow up periodically. This shows your continued interest and can keep you informed about the status of your request.
  6. Arrange Pickup or Delivery: Once approved, coordinate with the organization to pick up the computer or arrange delivery.
  7. Consider Repair Options: If the computer is repairable, explore local repair shops or online tutorials for DIY fixes. Some organizations might also offer repair services or advice.
  8. Stay Informed About Future Opportunities: Even if you are successful, keep an eye on these sources for future opportunities, as they often update their offerings.

Remember, patience and persistence are key. Availability can vary, and the process may take time. Following these steps increases your chances of successfully obtaining a free broken computer.

Fast Facts

Free broken computers offer low-income individuals opportunities to learn technical repair and upgrade skills.

Organizations That Provide Free Broken Computers

Various organizations, companies, agencies, and online platforms are there that are providing free broken computers. One has to search for them. Get relevant information, check their eligibility, and apply for it. The following are the places where you can get free broken computers.

In 2023, several organizations continue to offer free broken computers to those in need. These entities range from non-profits to online platforms. Here's an updated list of places where you can find such computers, along with guidance on how to approach them:

  1. Freecycle: This platform remains a valuable resource for finding free items, including broken computers. Freecycle connects people who want to give away items they no longer need, promoting recycling and reuse. Check your local Freecycle network for listings of free broken computers.
  2. Craigslist: Like Freecycle, Craigslist is an extensive online classifieds service where you can often find free or inexpensive items, including broken computers. Search the free section with terms like "free broken computers" to discover available options.
  3. InterConnection: Based in Seattle, InterConnection continues its mission to provide affordable technology solutions. They offer computers at nominal prices, often under $100, making technology accessible to students and low-income individuals.
  4. PassItOn: This organization focuses on providing computers to people with disabilities. They accept donated computers and redistribute them, often including other computer parts like CPUs and monitors.
  5. Project Reboot: Operating in the Washington, DC area, Project Reboot refurbishes donated computer hardware and provides it to families and organizations in need. They have a long history of supporting the community with technology.
  6. TechForTroops: A newer addition, TechForTroops specifically supports veterans by providing them with free or low-cost refurbished computers, aiding in their transition to civilian life.
  7. Computers with Causes: This organization donates refurbished computers to schools, non-profit organizations, and individuals in need across the U.S., focusing on educational and social upliftment.
  8. World Computer Exchange: An international educational nonprofit, World Computer Exchange provides used computers to schools, libraries, community centers, and universities in developing countries.
  9. Local Libraries and Community Centers: Many local libraries and community centers have programs or know of local initiatives where you can find free or low-cost broken computers.
  10. University Surplus Stores: Universities often have surplus stores where they sell or give away used, including broken, computers and electronics.

When approaching these organizations, it's important to check their specific eligibility criteria and application processes. Some may require proof of income, student status, or other qualifications. Regularly visiting and contacting their websites directly can provide the most current information on availability and requirements.

Fast Facts

PassItOn provides computers to people with disabilities. They accept donated computers and redistribute them.


In conclusion, donating and refurbishing broken computers are crucial in supporting low-income communities. These initiatives provide essential technology access and promote environmental sustainability by bridging the digital divide. The success of programs like Detroit's highlights the significant impact of such efforts, empowering communities through digital inclusion and responsible recycling of technology.

Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs, that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest, including those offering a free laptop to help you with your living situation. Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blogs today!

John Crawford
John Crawford is a dedicated researcher who has devoted his career to studying the intricacies of government benefits programs and their impact on individuals and communities. Armed with a Ph.D. in Social Policy and a strong analytical mind, John has contributed valuable insights through his extensive research projects. His work informs policymakers, enabling them to make data-driven decisions to improve social care programs. John's commitment to evidence-based research has made him a respected figure in the field, advocating for more equitable and effective government benefit policies.
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