Do not throw away! Quickly troubleshoot and continue using these popular devices

When a phone, power bank, mouse or other tech device is old or damaged, most people instinctively throw it away. Old technology may suck for you, but it’s bad for Mother Nature. Gadgets often contain toxic chemical elements like arsenic that can damage entire ecosystems.

Also, the old mouse or laptop may be beyond repair. Sometimes all it takes is a quick fix to restore its functionality, saving you money while avoiding adding to the increasing amount of e-waste in the world. So don’t throw it away! Quickly troubleshoot and continue using these popular devices.


1. DIY Mouse Encoder Repair

A jittery cursor is one of, if not the most irritating technical problem in the world. You might be busy at work and deep into your project when the cursor suddenly becomes erratic, forcing you to freeze everything to fix the problem. And if you’re like most people, after a few tries, you’ll give up and start buying another mouse.

Before you throw it away, however, be aware that an erratic or erratic cursor is often the result of easy-to-fix mechanical issues with mouse parts. Check out this Insructables guide for quick and easy fixes to a jumpy mouse pointer caused by a scroll wheel.


2. Easy power strip repair

Even as we quickly transition to a wire-free world, wired power strips are here to stay. They offer additional sockets if required and protect devices from overvoltages. They’ve gotten so sophisticated these days that they cost a pretty penny. Luckily, as shown in this Instructables repair guide, you don’t have to budget for one if yours is damaged as power strips are pretty easy to fix.

If you successfully hack this project, check out these brilliant ways to hide ugly technology in your home.

3. Refurbish an old laptop

Your old laptop might not be easy on the eyes, but fixing it is a lot better than buying a new one. New laptops with standard features usually cost between $300 and $500, while the more sophisticated laptops go into the four figures. On the other hand, a DIY laptop renovation project costs no more than $50 and is enough to make your old laptop work as good as new. Never tried to renovate? Check out this step-by-step how-to guide for hints on how to proceed.


To improve your typing experience on your refurbished laptop, you can try these DIY mechanical keyboard upgrades.

4. Repair a broken fan

You rush past your fan if you accidentally hit it with your hand, or your clothes get caught in one of the blades, causing the fan to fall and instantly break! While it’s certainly irritating, don’t let this little mishap ruin your day because it happens to most of us. Just because it’s broken doesn’t mean you have to swipe your credit card for another.

A bad fan is pretty easy to fix. You’ll only need easy-to-access items like the empty Diet Coke bottle you just completed, scissors, duct tape, and the household items highlighted in this Instructables guide.

To brave the hot summer weather, you can build more awesome DIY fans using locally available materials.

5. Repair a broken headphone jack

Few things are as annoying as a broken headphone jack. On the plus side, it’s an easy problem to fix. So if you have a pair of headphones in perfect condition but the jack is broken, perhaps because you accidentally stepped on them or your pet decided to tug with the cord, don’t fret because you don’t have to spend on a new pair . Follow this Instructables guide to repair the jack at home.

6. Salvage an old laptop camera and reuse it in a USB camera

Some old laptops are beyond repair, but that doesn’t mean all parts are damaged. So if you don’t want to refurbish an old laptop as shown previously, or think it’s too damaged to fix, consider salvaging and reusing some of the parts. One easily reusable laptop component is the camera. As broken down in this Instructables tutorial, you can salvage it and turn it into a USB webcam.


7. Repair broken power banks

Power banks are a life-saving innovation, but most wear out and stop working that quickly. Most have an average lifespan of three to four years, but it’s almost impossible to find one that will last that long. Luckily, like most common devices, a broken power bank can be repaired at home. If yours recently broke, or you have a drawer full of broken power banks that you don’t want to throw away, find out how to fix them with this simple guide.

8. iPhone Cable Repair

Apple makes some of the most innovative tech products, most notably the iPhone. However, the same sentiments cannot be repeated for the Lightning cable. It is often flimsy and tends to fray within a few months. If this is your current predicament, you’re in good company: this Instructables tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to fix a frayed iPhone cable.

If your cable is too damaged to repair, you can try these cool DIY ideas using old cables and wires.

9. Turn AAA batteries into AA batteries

Your child’s T-Rex toy just ran out of batteries and is throwing a tantrum like you’ve never seen before. Well, you could always order online, but your kid will have you irritated to death when it gets delivered. So what are you doing? Take that pair of old but still working AAA batteries and turn them into AA batteries with this simple Instructables life hack. Note that this trick works not only when your kids’ toys are out of juice, but also when you need AA batteries and only have a triple A pair.

10. Add a microphone to each headphone

Do you want to improve your online gaming experience with a new headset but don’t have enough room in your budget to treat yourself to one? If so, you’ll be glad to know that you can plug a mic into almost any pair of headphones in the home. And it’s pretty easy as shown in this Instructables tutorial.

Don’t throw away your old or damaged technology

It’s human nature to throw away anything that doesn’t work or is too old, including technology. As demonstrated with the DIY projects above, most tech devices that we dismiss as junk can be repaired or reused at home using readily available household items. We hope the above projects will inspire you to repair or reuse your old technology rather than discarding it and making an already alarming e-waste problem worse.

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