How to get a free laptop (26 easy ways)

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Not everyone can get a new laptop. Fortunately, there are ways to help you get a decent laptop for free or cheap, with no strings attached.

We’ve researched over 30 different programs that will help you get a free or highly discounted laptop. 

If you’ve got low income, are a student or have a disability – we’ll cover special programs that cater to you. Go for these as you’ll be more successful in getting a laptop from these programs!

Free Laptop For Anyone

Here is a list of programs and ideas that are open to everyone (you don’t have to be part of a special group). You can start here.

Freecycle

Check Freecycle and you may be lucky to find a free laptop. The website allows people to upcycle the items they no longer use, including various electronic devices.

People post things on this site that they’d rather see someone else use, rather than dumping it. 

Many people in the same town give and get items for free using this platform, so it’s worth a visit. 

Craigslist

Craigslist is an excellent place to find free or low-cost second-hand or refurbished laptops. Some people list the electronic devices they no longer use on Craigslist and give them away for free.

Some units for free are in good condition while others may require some repairs. Make sure to check the condition of the unit so you don’t end up spending too much to fix it.

Giveaways and Contests

Some major brands hold free laptop giveaways. You may check out Microsoft User Research Sweepstakes and Dell Advantage Sweepstakes.

As you know, giveaways only last for a certain period, which means you have to join before it ends.

Free Laptop For Certain Groups of People

Some organizations, programs, offline and online shops help certain groups of people get free or discounted laptops.

Low-Income Families

Low-income families have little or limited finances. If you belong to one and can’t afford to buy a laptop, here are ways you can secure one for free.

Some programs limit the number of laptops you can receive. So you should see if you fit into any of the other special groups (students, teachers or if you have a disability), to see if you can get another laptop there.

For example, if you’re a low-income family and you need a laptop for yourself and your child. You might want to apply for a student program for your child, while you use the platforms here to get one for yourself. 

1. Government Programs

Benefits.gov provides government assistance to people who are in need, including students. It includes helping qualified individuals get access to technology by giving them free or cheap laptops through different programs offered by government agencies or non-profit organizations.

You have to meet certain eligibility criteria, such as proof of low income, to qualify for a free or cheap laptop. You may contact the Department of Social and Health Services.

The department may be able to connect you to a local program in your area or a non-profit organization that may help you get a free or cheap laptop. Visit the USA.gov website to find the location of this department in your area.

2. Alliance For Technology Refurbishing And Reuse

The Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse (AFTRR) offers free laptops to qualified low-income families. AFTRR is affiliated with the National Cristina Foundation, which helps organizations that provide free laptops to qualified individuals.

3. PCs For People

PCs For People provides free and low-cost laptops to eligible individuals. Some of its eligibility requirements include being enrolled in an income-based government assistance program or falling below 200% of the poverty level.

4. With Causes

With Causes is a non-profit organization that provides laptops, computers, tablets, and phones to low-income families.

You may also be eligible for a free laptop if you live in a women’s shelter for battered women, you’re a veteran, or you’re an active military member.

Just fill out the form on their website and explain your needs. The Board of Directors will review your application and you will be contacted within 30 days.

You may reapply if you don’t hear from them within that period.

5. Computer With Causes

Computer With Causes accepts and reconditions donated laptops and computers, which it provides to eligible individuals or organizations.

You have to complete a form and detail the reason you need a laptop. The eligibility requirements are strict and Computer With Causes usually conducts background checks to make sure they help people who are really in need.

Aside from low-income families, the organization also aims to provide free laptops to kids in foster care, the elderly, and disabled veterans.

6. SmartRiverside

SmartRiverside works with the government and various non-profit organizations to provide free laptops to people who are in need. You have to fill out a form to apply for a free laptop.

SmartRiverside will process your application to determine if you qualify.

7. World Computer Exchange

World Computer Exchange works with various entities, such as schools, government, NGOs, and libraries to help people in need by giving them free refurbished laptops. You have to apply and explain your situation and why you need to have a laptop.

8. Salvation Army

Salvation Army is a non-profit charitable organization that provides free food, clothes, shelter, toys, and even laptops to those who are in need. Find a local Salvation Army chapter in your area.

9. The National Christina Foundation

The National Christina Foundation encourages consumers and businesses that the technology resources, such as laptops, that they no longer use can be of help to others.

They receive laptops donated by the public and businesses, which they give to people who are in need.

10. The Computer Technology Assistance Corps

The Computer Technology Assistance Corps (CTAC) aims to empower and improve the lives of people in need. They accept donations, such as used laptops, and provide them to eligible individuals.

Some of the requirements you need to meet to receive a free laptop include receiving welfare benefits, being handicapped, receiving free or reduced school lunches, or being a low-income senior who is at least 62 years old.

Students

Today, most students need to have a laptop to help them with their schoolwork. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to buy one. If you’re a student, here’s where you can get one for free or at a discounted price.

1. On It Foundation

Opportunities Necessary to Increase Technology Foundation (On It Foundation) is a non-profit organization that provides free laptops to eligible low-income families with children that are in school (from kindergarten up to Grade 12).

You need to meet other requirements too. For instance, you should be attending a public school and you’re a resident of the United States to qualify.

In case your family fails to qualify for a free laptop, you may purchase one at a discounted price through the foundation’s Jump On It! Program.

2. Computers With Causes

Computers With Causes accepts donated laptops from various companies and gives them to qualified low-income families with students and to returning members of the military. Submit an application through their website.

The primary goal of the organization is to help those with the highest need. Be prepared to answer questions and explain why your request for a free laptop should be granted.

It usually takes 30 days for staff to get back to you to inform you if you’re qualified or not.

3. Enroll In An Online College

If you’re planning to enroll in a college, you should consider attending an online college. Some of these colleges offer free laptops to new students.

Seton Hill, for instance, is a private Catholic school that provides a MacBook and iPad to all undergraduates to help them with their classes.

Wake Forest also offers free laptops to athletic, academic, or need-based scholars. Other undergraduate students are eligible for highly discounted laptops.

Other educational institutions that offer free laptops for college students include Northwest Missouri State University, Rochester College, Full Sail University, and Southern New Hampshire University. Of course, you need to be attending the respective college and meet their basic requirements to qualify for a free laptop.

4. Adaptive.org

Adaptive.org gives free laptops to students from low-income families who are in class 5 to college. You must be prepared to do 10 hours of community service in return for the free unit.

The same help is extended to senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

5. Accelerated School Programs

Accelerated School Programs offer laptops on loan. You have to deposit $100 while you’re using the laptop. Once you’re done, you can return the unit and the money will be given back to you.

6. Komputers 4 r Kids

Komputers 4 r Kids are available for those living in the Los Angeles or Orange County areas. The organization provides laptops to underprivileged children.

The units they use are donated by individuals or businesses. They refurbish the donated laptops and give them to kids who are in need.  

Aside from laptops, they also offer a Student Repair Program that aims to provide education to young kids.

Other programs they offer include The Women, Infants and Children program (vouchers for solid foods at supermarkets), Opportunity Pop (free cell phone and internet), and Family Promise program (lodging help, monetary directing, family coaching to low-income families).

Veterans

Spouses and children of fallen heroes may qualify for a free laptop through the Beaumont Foundation of America. Families who have lost a military member may hear from the foundation through the Casualty Assistance Office of military branches.

To get a free laptop, a few requirements must be met.

  • You lost an active duty military family member in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • You’re a dependent child of a deceased military member and you’re 18 years old or younger.
  • You must live in the house of the fallen hero.

People with Disabilities

People with disabilities often struggle to get access to free laptops. If you have a disability, you may qualify for free or discounted laptops from these organizations and programs.

1. Local Libraries

Check your local library if they offer disability grants. Some local libraries partner with businesses or tech companies to help provide affordable or free laptops to people with disabilities.

Disability programs vary between states. But in most cases, you’ll have to meet the minimum eligibility requirements.

2. Disability.gov

Disability.gov, which is run by the United States Department of Labor, provides valuable resources for people with disabilities to help them live a comfortable lifestyle. Check the website for programs that may offer free laptops that you may need for employment.

3. GiveTech

GiveTech is a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities by providing them with assistive technologies so they can work with computers or laptops.

Eligible individuals must have a great need for a laptop (using a laptop will help improve their lifestyle), must have a serious physical handicap, and be financially in need.

4. The Beaumont Foundation of America

The Beaumont Foundation of America offers help to handicapped people, disadvantaged youth, and seniors by providing them access to services that will help improve their lives. Among the charity presents they give are free laptops to eligible individuals.

4. Jim Mullen Foundation

Jim Mullen Foundation helps people with disabilities get access to free laptops. You need to download the application form from the foundation’s website.

Fill out the form with your personal details and the nature of your disability. If you qualify, the foundation will send you a free laptop with adaptive hardware and software.

Teachers

Some teachers don’t have the financial capacity to purchase a new laptop. 

Cfy.org offers free government laptops or cheap units to qualified teachers, students, and parents. The organization aims to help eligible applicants in their education. 

Aside from free or cheap laptops, it also offers free internet packages to those who meet the requirements.

Where To Find “Technically” Free Laptop

You can also get a free laptop without spending a dime or applying for grants.

Amazon Trade-In Program

The Amazon Trade-In program lets you trade in your old books, DVDs, Kindle E-readers, and video games for an Amazon gift card. Accumulate enough money through gift cards and use them to purchase a refurbished laptop.

Green and Upcycling Initiatives

Find a local program in your area that focuses on waste reduction and recycling. They may have upcycling initiatives that may provide you with free or discounted laptops.

For instance, the FreeGeek community program rewards people who help refurbish unused or donated laptops with a free one. You may find a similar program in your area.

Where To Find Highly Discounted Laptops

If you can’t get a free laptop, you can find highly discounted laptops in your area. Here are some tips to help you find affordable laptops near you.

Local Pawn Shops Or Computer Stores

You may find cheap and refurbished laptops at local pawn shops in your area. Don’t forget to ask about the unit’s age, condition, speed, and reliability to make sure that you get the best deal possible.

You may also check local computer stores in your area that sell refurbished and affordable laptops. Just be sure to ask similar questions as you would in a local pawn shop.

Check Online Shops

You will find several online shops that offer discounted laptops.

1. BuyBackWorld

BuyBackWorld is one of the most popular online platforms where you can purchase discounted laptops.

2. Gazelle

Gazelle is a site that purchases used electronic devices, such as phones and tablets. It also sells used laptops at highly discounted prices. If you have phones and tablets, you can sell them to Gazelle and use the funds to purchase a refurbished computer.

3. Dell Refurbished

Dell Refurbished is an online shop that sells refurbished laptops at highly discounted prices. For instance, a Dell Latitude 5480 costs $569.

4. eBay

You may also find cheap used laptops on eBay. Just be sure to do your research well and to carefully read through the description of the item for sale. It will help make sure that you get the best deal.

Non-Profit Organizations Offering Highly Discounted Laptops

Aside from charitable institutions offering free laptops, you will also find non-profit organizations that offer discounted units.

1. EveryoneOn

EveryoneOn offers cheap laptops at $150 to eligible individuals. It’s a non-profit group that helps people find low-cost laptops.

EveryoneOn has been around since 2012 and it has helped more than 600 million people.

2. Notebooks For Students

Notebooks For Students (NFS) is a non-profit organization that aims to provide discounted laptops to students who are in primary, high school, college, homeschool, and online. They offer a wide range of selections from top brands, such as Lenovo, Dell, Apple, and HP.

For example, a new HP laptop that costs $1,500 in a retail shop costs only $650 in NFS. Laptops in a like-new condition cost $350 while the price of refurbished units ranges from $225 to $320.

3. Connect All

Connect All offers affordable laptops and computers to nonprofit organizations and individuals who belong to low-income individuals or families. But you have to meet a set of eligibility requirements to qualify for their offered deals.

4. Jump OnIt Foundation

The Jump OnIt Foundation, which is run by the On It Foundation mentioned above, offers highly discounted laptops for as low as $99.

Before you can enjoy this deal, you’ll have to meet certain requirements.

For example, your annual income must not exceed $23,400 and your child must qualify for free or reduced school lunch.

Beware of Free Laptop Scams

There are many legitimate ways to get a free or highly discounted laptop. However, there will always be some shady groups or individuals who are lurking around, trying to find their next victim.

Be careful of free laptop scams. Before you submit an application, read reviews or check with the Better Business Bureau or TrustPilot first. Never give out your date of birth, password, or Social Security number.

Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions too before you submit an application for a free laptop.

Conclusion

Even if you find yourself in a situation where you need to have a laptop but have limited to no funds to purchase one, there are ways to get a free or cheap one. You’ll find organizations providing free laptops to qualified individuals. You can also visit offline and online shops for discounted laptops, in case you’re not eligible to get a free one.

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