7 ways to make use of your old iPhone

Few things feel better than finally upgrading to a new iPhone after hanging on to your old one for three or four years. The photos are so good! It’s so fast! You finally have storage space! That battery lasts so much longer!

Assuming you didn’t trade in your old iPhone when you purchased your new one (which isn’t a bad idea), you’re left with a conundrum: What do you do with a several-year-old iPhone?

Here are some ideas to keep your old friend out of your junk drawer.

Sell or donate it

Just because you didn’t trade in your old iPhone when you got a new one doesn’t mean it has no value. Check out our guide for all the steps to take before you sell or trade in your iPhone, as well as some ideas of where to list it.

Perhaps you should consider donating your old phone to a worthy cause? Cell Phones for Soldiers recycles and refurbishes phones and then uses the proceeds to buy prepaid international phone cards for active service members overseas. Secure the Call refurbishes old phones as 911 emergency-only devices for Domestic Violence Centers, Senior Citizen Centers, Police, and Sheriff departments. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence works with Cellular Recycler to turn your old phone into cash that it uses to help prevent, and help victims of, domestic abuse.

If you just don’t want to use your old phone, don’t let it go into a landfill or sit in a drawer when it could do some good in the world. These and many other charities have phone donation programs, and a quick web search will surely find a cause that appeals to you.

Make it a dedicated music player

You don’t need an active cell connection to make use of your old iPhone. Just connect to Wi-Fi and use it as a dedicated music streamer for Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, or whatever else you like. Typical “old phone” problems like poor battery life, a disappointing camera, or a less-than-stunning display matter a lot less when your phone is plugged in at home, pumping out tunes over a Bluetooth speaker.

fix apple music primary Jason Cross/IDG

Pop your SIM card out of your old iPhone and you’ve got a really nice iPod touch.

Turn it into a kid’s entertainment device

Similarly, kids are forgiving about not having the latest gadget. Download some kid-friendly games or episodes of their favorite shows or movies, and use it to keep your toddler transfixed. Without an active cell connection, you’ll want to make sure you pre-download anything you need to, and be sure to use Screen Time to set appropriate limits.