The Best Ways to Get The Most Out of Your Old Phone

Getting a new phone means that you must decide what to do with your old one. While it might be tempting to store it away or simply recycle it. You can get a little bit more use out of your old phone without it just collecting dust in your desk drawer. Keep reading to see our top recommendations on ways to give a second life to your retired phone.

Remote Controller

Using your old phone as a TV remote can come in handy if your family is prone to losing your remote and you need a secure backup. Plus, you can easily achieve a universal remote for multiple tvs with your old phone. Having a phone as a remote can also be more user friendly since typing on a phone’s keyboard is easier to see and use than using your remote’s arrow keys to type each letter and search.

To use your old phone as a universal remote, you will simply delete all apps that aren’t needed and download the apps for your Roku, Apple TV, smart lights, sound bar, Xbox One, TiVo, and more. You can organize these apps into folders based on what rooms your devices are in, for example: “Living Room”, “Kid’s Playroom”, “Downstairs”, etc. All you need to do is make sure your old phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your favorite streaming devices to get started.

A TV remote may not be useful for you or your family, but an old phone can also act as a remote for your computer. You can easily click through presentations from across the room by downloading apps such as Remote Link for Android or Mobile Mouse for iOS. In addition, you can use your old phone to remotely access your computer if you are ever on the go and need to quickly access your work files. With the Remote Desktop app for iOS, iPadOS, and Android, you can connect to and control a remote Windows computer to work with files. Just make sure you have the correct permissions setup on your work computer as well as all the appropriate settings adjusted before you are on the go.

Security Camera

Using your old phone as a security camera or baby monitor can be a cost-effective alternative to the traditional devices you would buy for these purposes. Most security apps offer many of the same functions, for example local and cloud streaming, storing footage locally or remotely, and motion detection and alerts. There are many apps to choose from for both Android and iPhone. Alfred, Manything, and Salient Eye, are all great free options.

Once you have decided on an app, you must pick where to put it next. Keeping in mind that you will need to access it easily so that you can take it down to charge it or put it in a place where it can be charged continuously. When deciding on a place, you need to think about what you plan on using it for. Do you want to monitor who enters and leaves your home? Monitor certain rooms in your house with valuables? Do you need to watch your packages get delivered?

Baby Monitor

When using the old phone as a baby monitor or pet monitor, there are apps that have been designed specifically for this purpose. BabyCam for Android and Annie Baby Monitor for iOS are apps designed with the intention of connecting two phones to use as a baby monitor. These apps offer baby-specific features as well. You can play your baby a lullaby or white noise, talk to your baby, record your baby, and more.

Pet Monitor

If you have a pet that needs monitoring, these options are great choices. However, if you download a pet specific app like Dog Monitor, these apps have built in dog specific features.  Such as, bark detection that lets you know if your dog barks, howls, or whines while you are away. Some of these choices on the app store are not free or require purchases to use additional features, but these costs are minimal.

Using an old phone and downloading one of these apps would keep more money in your pockets and you wouldn’t have to dish out a large chunk of change for a new baby monitor or security camera. Visit the Google Play Store or Apple Store to search up the best apps for you and your family.

Travel Safety

When traveling to a new city or country, a backup is a great idea in case of emergencies. Having a backup is a lifesaver if you lose, damage, or have your phone stolen in the middle of your trip. Not only would you use your phone to navigate in these new cities, but it can be used to capture memories through video and pictures, communicate with your family members back home, and can allow you to purchase tickets to new experiences around the town. Having to deal with replacing a phone when traveling away from home can be extremely stressful and costly, so here are some ways you can use your old phone as a backup.


You can pack your old phone in a suitcase and leave it in your hotel room in a safe place. If your regular phone gets damaged or stolen, you can count on having this backup for the remainder of your trip. If you’re not able to get service on your old phone yet, you can connect it to wi-fi and use calling apps like Facebook Messenger (for iOS or Android) or WhatsApp (for iOS or Android) to communicate with your friends and family.


Using your old phone to locate your original phone if you believe it has been misplaced or stolen is simple. Smartphones offer a find-my-phone app that comes in handy when you can’t find your phone. Make sure the phone settings are correct before traveling. From there, your old phone can help you log into your account and look at the map to help determine where your other one went missing. Here are some more tips and tricks we have for locating stolen or lost phones.


You can use your old phone as a decoy if you are traveling to a place that has a high rate of pickpocketing. Instead of taking your newer, current phone with you to take pictures and videos, you should consider taking your old phone to capture these memories. So, if your phone gets taken, it’s not your newer phone that was stolen with all your personal information on it. However, if you really want to take advantage of the camera quality of your new phone, consider taking both. Keep your newer phone in a bag or pocket that is safe from thieves and use your old phone to help with navigation in crowded areas. Once you are in a safe area you can pull out your phone and start snapping all the best scenery around you.


There you have it. Those are just a few of the ways you can make the most out of your old phone. Getting creative and using your old piece of tech in a new way can help you save money and give new life to something that would have ended up in the bottom of your desk drawer.

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