Computer FAQs

 These questions all relate to computer specs, installed software, laptop sales, and other computer-related questions.

When can I get a laptop and how does the sale work?

The St. Paul and Denver offices have laptops. Laptops are available every day, though individual types are subject to availability. See Receiving a Computer in St. Paul or Receiving a Computer in Denver for pricing information and specs.

Where are the computers from?

Most of the computers we distribute are from businesses and government agencies. Individuals also donate their personal computers.

Will donating my old computer get me a discount on a new one?

No, we don't do trade-ins, but we do give you a receipt that includes information on how to write it off on your taxes if you choose.

What are the suggested donations to receive a PCs for People desktop computer?

See the Computers page for desktop pricing/donation information. We also have laptops in St. Paul and Denver (pricing/donation amounts are listed when you click the city's link).

What can I do to get a free desktop computer?

We put out the oldest ($0-29) computers every morning when our offices open. They are first come, first serve. Once they are gone, there are no more available that day.

Does my computer come with Microsoft Office?

No, but we do install OpenOffice (or LibreOffice), a free program that is very similar to Microsoft Office. In fact, we preconfigure OpenOffice and LibreOffice to save as all of the standard Microsoft formats to maximize compatibility.

We can also install Microsoft Office on your Windows computer for $20. The installation is done in our office and takes about 30 minutes.

Another option is to sign up for a free Microsoft account and use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other apps for free on Office Online (only works when you are connected to the internet). Google Drive is another free online software similar to Microsoft Office (need a Google or gmail account and must be connected to the internet).

What programs does my computer come with?

These are some of the programs that come with your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 computer:

  • OpenOffice for typing, spreadsheets, drawing, and presentations
  • Microsoft Security Essentials, an antivirus program (this program is called Windows Defender on Windows 8.1 computers)
  • Malwarebytes, a program that removes malware
  • CCleaner, a program that removes cookies and internet-related viruses
  • Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, an internet browser (requires internet)
  • Online Learning, a link to lots of helpful websites for education (requires internet)
  • Solitaire, Minesweeper, and other free games (Windows 7 only, but Windows 8.1 has some free game apps you can download)
  • Kiwix, an encyclopedia that you can use without an internet connection

If you get a free computer with Linux Mint, you will have slightly different programs:

  • LibreOffice for typing, spreadsheets and presentations
  • Google Chrome, an internet browser (requires internet)
  • Software Manager, where you can download free games and other programs
  • With Linux, no antivirus program is needed! It is the most secure operating system.

What if the computer I got from you stops working?

The computer you receive comes with a 90-day hardware warranty.  If something happens to it within those 90 days bring it back and we will repair it for free, unless it is something user-caused (virus, spilling water on it, dropping it, etc.). After the 90 days, or if the problem is user-caused, repair costs start at $25. For user-caused software/virus issues within the 90 day warranty, the first reinstall of Windows is free. If you have opened your computer, altered your operating system, or had someone else attempt to repair it, your warranty is void. Laptop batteries are warrantied for 7 business days. 

How many computers can I get from you?

You are eligible to get 3 computers per year (365 days, not a calendar year) per household. If one of your three computers breaks and is deemed unrepairable by PCs for People, you can leave it at our office to recycle and get a new one. 

What if I decide I don't want the computer anymore?

We have a no returns policy. By receiving a PCs for People computer, you agree not to resell the computer. You may donate the computer back to us, but there will be no refund or store credit.

However, if you have a problem with your computer, bring it in for us to look at. The issue may be covered under the 90-day hardware warranty, or it could be a setting that we can help you change. Note that the hardware warranty does not include laptop batteries -- those are only warrantied for 7 business days.

Upward exchanges are permitted within the 90 day warranty if the computer is in working condition and free of significant cosmetic damage. PCs for People staff reserves the right to decline an upward exchange based on the condition of the computer.

I've decided I want a newer computer than the one I got. Can I do an upward exchange and pay the difference?

Upward exchanges are permitted within the 90 day warranty if the computer is in working condition and free of significant cosmetic damage. PCs for People staff reserves the right to decline an upward exchange based on the condition of the computer. You would pay the difference between the original desktop, laptop, or monitor to exchange it for the new one. Exchange for an equal value computer is not permitted unless there is a problem with the original computer that requires us to replace it under warranty.

 There is an offer on my computer to upgrade to Windows 10. Should I accept it?

Windows 10 is the newest version of Windows which will be released by Microsoft on July 29th and is free for anyone who has Windows 7 or Windows 8 already. It has a lot of cool new features such as added security, voice recognition, and the ability to play more apps and games. You can learn more about the features at Microsoft's website or in articles on various tech news sites. Try Googling "Windows 10" and you'll find even more information.

If you want to get Windows 10, feel free. If you would rather keep Windows 7, that is fine too -- it will be supported by Microsoft until at least 2020.

If you decide to sign up for Windows 10, as you are going through the registration process, it will mention anything it finds on your computer that is not supported or does not work. If your computer receives lots of errors during this process, we would recommend you just stick with your current version of Windows. Remember, you can only change back to your old version of Windows during the first 30 days - so make sure you like it right away!