How to Make a Laptop Last: The Essentials Everyone Needs
May 6, 2021
A laptop is a critical piece of equipment for many professionals. If you rely on your computer for work, consider investing in a quality piece of equipment that will help simplify and streamline your daily tasks. Also try to protect that investment to ensure that it will last as long as possible.
Taking care of your laptop will help prevent needless damage and make sure that the electronic device holds up for many years. This can save you money in the big picture, sparing you the expense of needless repairs or having to prematurely buy a new laptop.
This article provides actionable tips you can implement to help make your laptop last.
5 Tips to Make Your Laptop Last Longer
There are many laptops available, offering a diversity of styles, sizes, and storage capacities to fit various needs. You can also select from diverse brands. Whether you prefer a Samsung laptop or an Acer laptop — or are a loyal MacBook Pro user — there is sure to be a laptop to accommodate your unique requirements. Other popular options include Dell, Lenovo, ASUS, and Intel.
Whether you use a PC or a Mac, the following tips can help you protect your laptop and make sure it lasts.
Keep Your Workspace and Laptop Clean
Maintaining a tidy workspace is the first step in keeping your laptop clean. Regularly vacuuming and dusting the area will minimize the amount of dust that settles on the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Further, try to keep food and drinks away from the device to avoid crumbs in the keyboard and accidental spills.
Investing in the right cleaning supplies will simplify the task of keeping your laptop clean. Compressed air is an efficient way to clean dust and other debris out of the keyboard. This is preferable to wiping the keyboard down, which will only smush grit between the keys, potentially jamming them.
To clean the screen, you can use a microfiber cloth to remove dust first. This is especially important if you have a touch-screen laptop, as a dirty touch screen won’t be as responsive. After removing dust, you can use a clean, lint-free cloth and a designated computer screen cleaner to wipe the screen down. Try to avoid household cleaning chemicals, which can dull the screen.
Finally, don’t forget to clean accessories, such as an external hard drive, speaker grille, power bar, USB hub adapter, and Bluetooth mouse. Cleaning these extras regularly will prevent grime and detritus buildup, which can impede functionality and shorten their life span. For example, buildup on the bottom of your mouse can impede its ability to move smoothly across the trackpad.
Install Antivirus Software
Malware and spyware can infiltrate your computer via diverse means, such as virus-laden USB sticks or email phishing scams. Modern cybercriminals are extremely sophisticated, making them more difficult to identify.
If malware or spyware infiltrates your computer, it can interfere with the functionality of essential software and hardware. This may slow down your computer and even make some programs fully inaccessible. Cyberintruders can also put sensitive data on your laptop at risk, creating a security hazard. You don’t want third parties accessing personal details in your documents.
You can invest in a reputable antivirus software like Norton Antivirus to detect and take action against malicious attacks and intruders. Whatever software you choose, try to set it up to install updates automatically. Further, consider running security scans on a weekly basis.
Optimize Battery Life
Your laptop’s battery is often one of the first essential components to burn out. When it gets run down, your laptop battery may not be able to reach a full charge (e.g., charging only to 80%) or run down faster than in the past. In some cases, it can stop charging completely.
If your battery is losing life, you may be able to replace it depending on your laptop. Just make sure to purchase a high-quality replacement battery compatible with your model. If you aren’t confident in replacing the battery yourself, leave the job to a professional. You don’t want to accidentally damage your device in the process.
There are steps you can take to help extend the life span of your battery and minimize the need for a replacement. When the battery is fully charged or your laptop is plugged in, you can remove the battery (this is assuming it’s readily removable). Chargers for laptops rely on an AC power source, eliminating the burden on the battery power. Note that some newer laptop models allow you to disable battery charging at 100%, which can also minimize excess battery stress.
Additionally, try to take advantage of sleep mode. Further, you can turn off your laptop when you don’t need it to make sure it’s not running needlessly. Finally, consider investing in equipment that will prevent your laptop from getting too much power, such as a surge protector.
Keep It Cool
One reason it’s good to keep your laptop clean is that dust and other particles can potentially get into the cooling system, impeding its efficiency. This increases the device’s temperature. CPUs are designed to work in a safe temperature range that should not exceed 176 degrees Fahrenheit. Overheating can harm the laptop’s components and diminish battery life span.
Try to keep your laptop out of direct light and don’t let it sit on materials that block the cooling system, like blankets or soft furniture. You might also consider investing in a laptop cooling pad. This elevates the device, allowing the built-in fan to function without impediment and effectively promote airflow through the bottom of the laptop.
If you notice your laptop fan is running overtime, consider taking a break to let it cool down to avoid overheating. If the fan gets worn down, it might be possible to repair or replace it. A professional can advise on whether this is a viable option, depending on your device and its overall state.
Knowing when it’s time to fix a cooling fan or swap out a battery can be difficult if you aren’t a computer technician yourself. That’s why it’s worth taking your device in for an annual maintenance appointment, especially if it’s an older laptop.
Whether you have an Apple MacBook or a Microsoft Windows laptop, a pro will be able to tell you whether certain components need to be repaired or replaced. If your device is still under warranty, the resulting costs may even be covered, allowing you to save money. Just try to make sure to back up all your valuable data before undertaking any major repairs.
A professional can also provide an annual deep clean, removing dust from the inner parts of the device, including the cooling fan and heat sink. An expert will have the tools, cleaning solutions, and knowledge needed to clean the delicate inner parts without damaging them.
There are also computer repair toolkits you can buy to take care of small fixes yourself. For example, if you want to swap out the battery, you’ll likely need a specialized, tiny screwdriver to be able to remove the bottom and access the motherboard and other essential parts.
Extend the Life of Your Laptop
If you need a computer for work, your laptop is probably one of your most important business tools. From sending emails to tackling projects using task management tools, your device lets you handle all kinds of work. It’s the one coworker you truly can’t do without.
Your laptop is also a pricey investment — one that you’ll want to protect. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to extend its life span. The above guide outlines some simple strategies to protect your device and keep it safe. Follow these tips and you should be able to enjoy your laptop for years to come.
About the Author
Alison Kilian has been working full-time as a freelance writer for nearly a decade. Her current laptop (a Mac) is still going strong after six years (and one battery replacement).
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is,” and neither the author nor Office Depot warrants the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
[The contents of this article are for information purposes only. The information does not constitute a medical consultation and cannot replace medical advice. Any information should never be used as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other health care provider. There are many possible causes for physical discomfort. If you are experiencing persistent symptoms or symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with your job or personal activities, consider seeking medical assistance.]
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