Ways to maintain and extend the life of your laptop

Ways to maintain and extend the life of your laptop

With the pandemic forcing tech retail and repair stores to close, people are concerned that they won't be able to get their laptops repaired in case they break. Malfunctioning gadgets are inconvenient at a time when many are relying on them to stay connected and get work done.

This reality shows how important it is to take care of your devices. If you’re among the millions working from home right now, it’s essential to keep your laptop in the best condition.

Well-maintained devices live longer

You’re likely putting a strain on your laptop without even realizing it, whether you’re constantly sliding it across a surface or putting it on sleep mode rather than shutting it down after use. Careless handling can damage the internal parts of your laptop, and not restarting it means the system can’t optimize itself, which can make it unstable. It's important to recognize these unsafe habits, so you can avoid the wear and tear of your laptop.

Maintenance is also key to ensuring your laptop's longevity and optimal performance. Proper maintenance not only saves you from having to prematurely replace your laptop, but it also eliminates the inconvenience of transitioning from one computer to the next.

These maintenance tips will help you get as many years as possible out of your laptop.

tips for laptop care

1. Keep food and beverages away from your laptop

Many of us are guilty of eating at our workstations, but think of the consequences. Spilled liquids can short circuit your laptop, and crumbs lodged under the keyboard caps can invite small bugs that can damage its internal components.

If it’s absolutely necessary (e.g., you need to work through your lunch break), use a cup with a lid and avoid eating over your laptop.

2. Clean your screen and keyboard

A laptop's nooks and crannies are breeding grounds for bacteria, and neglecting to clean these can cause equipment hygiene issues.

Prevent the buildup of dust and grime by using computer cleaning products such as microfiber cleaning cloths to gently wipe the dust off your screen. Meanwhile, compressed air is perfect for cleaning hard-to-reach parts like the spaces underneath keys or USB ports.

3. Keep vents clear of obstructions

Like people, machines need to breathe. Ventilation ensures their insides remain cool enough to function properly. This is especially true for powerful computers with higher configurations.

Avoid placing your laptop on soft surfaces such as beds, pillows, or blankets, as these materials can block the vents and cut off airflow. Likewise, keep your workspace free from papers or books that may obstruct airflow.

4. Avoid overcharging your batteries

Leaving your laptop plugged in at all times doesn’t only draw needless power, but it also affects your battery’s life span. While it isn’t possible to overcharge a laptop battery, unnecessary charging can diminish a battery’s capacity over time.

Unplug your laptop’s charger after a full charge to preserve its battery life.

5. Shut down your laptop properly every night

Shutting down your laptop regularly can prolong its life. It’s also important for Windows devices because Microsoft only installs important updates if the system is shut down.

How you turn off your laptop also matters. Avoid holding down the power button until the laptop shuts itself off, as this can lead to data loss, file corruption, and other issues. Take the extra minute or two to properly shut down your computer to make sure all running programs are correctly terminated before powering off.

6. Delete old files or uninstall unused apps

Before purging your laptop of extra files and apps, take care to avoid removing any vital files. On Windows, these are primarily found in the System32 folder. Meanwhile, Apple keeps these files hidden so users can’t accidentally delete them. Deleting critical system files will prevent your computer from running properly, so make sure you only get rid of files you no longer need.

7. Update your software and firmware

You wouldn’t be able to use your laptop properly if it were bogged down by malware and software issues, much less use it for a long time.

Updating your operating system (OS) and installing software patches are part of the preventative maintenance necessary to keep your device stable and safe from threats. Keeping your system up to date is perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure the longevity and security of your laptop.

Wood Dragon IT can help advance your Connecticut business through exceptional IT maintenance and consulting expertise. With years of experience, our tech experts can diagnose and resolve IT issues and tailor IT services to help your business grow and stay ahead of the competition. Call us now to get started on your journey to success.

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