Laptops are best recognized as powerful portable machines. But with the ability to move around, laptops also tend to have shorter life spans.
Compared with desktops, they are more subjected to dust, lints, heat, and drops. Not to mention delicate modular components all crammed into a tiny space with little airflow. It’s almost as if the laptop isn’t made to be a durable machine.
It makes little sense to buy new laptops every couple of years. Instead, you can follow some of the below approaches to increase the life span of your current laptop. There is always the option of routine professional servicing. But most of these simple steps help make your laptop last much longer than usual.
15 Tricks to Make Your Laptop Last Longer
Keep Laptop Dust-free
The trick to making your laptop last longer is to protect it from dust. Dust is the number one killer of electronics. Dust builds up inside your laptop and causes short-circuiting on the board.
Another problem you may face is dust building up inside the fan blades and air blades. Dust causes the fan to jam up and stop working properly. Dust accumulated in air vents stops airflow in and out of the laptop’s body. The warm air becomes trapped and heats up the internals of your laptop. Here are a few tips to keep laptops dust-free.
- Use your laptop in a dust-free environment.
- Clean your laptop routinely. Depending on the surroundings, you may need to clean your laptop anywhere from every day to once a week.
- Clean your room to prevent dust accumulation.
- Use a compressed air to keep your laptop dust-free.
Compared to desktops, laptops typically last shorter. This is because they are built for portability and minimalism. This comes with the price of complex integrated boards crammed into a tiny space. Tiny damage to one part of the board can break your laptop. Compared to that, desktops are easier to clean and have replaceable parts too.
Prevent Overheating of Laptop and Battery
Stop overworking on your laptop. Constant overheating is bad for your laptop internals. It wears out electronics quicker than their average lifespan. Most of the time overheating is the end result of excessive laptop use.
Gaming on a regular laptop is an example of overworking your laptop. Regular laptops do not have the proper cooling technology or durable parts to withstand long gaming sessions. Here are a few tips to reduce overheating on your laptop.
- Buy gaming laptops if you plan on playing games.
- Invest in heavier specs if you need to perform heavy work on it. Price could influence the durability of your laptop.
- Use a cooling pad as necessary.
- Replace the thermal paste on your CPU.
- Check your internal fans and air vents for jams or blockage.
- Remove battery after fully charged.
Protect Your Battery From Excessive Drainage
Never do any work that directly affects the battery. Unless you work at a desk all day, laptops run on battery power most of the time. They have a limited number of charging and discharging cycles. Depending on how soon you’ve used up the cycles your battery performance will degrade.
After a charging session, your battery heats up to a higher temperature. Lack of proper thermal cooling can cause damage to the battery cell as well as overheat your laptop internals. Also, the AC adapter can overcharge your battery and directly impact its life.
Another killer of batteries is constantly running the laptop in low power. Batteries that undergo heavy use when charge is less than 15 percent have shorter life. Here are some ways in which you can protect your battery.
- Remove your battery once fully charged. This prevents overcharging as well as cools your battery faster. Depending on your laptop, you may or may not have removable batteries.
- Plug in your PC for heavier task.
- Shut down your PC after the 10 percent battery mark.
- Buy laptops that can route current away from a fully charged battery.
Pair Your Laptop With a Quality Charging Brick
Always use the original charging adapter that came with your laptop. Charging bricks are an integral part of your laptop machine. If you are considering replacement, make sure you buy the brand-approved charging adapters. Don’t opt for the cheapest option out there.
Your charging adapter needs to handle two things. The first is to charge the laptop battery. The second is to supply power to your laptop. An underpowered or overpowered charging adapter can damage your battery and laptop. A good adapter supplies stable power output and ensures your laptop lasts longer.
Invest in Surge Protection for Laptop and Home
Invest in a good surge protector to match your laptop specs. Depending on where you live, you may experience power surges. This can be caused by anything from faulty wires, faulty grid systems, or even lightning strikes. Power surges can severely damage any electrical appliance including your laptop.
Using a surge protector is a good investment to protect your sensitive devices. They detect excess current due to electric surges and drive them away from your laptop. As per research, about 60 to 80 percent of surges are internally generated. If you feel your house is experiencing unusually higher surges, it may be due to faulty wiring in your house.
You should consider bringing in an electrician to manage your home electric cablings. Having a surge-free home is cheaper than using a surge protector for your laptop everywhere.
Hide Your Laptop From Direct Sunlight and Sunny Outdoors
Direct sunlight is another cause of overheating laptops. Electronic grade alloys have high thermal and electric conductivity. This means that they absorb heat when exposed to direct sunlight. Because of this, your laptop heats up quickly when left outdoors. The cooling system won’t work at all when the sun is heating your laptop.
Also, don’t leave your laptop in your car with windows rolled up. On a bright sunny day, the car dashboard heats up and causes permanent damage to your laptop. Follow these tips instead.
- Always leave your laptop in shade areas.
- If you work outdoors, avoid keeping it exposed even for short periods.
- If your laptop has heated up, move it to shade immediately but don’t cover it up.
- Give your device time to cool down before packing up in your bag.
Check your manufacturer’s manual for optimal working temperatures. You can also use software programs to monitor your laptop temperatures.
Don’t Take Your Laptop to Bed
Refrain from using a laptop on soft surfaces. Things like bed mattresses and pillows aren’t very good at absorbing heat. Rather, they amplify the heat from thermal dissipation. Heat becomes trapped between your laptop and the bed surface with nowhere to go. Thus your laptop heats up more on beds as compared to tabletops.
Lints from pillows can get stuck on the fan and prevent it from running properly. This will damage your laptop circuit board and cause random shutdowns. To prevent heating, always put your laptop on a hard surface. Get a bed table if you like using your laptop in bed. Perform routine cleaning to make sure your laptop is free from dirt and lint.
Handle With Care and Protect From Drops and Bumps
Drops and bumps damage your laptop. Sensitive parts such as hard drives get corrupted due to shocks from these drops. If you have dropped your laptop on a hard surface when powered on, the internals may have been damaged.
Your display is another critical part of your laptop. Make sure you don’t put much pressure on the display both from the front and back. Always carry your laptop in a padded bag. Make sure to use both hands when transporting. In case of accidental drops, check for damages and seek repair professionals. Never put anything heavy or sit on your laptop.
Run Your PC on Energy Saver Mode on Battery
Energy saver settings play a huge role in determining your laptop life. An overused laptop will always last shorter than a balanced-performing laptop. When running on batteries, do the following task to save maximum energy.
- Change power mode to best battery life. This turns off unwanted background services and reduces battery consumption.
- Reduce screen brightness to a minimal level. Dim-lit screens consume less power and improve battery life span.
- Unplug peripherals when not used. USB ports that are not in use can be unplugged and turned off.
- Avoid sleep mode for a long time. Sleep mode is good for small short breaks during your work hours. But, you should not leave your laptop in sleep mode through the night. This will cause too much strain on your battery and RAM.
- Avoid CPU-intensive tasks on battery. This includes gaming, video editing, processing, and so on.
- Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use.
- Avoid leaving multiple apps open. Keep apps running only when you need to use them. This will improve your laptop performance and help your system last longer.
- Turn off backlit keyboards when not needed.
Run Disk Cleanups Every Once in a While
Try to clean your disks as often as possible. Over time, your files get cluttered as they are spread all over your hard drive. Try to form a system and organize your files. Delete the ones you don’t need. Make use of cloud services for backup.
Your laptop may have pre-installed disk cleanup tools that you can use. Run these tools to clean up temporary files that take up space. Also, try running disk defragmentation at least once a month. This will organize your file indexing and remove file fragments. The result is a cleaner disk and faster file access.
You can also get third-party tuning utilities for purchase or for free.
Install an Antivirus and Run Periodic Virus Scans
Viruses can slow down your system. No matter how careful you are, your system may have been vulnerable to a virus one time or another. A virus residing in your system can prevent you from using your laptop properly. Installing a protection tool is a good idea to prevent any viruses in your system.
Also, run virus scans as much as possible. Virus scans detect and remove any threats that your laptop may have. Once it gets rid of it, your laptop will go back to work to its full potential.
Check and Control Running Services
Check your background running services. There are a lot of applications that run in the background all the time that you don’t need. This could be a file indexing tool, backup service, antivirus scans, and so on. These services may not be that critical and can be turned off when not needed.
You can schedule a time for backup and make sure that the service is turned on only during that time frame. You can schedule virus scans to run after you are done working. This way, you can organize your workflow to limit the number of running services. This will help reduce the impact on your laptop performance and make sure it stays up longer.
Check and Update System Regularly
Regular software updates are critical for smooth operation in any system. Your operating system sends periodic software updates to your laptop. These software updates contain optimization and driver updates. They help improve your system performance.
Installed software also gets regular updates from the vendor. They contain version upgrades, bug fixing, newer features, and better performance. All this contributes to making sure you get the best usage out of your laptop. Plan a time to download and update your system instead of turning auto-updates on.
If your system has stopped getting updates, you need a fresh installation of a newer version of OS. Newer operating systems are much faster and can help you get better use out of your laptop.
Upgrade Laptop Parts as Needed
With regular use, your laptop parts eventually wear out. They may not provide the same performance as a new one even with regular maintenance. Also, hardware parts get updated in the market every year and newer ones are always faster.
You should consider upgrading laptop parts if you want to improve your performance. For example, if your laptop has traditional hard drives you can opt for a Solid State Drive(SSDs). They are much faster and durable than traditional disk drives. You can also upgrade your RAM if supported by your laptop board.
Some laptops may not support upgrading. Check your manufacturer before buying a replacement. For example, Macbooks aren’t upgradable but they are well-built. They tend to outlast laptops from any other vendor of the same make year. Thinkpads are more customizable and upgradeable.
Also, by nature laptops are not designed for complete hardware upgrades. If you want more flexibility in upgrading your PC parts, you should think of buying a desktop instead.
Visit Servicing Shops at Least Once a Year
Routine maintenance always has a good impact on your laptop. When buying a laptop, check your warranty card to see if they can provide free servicing. Servicing involves checking for any hardware or software issues. They perform internal cleaning of your laptop to prevent any damages due to overuse.
If your laptop is not covered for servicing, you should still visit servicing shops. Overuse may have had an impact on your laptop. You will also get tips on whether some parts need an upgrade or replacement.