Keep your laptop in good shape and extend its life over the long term with these useful and practical tips.
Despite the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, nothing beats the personal computer for general, all-purpose computing. But even so, many people today still prefer a portable computing device to one tied to a desk—thus explaining the popularity of laptops over desktop computers.
Laptop computers, however, can suffer more abuse than desktop-bound devices since they are carried around and used everywhere. Here are some tips to help you extend the life of your laptop, keeping it in tip-top shape for as long as possible.
- Don't overcharge your battery. Overcharging or leaving your laptop plugged in all the time with the battery on will actually reduce battery life over time. Batteries were designed to be fully used and then recharged from time to time. If you are not going to be mobile, remove the plug from time to time or, if your laptop is constantly on your desk, remove the battery.
- Manage the power settings in your laptop to extend battery life. Laptops nowadays have different power settings to extend battery life, such as reducing brightness, CPU speed, and other settings.
- Defragment your harddrive. Over time, a computer's disk can become fragmented – meaning data written by the computer is scattered all over your harddisk. This makes your drive work harder, reducing its lifespan as well as slowing it down. Defragment your disks to have data written in contiguous spaces to reduce this effect.
- Offload unused data to another place. A better way of reducing the work your disk needs to do and increasing its life is by using an external storage device, such a USB memory key or external drive. Offload things like old documents, movies, and photos. If others need access to this data, store it in a place where content can easily be shared so that you don't have to copy files back and forth. You can share files using a network attached disk (NAS) or a cloud storage service such as Dropbox or Google Docs.
- Use SSD. If you can afford it, or if you are buying a new laptop anyway, go for SSDs (Solid State Disks) which, unlike traditional Magneto-optical disks, have no moving parts and have longer lives – and are faster as well.
- Avoid overheating. Laptops were designed to run cool, usually with heat vents or internal fans. Avoid obstructing these vents or fans by covering them up, such as putting your laptop on the bed or couch which tends to block them.
- Maintain cleanliness. Components such as the keyboard, mouse, and screen tend to get dirty over time with dust or sweat and oil from your fingers. Other things such as food and can spill over these components and ruin them as well. Make sure you clean your laptop from time to time, as debris tends to build up and damage electronic parts.
- Protection. Whenever possible, use protective gear such as covers and cases to protect your laptop from wear and tear when being transported. Avoid leaving your laptop in places where they can be sit on or stepped over as well.