Long Live Your Laptop
Help extend the lifespan of your laptop computer with these maintenance tips.
A laptop is a significant investment. And the portability of laptops makes them susceptible to wear that could cause early malfunction. Make sure you get the most out of your money and keep your computer in top shape.
Overheating often results from excessive use, dust accumulation, or leaving a computer plugged in too long. When your laptop overheats, it can begin to operate slowly and shut down. To avoid this, ensure that your fan, usually located on the underside, gets airflow. Also consider investing in a cooling mat, which increases airflow around the computer while it’s in use.
Store It Wisely
Protect your computer when you’re on the go by purchasing a case or sleeve, as well as a bag to carry your laptop. Also be careful about where you leave your laptop. Avoid perching it on a high ledge, near a glass of water or where the temperature can become extremely hot or cold.
Preserve Battery Life
Thankfully, failed laptop batteries are replaceable, but they can be costly. Use these tips to help give your battery a longer life:
- Use the manufacturer’s recommended charger, and follow charging instructions.
- Use power-saving and battery optimization modes.
- Lower your screen brightness.
- Avoid keeping the computer plugged in at all times. Instead let the battery discharge (without bottoming it out — aim for around 20 percent) and then charge it when possible.
Avoid Harmful Content
The content you view on your computer could damage it as well. Avoid clicking on suspicious links and be mindful about downloading content — you could easily contract malware. One of the best defenses is to purchase and install antivirus software.
Also be alert to phishing scams that use emails, instant messages and other tactics to trick you into sharing personal information. You can help prevent phishing scams by making sure your computer security software is up-to-date. And look for an email provider with antiphishing detection to keep phishing messages from being delivered to your inbox.
Clean It Regularly
Keeping your laptop clean can help it last longer. Try these maintenance tips:
- Spray compressed air onto the keyboard and fan to remove debris and dust.
- Remove the battery and clean the metal contacts with rubbing alcohol.
- Wipe down the screen, keys and exterior with electronic cleaning wipes.
- For LCD screens, dampen a rag with equal parts white vinegar and distilled water, and softly wipe the screen.
Take Care of Your Smartphone or Tablet
What about your smartphone or tablet? Take measures to protect these digital devices, too. Store the electronics in protective cases, and help safeguard touch screens by applying protective screen covers.