Unless you’re filthy rich, you want your new laptop to last as long as possible. Unfortunately, the way some people treat their laptops is a surefire way to drive it to an early death.
That’s why we want to help. Here are 5 easy laptop maintenance tips that are guaranteed to extend the lifespan of your laptop and save you a lot of money over time:
1) Invest in a laptop case or a backpack with a laptop sleeve
The first and most important laptop care tip is to invest in a good laptop carrying case. If you throw your laptop into any old backpack or briefcase and let it rattle around, then you’re probably going to damage it over time – especially if you spend a lot of time on-the-road.
That’s why I strongly recommend investing in a laptop carrying case or a backpack with a padded laptop sleeve. These carrying options significantly reduce the likelihood that your laptop will be broken or stolen while moving around. It can extend the life of your hard drive and avoid screen damage or scratches.
Yes, I say laptop carrying cases and backpacks are ‘investments’ for a reason: they’re an investment in the longevity of your laptop. A good $100 backpack purchased today can prevent you from spending $1000 on a brand new laptop a year from now.
2) Clean your laptop and its hardware on a regular basis
Most people clean their laptop’s software on a regular basis by clearing out old files and disabling unnecessary programs. But most laptop owners do not clean the outside of their laptop. That can lead to some severe damage over time.
Think of all the places you’ve used your laptop. Now think of how many times you’ve eaten at your laptop or used your laptop with dirty fingers. Even if you’re particularly careful about using your laptop with clean fingers, there’s sure to be dust and hair buildup over time, and all of that buildup can lead to major performance problems, slowdowns, and overheating.
To prevent this from happening, buy a canister of compressed air and clean out the air ducts on your laptop. This sprays out the dust buildup and clears your fans.
You should also wipe down your laptop keyboard with antiseptic, laptop-friendly wipes (to make your own wipes, spray a bit of solution onto a soft cloth, turn your laptop off, then wipe down the keyboard). You may also want to remove your laptop keyboard completely in order to clean it.
Remember: most laptop keyboards are dirtier than toilet seats.
3) Optimize your Windows operating system and your software
There are literally thousands of different ways to speed up your operating system and optimize system performance. Here are a few of the most effective tips:
–Download and install CCleaner to free up space and wipe out old, unnecessary files
-Run an antivirus scan
-Speed up your PC’s startup sequence by typing msconfig into your Start menu and unchecking any programs you don’t need
-Uninstall old programs
-Defragment your hard drive
-Perform a disk cleanup with the Windows Disk Cleanup tool (type disk cleanup into your Start menu)
-Run PC Cleaner Pro
4) Install driver updates and software updates
For most important Windows updates, Windows automatically updates itself for you. However, your other software and drivers may need to be manually updated. Check with Nvidia, AMD, and your motherboard manufacturer for any updates you can find.
These updates are an easy and effective way to improve system performance – especially if you’re running the latest PC games. In many cases, video card driver updates are designed specifically to solve performance problems when running new PC games.
5) Upgrade laptop hardware after a few years
No laptop is completely future-proof. For that reason, there’s going to be a point where you need to make a choice: upgrade your laptop or buy a new one. Yes, even if you’ve followed all of the above tips, you’re still going to run into a performance wall after about 4 to 5 years of laptop ownership.
Laptops generally aren’t as easy to upgrade as PCs. Laptop upgrades involve ordering special types of RAM and slotting it into your laptop’s case. On PCs, this is as easy as putting Lego together. On MacBooks, it’s impossible to upgrade RAM without sending several hundred dollars (and your laptop) to Apple for an upgrade.
Today, laptops are getting less and less expensive. If you do need to buy a new laptop after four or five years of ownership, be proud of yourself: most people don’t make laptops last anywhere near that long.