Having a laptop is super convenient and a pleasure to have – when they work, that is. Laptop repairs can cost anywhere from $45 to $90 per hour to fix, and some issues will take days to resolve. Using your own time and teaching yourself some laptop maintenance skills will save you, and your wallet, some heartache.
If you want to learn how to take care of your valuable investment, then keep reading. We’re going to outline everything you need to know about laptop care.
Managing the Internal Stuff
Whether you’re a laptop user for leisure or professional use, there are sure to be files floating around you don’t need anymore and software that is outdated and slowing your machine down.
When you manage the internal working of your laptop, you’re giving your machine a better chance of staying smooth and operational for years to come.
Staying Up to Date
This is easily one of the most important things you can do for your computer system, both in longevity and security.
The tenacity of hackers and cybercriminals has made it necessary for software and hardware developers to constantly release updates to their systems. This keeps your programs stable and safe, and though the odd update might be less than ideal, you shouldn’t avoid patches and updates.
The life of your laptop will suffer if it gets bogged down by viruses and bugs, so set up a routine to systematically update your machine.
Declutter for Laptop Performance
The process of decluttering is threefold. You want to make sure you’re tidying up your hard drives, decluttering your desktop, and clearing your browser’s cookies and caches.
Before going on any mass purges of your system, make sure you’re not erasing critical folders that will stop your computer from running entirely.
The best place to start is the download folder. You wouldn’t believe how much junk is sitting around that you’ve forgotten about. If you’re worried you’ll delete something important, sort your folders by type and go through each section carefully.
No one likes a messy desktop. And, when your desktop is cluttered and full, the operational speed of your computer is weakened. To save time, you can use Windows or macOS systems to help organize the icons and programs you want to keep.
A few good places to look at for maintenance, repair, and storage are:
Cookies and Cache
This is absolutely essential to keeping your computer and web browser safe. Plus, it helps with your speed! Even regular browsing will generate a surprising amount of cookies, so taking the time to clear them now and then will do wonders.
The Environment Around You
You’d be surprised how the environment can affect the life of your laptop. Extreme temperature changes can even have an effect. If you’ve just brought your laptop inside after a chilly day, make sure you give it a chance to warm up before turning it on.
Additionally, you shouldn’t keep your laptop anywhere near anything that might generate a strong magnetic field. This can include TVs, large speakers, and even high-tech refrigerators. You should also avoid putting your cellphone on top of your laptop while they are both on.
To prevent dust from wreaking havoc on your system, keep the lid of your laptop closed when not in use. You also don’t want to use your laptop on a blanket, pillow, or other soft surfaces that could prevent proper ventilation.
Let’s also touch on one last environmental factor, and that is to be wary of water, sand, and other liquids. Most laptops will get blocked up with sand if you’re working on the ground or at the beach.
And while it likely goes without saying, we’re going to say it, anyway. Don’t use your laptop in the bath, and be very careful with cups of tea and coffee near where you’re working.
The Laptop Itself
The last thing we need to touch on is protecting the laptop itself. This comes down to a few simple things and will significantly lessen the risk of having to buy a brand new laptop.
You should always carry your machine in a case that provides ample protection. This is absolutely on the top of our list of laptop essentials. This means a cushiony cover that can withstand a fall and a bag that adequately fits your entire laptop.
There are a few different styles of protective casing you can choose from. Skins are great for light damage and scratches and act like a full-body sticker.
Hardshell snap-on covers give your laptop extra protection while still allowing space for ports, buttons, lights, and fans.
Sleeves are simple envelope-style pouches made from gentle materials like suede, microfiber, or nylon. They’re good for lightweight protection.
Finally, messenger bags are ideal for carrying your laptop from place to place, though specific laptop backpacks are also great. They are padded inside and can store any additional accessories.
Keeping It Clean
Just like a keyboard, a laptop is liable to get blocked up with dust and debris over the years. This is easy to avoid with regular, gentle cleaning.
Invest in an air compressor to get into the little corners and crevices without having to actually touch the ports and contacts. This prevents you from damaging parts and keeps you safe too!
Laptop Maintenance Keeps Your Investment Running
Following all of our outlined steps will ensure your laptop maintenance never falls subpar of what it should be.
A laptop is an investment, and you should treat it as such. If you do that, you’ll have your trusty machine by your side for years to come.
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