There’s nothing more frustrating than having problems with your laptop. Slow performance, seemingly random shutdowns and the dreaded ‘blue screen of death’… there is a long list of ways in which your laptop can ruin your day. In order to minimize the chances of having to deal with such problems, it is very important that you take proper care of your laptop, from the moment you take it home.
Laptop care isn’t always straightforward, however – it’s a sensitive machine, and you really need to be sure of what you’re doing on both the hardware and software sides. Poor cleaning techniques, or failing to update your software can cause big headaches in the long run. Similarly, poor maintenance and usage can take its toll on your laptop’s overall performance.
Follow the advice below, however, and you’ll greatly reduce the risk of having to deal with most laptop problems in the future.
No.1 Follow Proper Battery Care
The battery is absolutely key to your laptop’s good health. As it is hidden from view, it might seem difficult to damage the battery, but there are, in fact, risks every single time you switch your laptop on. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is not to let your battery drain fully. A battery’s lifespan becomes drastically shortened if it is constantly being drained and then recharged. Ideally, you should be thinking about recharging as soon as it reaches around 40%. It’s also important to avoid extreme temperatures, especially overheating. Don’t use your laptop on soft surfaces – dust and particles of fabric eventually stop the fan from working properly and cause your laptop to overheat. This will damage the battery and can also destroy the motherboard.
No.2 Food, Drink and Pets
These three things just don’t mix well with laptops. Spillages are obviously a real threat, so you should keep any drinks or soups well away from your computer as, in the worst case, you could lose all your data and have to buy a new laptop altogether. Pets are also a problem because they often leave tiny clumps of fur and dirt which can block up the small gaps in your ventilator and keyboard. There is also the danger of scratching, vomiting and other behaviors which are guaranteed to ruin your laptop’s day.
No.3 Look Out for the Cable
Your laptop’s power cable should be designed for the power supply where you live. This varies between countries, so be careful when ordering a replacement cable online – some may not protect adequately against higher voltages or power surges. Also, be sure to leave the cable well out of the way, where nobody can trip over it – this can send your laptop crashing to the floor, sustaining physical damage.
No.4 Know How to Clean Your Laptop
A key part of taking care of your laptop is the cleaning. This should be done on a regular basis. If you use your laptop in a smoky or dusty environment, it might not be long until you start to encounter problems. Be sure to disconnect the power supply and switch your laptop off. Then use a small vacuum cleaner to suck the dust from between the keys and the other nooks and crannies. Avoid using compressed air as this can cause problems further down the line. Wipe away any marks or grime from the body of the computer. Use a dry, microfiber cloth to clean the screen – don’t apply any moisture as this can damage the screen and seep into the inner components.
No.5 Update Your Software
Software updates can be annoying, and many people choose to overlook them. Missing an update from time to time is not a great problem, but if you go a long time without updating anything, you risk losing performance and becoming vulnerable to bugs and viruses. Updates help software perform better and deal with enhanced usage. Developers are constantly trying to eliminate bugs from software releases, but without updates, you won’t have this protection. At the same time, hackers are constantly trying to exploit weaknesses in software, and without the updates you will remain exposed to these weaknesses
No.6 Guard Against Viruses
Choose a reputable and reliable virus killer package and stick with it. Ensure that it provides a firewall and checks your system and disks regularly for bugs. Most importantly, keep your virus killer updated. For spyware, malware and trojan horses to work, hackers always need to be looking for new ways into a system. Virus killer updates provide protection against these new developments, so failing to update your virus killer is almost like having no virus killer at all.
No.7 Get a Good Case
The main appeal of laptops over desktop computers is that they can be transported with relative ease. This doesn’t mean that they are immune to damage during transport, however, by any means. Buy a sturdy case which fits your laptop well, and use it whenever you move from one place to another. If you travel a lot, it will take its toll on the laptop and you need to be sure that it is protected. Slight bangs can cause screws and even components to become loose. If you’ve ever found your DVD drive to stop working, it’s likely that knocks and bangs were the main cause.
When you go on vacation without your laptop, leave somewhere safe, it in its case, in a place at room temperature and without too much humidity.
Laptop care doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be a chore. If you clean your home regularly, you can simply add it to the list of items to keep clean. A quick once over with the vacuum and a wipe down should be enough. Right after you can go ahead with any software updates that need to be executed, too. Once in a while, be sure to defragment your hard disk, check the screws on the computer’s outer body and test the power supply. Doing this will ensure your laptop lives a full life.