Laptops are replaced every few years. We crave fancier hardware, novel features, and maybe our old device has become unresponsive and suffered some damage over time. Consequently, most laptops get thrown out prematurely.
Unless you are looking for a silly excuse to buy a new and shiny device, you will love to hear that there are many ways to make your laptop last longer. Apart from delaying the headache of setting up a new computer and moving all your files over, this will also save you money in the long run. So let’s see what you can do to turn your laptop into an electronic Methuselah.
1: Treat Your Laptop With Care
Laptops can be fragile. I should know; not long ago I broke my laptop screen (and fixed it). Besides this unfortunate accident, I have had my fair share of worn out keyboards, broken power supplies, and failed hard drives. Most components can be easily replaced, but something like a broken hard drive, with all your precious files on it, is a whole different story.
Some wear and tear can be avoided simply by handling your hardware with care. Next to the display, the hard drive is the most fragile part of your laptop. As Matt writes in his article on how to utterly destroy your laptop, move your laptop gently and try not to move it when the hard drive is performing intensive operations. Your hardware will thank you and last longer.
2: Regularly Clean Your Laptop Hardware
Computers are dirt magnets. Laptop fans seem to accumulate dust better than any vacuum cleaner and apparently keyboards are dirtier than toilet seats. So what do you do? You should give your laptop’s hardware a thorough cleaning every once in a while!
Cleaning your computer hardware is not just a matter of hygiene. Especially when it comes to internal fans and heat sinks, it also prevents your laptop from overheating. Keeping the hardware cool significantly increases its lifespan.
3: Keep The Operating System Snappy
The most common complaint about old computers is that they are slow. This is only mildly related to age and more likely due to bad maintenance or — as Apple fans will attest to — poor operating system and software design. Fortunately, you can speed up an old installation of Windows and with a few tricks, you can prevent a fresh installation from going stale too quickly. Conveniently, we have articles on how to speed up Windows 7 and make Windows 8 work faster.
A lean operating system that responds quickly and doesn’t get in the way of you trying to get work done can go a long way. You won’t worry about the age of your laptop at all.
4: Run Regular Software & Operating System Updates
No operating system or program is perfect. But with every upgrade, issues get patched and new features are added. That’s why you need to run Windows updates and also make sure your installed software is up to date. The latter is not so easy because few software updaters support every program available. Aaron recently reviewed OUTDATEfighter, which can handle both Windows and software updates for you.
If your operating system and your software are always up to date, you reduce the chances of security exploits. If you also run anti-virus and anti-malware scanners and checks, you should be able to keep your computer clean. Less junk and malware will ensure a smooth running system. And why would you fix or replace a perfectly operational system?
5: Upgrade Your Laptop Hardware
To most people, upgrading laptop hardware sounds impossible. But it’s not so difficult to install a bigger hard drive — or better yet a solid state drive (SSD) –, add more RAM, or even put in a new display. When you can pinpoint the exact component that’s slowing you down, chances are there is an easier and cheaper fix than buying a new laptop. Here is a little laptop troubleshooting guide to get you started.
Making Your Laptop Last Is Common Sense
Sure, we all want shiny new things, but what for? Will it improve your life? Will you work more efficiently? Will you be happier? Really? Well, then by all means do buy something new and invest into a quality product that will last you for a long time.
But if you just use your laptop for everyday tasks, then instead of buying a new one, your money would be better invested into an experience that will last longer than the latest fashion. Think about it. What do you really want out of life?
How long do you want your laptop to last and what are you doing to make that happen?