The Latest Laptop Maintenance Tips That You Should Embrace Right Away
- Clean Your Laptop Regularly
- Don’t Forget Your Mouse
- Invest in a Cooler Stand
- Wipe Your Monitor
- Don’t Neglect the In-Built Keyboard
- Turn Your Laptop Off Regularly
- Keep Your Software Up-to-Date
- Back-Up Your Drive
- Take Advantage of Software Products
- Customize Your Startup
- Regularly Scan For Viruses
- Keep Passwords Fresh
- Delete Unnecessary Files
- Try These Laptop Maintenance Tips Today
According to industry experts, a new laptop should last you between three to five years. After that time, they’ll likely become less capable of running advanced applications.
While this is a significant amount of time, the return period doesn’t seem quite long enough, especially given the investment. Thankfully, there are simple laptop maintenance steps you can perform to extend this timeline and help your laptop lasts as long as possible.
Today, we’re sharing our top tips to help any laptop user keep their device clean, efficient, and high-performing for years to come.
Clean Your Laptop Regularly
Have you noticed that your laptop isn’t running quite as fast as it used to? Do the keys seem to be sticking a little when you go to type? In either case, dust and debris could be to blame.
While you might not think of your laptop as a hotbed for germs, the reality is that most keyboards are dirtier than a toilet seat. At least once a week, give it a good cleaning by using a can of compressed air. Hold your keyboard at a 75-degree angle, and spray uniformly from left to right, keeping the straw about half an inch away from your laptop.
For everyday cleaning, lightly dampen a lint-free cloth and simply wipe down your keys. These two steps can keep your laptop in top working condition and make it more sanitary.
Don’t Forget Your Mouse
If you prefer to use a wired or wireless mouse with your keyboard, then keep in mind that this accessory needs to be cleaned, too. If yours plugs in, then unplug it first. Then, carefully turn it upside down and remove the back panel.
Clean the inside components with a lint-free cloth, replace the panel, and wipe the exterior of the mouse. This might seem like a small step, but it can improve the laptop experience by ensuring easier maneuverability and navigation.
Invest in a Cooler Stand
If your laptop has ever sounded like an airplane taking off, then it’s likely overheated. This is a common issue with many laptops and often occurs when users try to perform more simultaneous tasks than the machine’s core processors can handle.
A cooler stand can help mitigate this problem. As its name implies, this stand simply elevates your laptop away from your desk. This allows air to flow underneath it, which can keep the internal components cool.
Most stands are cost-effective and include USB-powered fans, making them ideal for working on the go. If you use your device to perform a variety of high-performance tasks, it’s worth the minor investment. Not only does a stand prevent overheating, but it can also extend the overall lifespan of your laptop.
Wipe Your Monitor
It might be easy to remember to clean your keyboard and mouse. However, it’s equally critical to keep your laptop screen free of lint, dust, and smudges. On a superficial level, these messes can make it more difficult to see the information in front of you, which can lead to unnecessary eye strain.
At the same time, they can also harbor dangerous bacteria, as well as other microorganisms. Once a week, wipe your screen down with a lint-free cloth, being careful not to press down too hard. If your laptop came equipped with a special microfiber cleaning cloth, then use that.
Don’t Neglect the In-Built Keyboard
While many people prefer to use an external keyboard to improve their laptop performance, we recommend still using your in-built keys once in a while. Allowing too much time to pass without pressing them could cause them to become stuck in position.
Over an extended time, this could result in their inoperability. You don’t have to fully switch over, but try to type a little every so often to keep the keys in good working order.
Turn Your Laptop Off Regularly
Sure, leaving your laptop on all the time is convenient. It ensures that you have around-the-clock access to the websites, files, and folders that you need.
However, keep in mind that the backlight on your device has a limited lifespan. That lifespan can be lower if your laptop processes fewer than 300 charge cycles for the duration of your ownership. This is because you put the machine under a substantial amount of stress when you require it to run nonstop without a break.
Regular reboots not only help you conserve power. They can also improve the overall performance of your laptop. If you’ve grown frustrated over an app that won’t stop crashing or a website that won’t load, then try turning your machine off for a few minutes and trying again.
It’s best to turn your system off completely at least once a day, especially if you’re using an older-model laptop. If you don’t want to go this route, then try to keep it in sleep mode when you’re not working at it.
Keep Your Software Up-to-Date
We know those little pop-up notifications can be annoying. Yet, it’s imperative to follow through any time your laptop notifies you that it’s time for a software upgrade.
Up-to-date software can help keep your system secure and allow you to prevent issues like viruses and malware attacks. It can also fix known bugs, address operability issues, and ensure that your laptop is running at peak capacity.
Every time a developer creates a new upgrade, it’s for a reason. By going through the cycle, you can help make sure that you have access to the latest OS features, including patches and other performance updates.
Back-Up Your Drive
Even if you’re using a brand new laptop, it’s still important to back up your hard drive. Ideally, it’s best to perform this step at least once a week. This simple process helps make sure that your files are safe and protected.
This way, you’ll still have access to them in the event of an untimely system crash or hard drive failure.
Take Advantage of Software Products
When you purchase your new laptop, it will likely include several software products, such as anti-virus software. Go ahead and install these products as soon as possible, and learn how they operate.
Most manufacturers will require their installation before they’ll provide a system warranty or even customer support. Failing to add them to your machine could render it more vulnerable and open it up to avoidable security risks.
Before you purchase a new model, learn as much about the platform as you can. This way, you’ll know what your system should include, and which products are recommended for optimal performance. For instance, if you’re eyeing the Intel Evo platform, then you can learn about the platform online before you buy.
Customize Your Startup
Every time you restart your computer, are you aware of the exact programs that are running in the background? There are certain applications that are designed to initiate as soon as the start-up process begins, and if you don’t need them, then it’s smart to change that design.
Otherwise, those programs could be using up valuable processing power and memory on your machine. Most laptops allow users to adjust these settings via the control panel.
Regularly Scan For Viruses
The anti-virus software on your laptop should do an adequate job of identifying any viruses and helping you take proactive action against them. If you aren’t already set up for regular scans, then you can perform this step manually at least once a week.
These scans do more than find viruses that have already invaded your computer. They also find other issues that could be slowing down your computer, such as excessive junk mail files. Then, they’ll walk you through the steps required to fix those issues.
If your virus protection software runs automatically and informs you of those findings, then follow the recommended actions required to address them. Remember to keep your antivirus software updated, as new releases are designed to protect against developing forms of malware.
Keep Passwords Fresh
When a cybercriminal wants access to your machine, password fraud is one of the oldest and most popular tricks in the book. To this end, it’s important to keep your passwords fresh and updated to prevent a hacker from gaining access to your sensitive files.
Even if you think your passwords are already difficult to crack, remember that these criminals have access to advanced tools that can help them sneak their way into even the most lock-tight files. The best way to foil their plans is to regularly update your passwords and to avoid using anything too generic or guessable.
An online password manager can help you organize your logins so you don’t have to remember everything on your own!
Delete Unnecessary Files
From junk files to stored internet files, there’s a good chance that your laptop is getting clogged with information that it doesn’t need. On a regular basis, scan your device for these files and take the time to delete them for good.
Internet files can be especially difficult to remove, so it helps to know what they’re called. Look for any type of folder that contains the following name:
- Internet cookies
- Cache files
- Password files
Deleting these files can help your laptop run faster. It can also keep your machine clean of any information that a hacker can use to follow your activities or steal your data.
Try These Laptop Maintenance Tips Today
Whether you’re investing in a budget model or a high-performing monolith, a new laptop is an investment. As such, it’s smart to treat it with the utmost care and attention.
These laptop maintenance tips are simple enough for everyday use and can make a big difference in the longevity and operability of your machine. As you put them into practice, be sure to check back often for more business, tech, and lifestyle news!