In the last decade, laptop sales have consistently outpaced desktop computer sales, and with good reason. They’re portable, convenient, customizable, and can pack as much processing power as a desktop PC. Instead of being tied to a desk, you can take your work anywhere you go. That’s why laptops are the computer of choice for most people. The only downside is they are often more expensive than desktop computers.
Since laptops can cost a small fortune, you want to make sure you can use it for a long time. Screen repair and part replacements can be costly, so you must learn how to do basic cleaning and maintenance. Your laptop is just like any other machine, and if you treat it right and use it carefully, you can get more years of use out of it.
Laptops seem like hardy machines, but they put up with a lot of abuse. All the moving, switching, and plugging things in and out add up, and one day your laptop will stop working. If you want to maximize your computer’s service life, here are a few maintenance pointers to get you started.
- Keep it clean
One of the easiest ways to keep your laptop in good condition is to keep it clean. For starters, you will need a microfiber cloth, isopropyl alcohol, a can of compressed air, and a gentle cleanser. Never use a tissue or a paper towel. The rough surface might scratch your laptop’s screen and finish.
Mix water and cleanser to create a cleaning solution. Spray the solution on the microfiber cloth until it’s damp. Do not spray the solution directly on the laptop. If the cloth is soaking wet, wring out any excess liquid before using it. Wipe down the lid, keyboard area, bottom panel, and screen. Spray isopropyl alcohol on the cloth and wipe the individual keys to remove oil residue. Afterward, you can either leave it to air-dry or use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe it again.
It would help if you also cleaned the I/O ports and vents. Dust and other particles often accumulate in these areas, affecting performance and reducing the laptop’s cooling capabilities. Use compressed air to remove dust from sensitive areas.
- Keep food and drinks away from computers
Next to dust, one of the top culprits of computer failure is accidental spills. Make sure to keep food and drinks away from your laptop. I know we all like to eat and drink while we work or binge-watch our favorite shows, but a single spill can damage critical components and worse. The last thing you need is your computer dying right before a major deadline.
- Organize your cables and cords
Since many of us are working or studying from home, you probably have set up a home office. And if there’s one thing that most home offices share, it’s the mess: power strips, computer cables, and accessories cluttering your floor and table. But the mess isn’t just an eyesore. It can also pose a safety risk. The wires and cables can trip or electrocute people. An overloaded power strip is also a fire risk.
Don’t force overload your power strip with multiple charging bricks. Buy a second one and distribute the load between your two strips. It also helps to invest in cable organizers and ties to keep your cables and cords tidy and organized.
- Turn off your laptop
Make it a point to shut down your computer after use, whether you own a Mac or a Windows device. This simple act takes only less than a minute and could double your laptop’s service life. Software updates and cleanup happen while your laptop is in shutdown mode, and keeping your computer running for days or weeks on end means you’re vulnerable to security issues.
But don’t force a shutdown by holding down the power button. That should only be used when your laptop is frozen or malfunctioning. Power down your computer the right way using the shutdown button.
You need to clean and maintain your laptop if you want to use it for a long time. These things cost next to nothing to follow and certainly a lot less than a replacement device.