There are plenty of steps you can take to help extend the life of your laptop, but first it is important to recognize what you may be doing wrong. Among the most common mistakes are not adjusting factory settings, charging your battery too often, backing up and memory, overheating and cooling issues, cleanliness and normal wear and tear from all of the transporting of the machine.
There are a few different factors that will determine how long you can use a laptop for before it either becomes obsolete or becomes unusable for your needs.
- The specific hardware inside of the laptop
- The types of tasks that the laptop will be used for
- How the laptop is treated
Keeping your laptop clean is a must if you want it to have a long life. This process doesn’t have to be super intense by any means. Just running a can of compressed air through each of the ports, and keeping dust and junk out of the nooks and crannies should do wonders.
The less demanding the tasks you perform on your laptop — such as web browsing, email, and watching movies — the longer it will remain viable.More demanding tasks like gaming, video editing, and graphic design will take more of a toll on your laptop and impact how long it can stay relevant for future functions of that nature.
If your computer is very old, or you populated your computer with files and settings that were migrated from your previous laptop, there’s probably a lot of accumulated junk on your laptop. If you really want a fresh start, you may want to back up your hard drive and perform a fresh install. Make sure you have backed up all your data and product keys before continuing with the install.
One of the biggest battery sappers is the wireless networking capabilities built into most laptops. Wi-Fi drains the battery by constantly drawing power from the battery and, when not connected, looking for networks.
When you’re using your laptop away from the grid, the likelihood is you’re away from wireless networks, so you can turn this device off. Many laptops have a function button that enables you to turn off the wireless adaptor manually to save yourself the unnecessary waste, but older laptops often don’t have this.
If this is the case, open up the Notification Center by clicking the speech bubble icon on the far-right side of the taskbar, and click on ‘Wi-Fi’ to turn it off.
Malware or spyware is a common cause of slowdown in a laptop. Running a virus scan can help you find the cause of your slow computer. If you need suggestions about which anti-virus program to run, check out our listing of the best anti-virus software deals.