Tricks to Extend Your Laptop’s Lifespan

When you are a college student, your laptop is your life. It keeps you connected to your friends and family, as well as to your professors and classmates. It also is where you do most of your work and conduct the bulk of your research. This is even more the case if you are taking an online class – after all, without a laptop on which to connect to the Internet, you cannot log on to view lectures and complete course work. That is why it is imperative to get the longest lifespan out of your laptop as possible – and it is possible, thanks to some simple tricks to make sure that your notebook will always be there for you when you need it.

One of the cardinal sins of laptop users is leaving their notebook batteries in when their laptops are running off outlet power. Batteries should only be in the laptop when they are being used – as in you are not plugged in anywhere else – or when the battery is being charged. Leaving the battery in while using outlet power can cause the battery to overheat or overcharge, both of which can lead to permanent failure, according to PC Mag. Even if your battery does not end up overheating or overcharging, it could suffer from a significantly diminished battery life if you do not exercise it. To keep your laptop battery at maximum efficiency, use it sans outlet at least once a week, and try to drain that battery until you get a low battery warning. At this point, recharge the battery and stow it away before repeating the process the next week.

Be mindful of where you plunk down your laptop to work. The machines get hot quickly, and if your laptop is on a bed or pillow, it could heat up even quicker due to the vents being blocked. Try elevating your laptop on a laptop cooling station or getting some external fans to blast a nice breeze at it. Just as with any other electronic device, you do not want your laptop to get too hot because that could spell death for its intricate internal components. By the same token, do not leave your laptop in a place where it could be exposed to extremely hot conditions, such as inside your parked car on a summer day. While most modern laptops can withstand some degree of heat and cold, it is still better practice to keep them relatively cool.

Finally, don’t crowd your laptop’s memory. To run efficiently, your laptop should have at least 10% to 20% free hard drive space. However, do note that the less hard drive space you use, the faster your laptop will typically run because it will have less data to sift through when launching applications. Keep the data stored on your laptop relatively light with the use of external hard drives, or even by upgrading the laptop’s internal hard drive to one with more space so that you can store more information without it affecting the laptop’s performance. Keeping your hard drive clean will not only allow your notebook to run faster, but it’ll also keep it running longer.

These simple tricks will keep your laptop ticking throughout your college career, and if you also keep it from bumping into too many things, you may also be able to use it for years after that!

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