4 Ways To Make Your Laptop Last Longer

28 December 2013


I remember that it was only four years ago on Boxing Day when I got my first Apple MacBook Pro laptop.  It has served me well throughout the years and is still doing well today. It was very slow for a while, and I was concerned that I would need to get a new laptop, but I took it into the Geniuses at the Apple store and they were able to troubleshoot with me.  It turns out that my macbook wasn't acting slow because I ran out of memory on my hard drive, it was because I had downloaded another application a while back which ran Windows at the same time at start up.  The computer was working twice as hard for something that I wasn't even using for the past year and a half.

After this got fixed (for free, I might add), my computer has been running fast as usual, and I have no complaints.  The Geniuses at Apple recommended that I get a new battery, but seeing as I have my laptop hooked up to an electrical source 99.9% of the time, I don't see this being necessary at this point.

I do need to consider getting a new laptop in the future, seeing as the average lifespan for laptops are anywhere from four to six years, according to the Genius that I spoke to at the Apple store.  There are ways in which you can make sure your laptop lasts a long time so that it will keep you and your budget happy for a little while longer.  Having to avoid buying a new laptop will save money in the short and long run, considering that laptops range anywhere from $700 to $1800 these days.

Here are four ways that may help you make your laptop last a little longer:

No Fluids Near your Laptop

One of the most obvious ways to keep your laptop lasting longer is to avoid drinking coffee, beer, alcohol, soda pop, water, or anything liquid near it. It is way too easy to spill fluids into your laptop; once this happens, there is no going back.

Don't Plug It In

PC Magazine states that most laptop batteries last about one to two years, tops.  If you want to make your battery last longer, the recommended course of action is to not leave it plugged in and to let the battery drain.  If you like to keep your laptop plugged into an AC source, they recommend that you pop your battery out to keep it fresher (this might not be so easy for Macs that have the battery built directly into the laptop).

USA Today recommends that you run the battery dead at least once a month, and then charge it to full capacity.  They also recommend that you avoid keeping the laptop plugged in constantly.

Ice, Ice, Baby (Keep it Cool)

One of the things I recently learned was to make sure you keep your laptop cool (source: Huffington Post).  This means no computer work while in bed.  The comforters and blankets suffocate the air vents and don't allow your laptop to cool down and breathe.  This affects the lifespan of the fan in the laptop in the long run.  If you love your creative inspiration and comfort while typing away in bed (I know I sometimes do), you might want to invest in a cooling pad or something to type in bed with that allows your laptop to circulate air.

Back it Up, Baby

One thing that I have learned is to always, always back up your data regularly.  We never know when our computer is on the fritz and when its last legs are on.  However, if you back up your data regularly, this will prevent the horror stories (that I know too well through my friends) of years and years of photo memories being lost and gone forever. That way, if you do have to replace your laptop, you can keep right on working without wasting time trying to recover information that you've lost.

For the Mac, using Time Machine and getting an external hard drive is the best bet.  You can even program it so that once you plug in the external hard drive, it automatically backs the information up.  This is best for technologically impaired people like me.

Bargainmoosers, how long did your laptop last you?

(banner image credit: alistairas)

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