Are you in love with your laptop? You’re not alone – we all depend on our laptops every day of our lives for countless tasks, so it’s no wonder they become our most treasured possessions. Of course, as the years go on, our trusty friends get worse for wear, especially considering how much we use the darn things! Laptops that aren’t treated with love and respect tend to slow down, and that’s unacceptable when we’ve got emails to write and YouTube clips of Beyoncé to watch! But there are ways to get more life out of your laptop instead of buying a new one, even if you really do just want to splurge on a new one! In some cases of course, buying a new laptop makes sense, but for the most part, investing in some upgrades coupled with some DIY tricks will get your laptop purring.
Breathing Life into Your Laptop
Over the years we’ve seen more and more computer users switch from desktops to laptops. The perks are undeniable: laptops are portable, powerful and sleek. However, a laptop’s strength also happens to be its greatest weakness. Its portability tends to bring along some risk, so they’re vulnerable to breakage, more so than desktop computers. All of this leads to shorter life span, but there are ways to get the most out of your laptops before shelling out for a newer version. You might want to have a think about how you work with your laptop, so you can start troubleshooting. For instance, there are a lot of common mistakes that lead to lethargic laptops! We’ll go through each of these here – some of these fixes are so easy you’ll wonder why you haven’t thought about making them before. Others, are a little more complicated, and you may want to get in touch with us to help you do them right.
Check for Viruses
First things first, it’s time to check for viruses. These days you’ve got to have a reliable antivirus program installed on your laptop as the modern hackers are getting craftier by the minute. Your hardware is probably 100% fine, but a virus might be causing your trusty PC to run slowly. When was the last time you ran a scan to keep your laptop virus-free?! You’ve got to protect yourself and your files, so get on board the antivirus train.
Laptop Ram Upgrade
Lots of laptops slow down due to difficulty keeping up with the newer, programs and operating systems. If your laptop doesn’t have enough memory to accommodate these programs, you’ll feel the pinch and it’s going to affect your productivity. Upgrading the RAM of your laptop will improve its ability to keep up with latest and greatest programs. How much RAM you need depends on what you use your computer for. For basic tasks including web browsing and emails we suggest at least 4 GB of RAM.
Most laptops come with SATA hard drives but these drives are from a time of older technology and this hard drive is often why a PC can seem slow. An SSD hard drive is a massive upgrade over a traditional SATA drive. How? By upgrading to an SSD, you’ll get a faster startup, shutdown, and program load times. SSDs are also becoming much more affordable. They also take considerable tech expertise to install, but we can help you out.
Cleaning Up Your Files
Don’t be file hoarder! Getting rid of your unused files is one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase your laptop’s performance. Cleaning up files helps you create more space on your laptop which will make it run more efficiently. All versions of Windows have an easy-peasy disk cleanup program so there’s no reason not to use it!
Get Rid Of Unused Programs
Are you a program hog? You download the latest and greatest, use it once and then never again? It’s all good –with so many great programs out there of course you want to try them all out. That said, if you try them and you don’t like them, get rid of them! These programs take up valuable space and might even use CPU/RAM which will slow down your PC.
Bad Laptop Battery
Laptop batteries cop a lot of slack when it comes to life expectancy of your laptop, but for good reason. Batteries are built to have a certain number of charge cycles, so to speak. For example, a new Apple MacBook Pro has up to 1000 charge cycles before the battery starts to wear down. Unfortunately, too many of us keep our laptops plugged in when working on them. Best battery practice is to let the battery drain of life before plugging it back in.
Back it Up
You’re probably keeping that laptop plugged in because you’re afraid of losing the work you’re working on. That’s where backing up comes in. Here’s how it works – the more files you have on your computer, the less space you’ve got, which means the slower it runs. It’s safer to keep your files backed up in the cloud or on an external hard-drive.
A Little Something Extra
Now that you’re following the best practices to make your computer run better, you can invest in some accessories that will help your laptop live a long time. There are so many accessories out there that the shop floors can be a little hard to navigate. You don’t need to buy everything – in fact there are only four things that we advise you to purchase to make your laptop experiences better.
- External Hard Drives: As we’ve already said, backing up your files and information is a great way to help extend the life of your computer as well as acting as a great secondary backup if something happens to your computer, such as crash or theft. Prices have dropped considerably so you can invest in a terabyte of memory for less than a hundred dollars.
- Surge Protection: With the average New Zealand household experiencing up to five small power surges a day, it’s hard to notice that your technology could be at risk. Ensuring your computers safety, connecting it to a surge protector will keep it safe from those pesky damaging surges and outages.
- Cases/Sleeves: If you’re travelling around with a naked laptop, you’re asking for trouble. Simple sleeves cost less than $50 – there’s no excuse not to have one! They physically protect your laptop and decrease the risk of damage. A worthy investment!
- Insurance: No we’re not kidding. If you love your laptop as much as you say you do, then have it insured. It may not make it work faster, but at least you’re protecting yourself from the cost of replacing it if and when it gets damaged or stolen.
1,2,3 of a Long Living Laptop
Still looking for more tricks to preserve the life of your laptop? Fine! We still have a few more suggestions.
Keep It Clean
Keeping your laptop clean is a must if you want it to have a long life. The cleaning process doesn’t have to be super intense by any means, it’s a laptop, not a Labrador. Simply running a can of compressed air through the ports, and keeping dust and junk out of the nooks and crannies will do wonders! It’s not about looking clean – keeping grime out of the moving parts will reduce the possibility of failure.
Keep It Cool
No matter what the device, excessive heat is the enemy here. It’s horrible for all electronics, not just your precious laptop. Heat leads to screen damage, short battery lives, and even certain glues melting into the device. Repeated exposure to heat, whether it’s from being left in a hot car or in direct sunlight will lead to a much shorter life. If you keep your devices cool, they will perform much better for you — and last heaps longer.
Keep it Covered
A good case can do a lot to protect your laptop from a life of scratches and dents. A nice slim case fits a laptop like a glove, and is indispensable if you want to preserve your laptop. Not only does it keep it safe from physical damage, it also helps to keep it clean, thereby preserving the wiring on the inside. If you want to ramp it up, you can get cases that attach directly to your laptop, not unlike a turtle’s shell. Whichever way you go, hardcore shell or soft sleeve, both will protect your laptop for years to come.
Taking care of your laptop is your responsibility. We’ve outlined the easy ways you can do it yourself, but for some of you, even these handy tricks can be daunting. If you want us to talk you through step-by-step, we can do it! We’re here to help you get the most out of your laptop, and it really does make our day to help our customers with their laptop problems.
So get in touch – our professional computer technicians are on standby.