5 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Laptop in Tip-Top Shape

April 29, 2020

It can be incredibly frustrating to deal with a malfunctioning laptop. After all, slow performance issues or random shutdowns can greatly hinder your productivity. To make matters worse, repairs or even replacements can end up costing you a ton of money.

Hence, it’s important to take good care of your computer to keep these problems from occurring. That said, here are five maintenance tips for keeping your laptop in good working condition:

Remove Unnecessary Files

With file sizes getting bigger each year, it doesn’t take long for most people to fill up their hard drives with data. Unfortunately, a hard disk requires some empty space for use with virtual memory. When your RAM becomes full, it takes advantage of the empty space on your hard drive to create files for overflow tasks. But if you don’t have any available space, your computer will end up slowing down.

That’s why keeping your hard drive free of unnecessary files helps your computer find specific files much more quickly. So, make sure to periodically delete any files that you no longer need.

You can also free up space on your hard drive by deleting programs you rarely use. If that’s still not enough, take a hard look at any programs that use up a lot of space. Then, decide whether they’re worth keeping or if you can replace them with a program that’s less taxing on your laptop.

Defrag Your Hard Drive

If your laptop uses a hard disk drive (HDD), it’s a good idea to defrag it at least once a month.  This is because whenever you delete a file, the space that it used to occupy gets marked as safe for overwriting with new data. So, the next time your laptop has to write a new file, it adds it to the first available spot that’s safe to write over. This eventually leaves your hard drive with several files broken up into multiple locations all over your hard drive.

To solve this issue, defragmenting moves data around into a logical formation which makes it easier for your laptop to read. As a result, regular defragging can help your programs run more quickly while also preventing software from crashing and freezing. However, do take note that there’s no need to defragment your laptop if it uses a solid-state drive (SSD), as it writes and reads files differently.

Get Rid of All the Dust

Dust build-up is one of the main contributors to compromised computer performance. It can easily enter your laptop through its many openings, clogging up your fans and causing performance issues.

To keep this from happening, use a cleaning brush to wipe away dirt from your laptop’s various crevices. For any dust that’s hard to reach, you can try using a cotton swab to get into those nooks and crannies. Alternatively, you could use a can of compressed air to blow it out instead.

You’ll also want to open up your laptop and deep clean its internal mechanisms at least once a year. If you don’t feel confident enough to do it yourself, ask a professional technician to do it for you instead.

Keep the Keyboard Clean

Dirt, oil, and grime can accumulate on your laptop over time, causing the keys of your keyboard to clog up and get stuck whenever you press on them.

So, once you’re done taking care of the dust in your laptop’s internal systems, make sure to clean your keyboard next. We recommend using cotton swabs and alcohol, as they can help you get into the small spaces between each key more easily.

To keep your keyboard from getting dirty so quickly in the first place, we recommend washing your hands regularly. This is because oil and food particles can wear away at your keyboard caps’ protective covering, which is what gives them that distinctly non-slip feel.

Use Your Laptop on a Smooth, Hard Surface

Despite what the name may imply, your lap is actually one of the worst places to put your laptop when using. In the same vein, you should also avoid using it on other soft, uneven surfaces such as your bed, pillows, blankets, and couch.

This is because placing your laptop on a soft surface causes the soft material to block the cooling system’s intake port. Because it can’t draw air in, it also can’t push air out through the heatsink, causing it to overheat.

Whenever possible, make sure to use your laptop on a smooth, hard surface instead. You can also invest in a cooling pad to help keep your laptop at an optimal temperature.

In Conclusion

Taking good care of your laptop can greatly prolong its lifespan. Just follow these five tips and you’ll keep your laptop in tip-top shape for years to come.