6 Terrible Habits That Will Slowly Kill Your Laptop

It’s easy to take technology for granted these days. It not only surrounds us in our everyday lives, but also remains easy to toss aside or sell a laptop in order to buy increasingly affordable but better-than-ever models. Every few years we seem to require a new laptop to replace a slow and outdated version.

But before you get too cozy with this throwaway relationship with technology, consider that how you care for your laptop can directly affect its lifespan. In fact, you may be guilty of some bad habits that practically drain the life right out of your battery or slow your laptop’s processors down to a crawl.

To extend the life of your laptop, quit making these 6 mistakes:

  1. Turning the laptop on and off throughout the day. It’s said that computers have only so many “restarts” in their repertoire before they kick the bucket. Every time you turn your laptop on, all of the components wear out a tiny bit due to the miniscule expansion that takes place when they reach a working temperature. If you plan to use your laptop throughout the day, just put it in sleep mode rather than turning it all the way off.
  2. Letting your laptop get too hot. Your laptop has a built-in fan for a very good reason. Heat damages not only the battery, but also the internal processors and other components. When your laptop works hard and the internal mechanisms generate heat, the fan ensures the parts don’t get overheated. To help the fan do its job, make sure the bottom of the laptop gets good air flow. Also avoid leaving your laptop in your vehicle or out in direct sunlight.
  3. Waiting until the last minute to charge your battery. Laptop batteries will wear out faster if they are constantly brought to a near-complete discharge (about 10 percent or less) before being charged again. Plug your laptop in when the battery is around 50 percent to prevent the battery from working too hard, and leave it plugged in whenever convenient.
  4. Allowing dust and debris to accumulate on the keyboard. Dust and crumbs can fall in between the keys of your keyboard and into the sensitive components within the laptop itself. These can contribute to overheating problems or simply interfere with communication.
  5. Not keeping the operating system up to date. If you never allow your laptop to run updates, you will truly be stuck in the past. Eventually you may find that new software doesn’t work properly on your laptop because the operating system is too old. These updates are free and can be scheduled to run when you aren’t using the laptop, so there’s no excuse not to do so.
  6. Transporting a laptop with a hard drive while it is up and running. A hard drive’s spinning disk may get jostled if the laptop is transported when it’s in use. Close the laptop to put it in sleep mode before moving the laptop somewhere else. However, it’s fine to move a laptop with a solid state drive (SSD) at any time.