Properly caring for your laptop is always a great habit to keep. Not only does it keep your laptop in shape, it could also make your laptop last longer. In this guide, we’ll be covering some tips and trick to help prolong the lifespan of your laptop.

1. Do software fixes

Your laptop could run into some software issues from time to time, which could lead to certain problems with drivers or boot up. That’s why it’s important to update its software and drivers so it can keep running smoothly. This is something you might want to try if your laptop is running a little slow, or when you’re getting errors like the “Blue Screen of Death” (BSOD).

Other than software and driver updates, you can also try reinstalling the OS or resetting your laptop back to factory settings. This is the easiest way to refresh your laptop, as everything is removed and goes back to its default state. You may also have some software and applications that you don’t use anymore still installed on the laptop. Use this opportunity to get rid of these long forgotten apps. They take up space, and your OS could use the refresher as well.

How to reset your laptop

Windows

Windows recovery settings

There are a few options for Windows laptops when it comes to resets. You can choose from resetting to factory settings, reinstalling Windows, or simply do it from the recovery screen at boot.

To reset your Windows laptop to factory settings, go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. There you’ll find the “Reset your PC” option. You can choose to keep your files, or get rid of everything, then reinstall Windows. This option can sometimes help with PCs that aren’t running well.

Other than from Settings, you can also try reinstalling a clean version of Windows from a bootable USB. Just make sure you have everything you need before doing so. Now would also be a good time to back up all your personal files to an external hard drive or to cloud storage.

Apple Macbooks

MacOS Utilities

Macbook laptops have a much more straightforward process to software resets. Simply restart your Mac and press Command + R. The macOS Utilities window should show up, then you can pick “Reinstall macOS”. This may bring you to a language selection page, and then your Mac will download and install the right version of macOS for you.

2. Clean your laptop

Cleaning your laptop from time to time can help prevent overheating and the complications that come after that. Getting rid of dust and moisture is a great way to take care of your laptop.

Clumps of dust and crumbs accumulated inside the laptop can trap heat and make things harder for the fan. This can lead to fan overexertion and overheating issues. Moisture trapped inside the laptop can not only cause liquid damage, but also rust up certain parts of the motherboard and the keyboard.

To clean your laptop, use cleaning tools like compressed air, rubbing alcohol, and fine brushes. This helps you reach the small gaps between components and remove any moisture with the alcohol solution. Simply open up your laptop and dust that dust. You only need to do this every six to twelve months, so it shouldn’t be that big of a chore anyway.

3. Run general diagnostics

Apple Diagnostics

One way to be prepared for possible errors is by running general diagnostics on your laptop’s hardware.  You might be able to catch problems early, before they get serious and cause bigger problems like a data loss or a complete crash. That way you can deal with them and keep your system in tip top shape.

To run general diagnostics, you can choose to use the pre-boot diagnostics tool that is built-in on almost all laptops. All you need to do is restart your laptop and press a specific button (Esc for HP, F12 for Dell, D for Apple). That will trigger boot diagnostics and start tests on your laptop’s hardware. It will test hardware such as the battery, hard drive, and RAM. You can then deal with any possible problems that the system reports.

Other than pre-boot diagnostics, branded tech support apps like Dell’s SupportAssist or HP’s Support Assistant could also be a great way to maintain your laptop’s health. These apps should come pre-installed on your laptop, so they’re pretty handy if you just want a quick checkup. You can also contact tech support directly from there too!

4. Replace your hard drive

hard disk drive in laptop

Your laptop’s hard drive is the main storage device of the computer. This is where all your files are stored, and where the OS and all other software is installed. In other words, almost everything runs from the hard drive.

Unfortunately, hard drives do start to fail after 3-4 years, and its performance drops significantly. They accumulate these pesky little things called bad sectors, which permanently damage the drive bit by bit. Once it gets to a point where the bad sectors are intolerable, the hard drive will fall. You might notice errors like BSODs, or experience issues with start up. This doesn’t necessarily mean your whole laptop is dying, as you can fix this just by replacing the drive.

A hard drive replacement is quite a popular computer upgrade option. They don’t cost that much, and are easy to do. You don’t need to be a professional computer technician to replace your own hard drive.

You can replace the drive with the exact same model to be safe, or you could also upgrade to a better and compatible hard drive. Upgrading from an HDD to an SSD could be a great option too, if you’re looking for a bigger boost in performance and durability. SSDs offer much better performance, as they are up to 16 times faster than a traditional spinning drive. Replacing your hard drive can refresh your device and continue the overall lifespan of your laptop.

5. Look after your battery health

Replacing the battery of your laptop early could prevent the risk of it leaking or expanding when it does start to fail. These two symptoms of a dead battery are quite dangerous to deal with, and could damage the rest of the laptop as well. It’s important to pay attention to your laptop’s battery health so this doesn’t happen to you.

The lithium-ion batteries inside our laptops are made to be recharged over and over again without losing charge or overcharging. You could go through hundreds of charging cycles and they’d still work great.

Of course, things aren’t perfect, and these batteries will start to fail once it reaches a high cycle count. Then the battery could lose charge or not charge at all. Or it could get more risky, as we’ve learnt.

A high cycle count could be somewhere above 700 recharge cycles. That would be an appropriate stage to replace the battery with a new one. Still, there’s no guarantee as we do find that batteries with low cycle counts can also stop working suddenly.

Apple MacBook users should pay attention to certain error messages like “service battery” or “replace battery now”. You might also be able to check the recharge cycle count on your Mac as well. The message “plugged in, not charging” would also be something to look into for Windows users.

Need a laptop repair? We can help

Computer issues can put you in such a pickle sometimes, and that’s something we certainly understand. That’s why we’re always here to help! Our helpful computer repair technicians at Safemode Computer Service can offer you advice and solutions to any computer issue. We are a highly-rated repair service in the Sydney area, with our trusted and dependable services. Bring your laptop or desktop computers in our Enmore store, and we can do an initial check and free quote. You may also book an appointment at our store, which is a quick stop from surrounding suburbs of Newtown and Marrickville.