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Taking care of your laptop doesn’t just involve getting a cooling pad for it or sheathing it in a protective case whenever you’re carting it around outside. Just like with all high-end and expensive devices, laptops require a bit more TLC and periodic user maintenance to ensure that they keep running for as long as they can, without having to resort to costly visits to the repair shop.
So if you’re a heavy laptop user and you’re very keen on getting years of service out of your portable computing device, read on as we list some very important laptop cleaning and maintenance tips.
Use microfiber cloth to clean dust from the exterior of your laptop.
When it comes to things that can drastically affect both the looks and the performance of your laptop, nothing comes quite close to dust. Not only can it make your laptop look unkempt and filthy, but it can also get inside and choke its cooling mechanisms. This can cause your laptop to run hot and eventually overheat, cooking the delicate electronics inside. The end result is that you either pay hundreds of dollars trying to get it repaired or even replaced.
Prevent this by regularly cleaning the exterior and interior of your laptop of dust. For the exterior, you can’t go wrong by finding the best microfiber cloths and using them to wipe your laptop’s screen, keyboard, and frame down. Microfiber cloth’s unique construction gives it an almost magnetic quality to attract dust, allowing it to pick up even microbial dust particles with just one pass. Furthermore, microfiber cloth is usually softer and gentler than most materials, thus preventing your laptop’s screen and delicate paintjob from being scratched.
The interior may prove to be a bit difficult to do on your own. If you’re not at all versed in assembling and disassembling your laptop, your best bet is to take it to a repair center to have it cleaned. Do this on a monthly basis. If you’d rather do it on your own, then use canned air or a vacuum cleaner instead. The suction will help suck the worst of the dust out of your laptop’s internals. You may have to still wipe things down with a cloth or tissue paper to really clean it out, however.
Try to use the battery as little as possible.
If your laptop has a detachable battery and you find yourself running on AC power more than usual, then it’s a good idea to simply remove the battery and only use it when you need it. Lithium batteries wear themselves out in time, so it’s better to preserve your laptop battery’s functionality for when you need to take your work outside, rather than having it connected even when you have your device pugged in. This will save you quite a bundle in the long run as well as keep your laptop running cooler.
Refrain from drinking or eating near your laptop.
It’s always tempting to sip on a hot beverage or to snack on something tasty while working. However, if you’re near your own laptop while doing so, then you run the risk of either spilling liquid on it or dropping food bits through its tiny gaps and cracks. The former can easily result in a completely destroyed machine, while the latter will gunk up your laptop’s internal works in time, as well as just make it look disgusting all around. Don’t tempt fate—just step away from your laptop and have whatever it is you’re having and come back once you’re done.
Clean out the keyboard every now and then.
If you find that your keys are sticking with every press, then it may be time for a good cleaning. Shut down the laptop and turn it upside down, with the screen and keyboard facing the floor. Keeping a good hold on the device, gently tap on the back to coax out dust, crumbs, and other detritus into falling out. After the worst of it has fallen out, use a can of compressed air to dislodge anything else that got stuck during this cleaning process. Repeat this process as much as possible until you’re sure that your laptop is completely clean, or that the keys aren’t sticking any more.
Defrag your hard drive.
Defragging means to defragment, and when used in the context of laptop maintenance, it means arranging the blocks of data in your computer so that they’re much easier to read. This lets your computer work more quickly and efficiently, which in turn can also boost your productivity. As such, it’s a good idea to defrag all your drives once a month. Do mind that your laptop will be unusable during this period, so be sure to take that into account. If you have an SSD instead of an HDD, however, there is no need to perform this maintenance step.
Keep your laptop lid closed when it’s not in use and powered off.
This prevents dust from getting on and settling onto your laptop’s working surface, namely its screen and keyboard. While doing so won’t necessarily eliminate you having to do periodic cleanup and maintenance on your device, it’ll at least help in ensuring that you won’t have to do it so often. It will also help to protect your laptop’s screen and keyboard from any accidents should anything untoward happen without you around.
Laptops allow us to work and play wherever we want to. However, just like with any other expensive device, they need to be treated with care and consideration. Otherwise, we should be prepared to fork over a lot of cash in getting them repaired or outright replaced in some cases. By keep these laptop cleaning and maintenance tips in mind, you’ll be able to extend the service lifetime of your trusty computing companion by quite a number of years.