Keep Your Laptop Running Longer – 5 Tips To Extend Its Lifespan
How long do you think your laptop will last?
According to The Guardian, the typical PC or laptop lasts three to five years under normal conditions.
But that’s just a rough rule of thumb. With a little work and even less money, it’s possible to extend the useful lifespan of your laptop for much longer than five years — saving money and stress in the interim.
Well-maintained laptops can last almost indefinitely, providing many years of productivity and pleasure for their owners. That’s why top computer repair experts recommend regular upkeep and maintenance, even if nothing appears to be amiss with your machine.
“Maintaining your electronics takes little time, effort or upfront investment,” says George Otte, a Miami-based entrepreneur and computer repair expert. “With a little organization and some basic system knowledge, you can keep your laptop running smoothly.”
Otte suggests easing into laptop maintenance and upkeep with these easy, low-cost tips.
- Get an Anti-Malware Program
The utility of anti-malware is not exactly a trade secret. According to Microsoft, computers without anti-malware protection are infected (and subsequently cleaned) at more than six times the rate of protected computers. Malware comes in many different flavors, but all are unwelcome, and some infections require extensive (and costly) cleaning or result in total system loss. For roughly $40 or $50 per year, protection is a no-brainer.
- Use a VPN on Open WiFi Networks
Anti-malware protection isn’t infallible. Even the best anti-malware products can’t protect against every trojan, worm and virus out there. The bad guys pump them out too fast for the good guys to keep up.
You’re most likely to run into trouble on open, unsecured networks—the type you encounter in coffee shops and hotel lobbies. Protect yourself with a virtual private network (VPN). Free VPNs are fine, but paid VPNs (under $100 per year) are better.
- Routinely Defrag Your Hard Disk (If It’s Not Done Automatically)
Frustrated by slow system performance? A fragmented hard drive could be to blame. If your system doesn’t defragment automatically, pencil in a “defragging” session at least once per month. The process differs from system to system; this Windows guide to defragmenting your hard disk is a great place for PC users to start.
- Get Rid of Old Programs and Files
Spring clean your computer and if you can, do it more than once a year!
There’s no easy way around it: Your older laptop is almost certainly carrying junk files and programs that hamper its performance and processing speed. Devote an hour or two every quarter to sussing out and deleting or re-homing these space-wasters.
Just don’t cut too deep: One of the most common causes of laptop distress is the deletion of essential system files or programs. And be sure not to delete work or personal files that you’d like to access in the future—at least, not before backing them up on a cloud server, external hard drive or both.
- Call in the Experts When the Going Gets Tough
Computer repair professionals can help with the more complicated issues that you’re simply not up to tackling on your own. In so doing, they can add years to your laptop’s life, giving you one less thing to worry about in the interim.
How are you extending your old laptop’s lifespan?