Steps In Maintaining Your Laptop
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Last Updated on July 14, 2021 by Gabriel Goddy
Maintenance of your laptop is not just a day’s job, it’s something you do daily. In this guide, we’ll show you all the tips you need to know about maintaining your laptop.
Unlike many desktop computers, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to laptops. Every machine is a little different, so finding out as much as you can about your laptop is important.
First of all, we’ll consider the steps to take to prevent overheating in your laptops.
Overheating doesn’t imply that the machine is having serious problems because there are some ways to cool it down.
Effective tips to stop laptop Overheating
Let’s look at these simple and easy ways to keep your laptop from overheating:
- Check and clean the fans
Whenever you feel your laptop getting hot, place your hand just next to the fan vents. You will know whether the laptop’s fan is working properly if you feel hot air blowing out of the vents. If you feel very little or no air, then dust might have accumulated on the fan or it has broken down.
You can open up the machine and blow out the dust with some relatively compressed air. If the fan has broken down, look for a new replacement. Note that if you are not comfortable opening up the laptop, get a professional to do it
- Elevate your laptop
Overheating can be caused by a lack of inadequate ventilation under the laptop. This can be solved by elevating your computer and putting a small book under the machine. Apart from using a book, it’s even better to purchase a laptop cooling pad to provide enough standard ventilation under your machine. There are varieties of laptop cooling fans available here, you can purchase one.
- Use a lap desk
Another method to provide enough ventilation is the use of a lap desk. The small rubber feet on the bottom provide standard elevation to enhance airflow underneath your laptop. However, some people place laptops on their laps when using them. This restricts airflow under the laptop and leads to overheating. A lap desk helps in maintaining constant airflow, keeping your laptop cool.
- Controlling fan speed
Constant airflow within your laptop prevents your fans from running at full speeds. When your fan is running at high speeds, it implies that the CPU is working hard and it may get hotter. You can control fan speeds by installing programs such as SpeedFan for Windows.
- Avoid using Intense processes
Overheating in your laptop may be a result of intense processes. You can keep your laptop cool by avoiding such processes on your machine. For instance, browsers with video Flash will subject the CPU to hard work. The CPU will start getting hotter and increase fan speeds. Therefore, it’s advisable to use a FlashBlock in your browser so that flash videos are only turned on whenever needed.
- Keep your laptop out of the heat
Lastly, overheating of your laptop may occur due to extreme exposure to direct hot sunlight, especially during summer. High temperatures may cause a computer to overheat due to an expansion of the hard drive and battery damage. Therefore, you should keep your laptop in the shade whenever temperatures are high.
When your laptop is shutting down and experiencing serious slowdowns as a result of overheating, it’s advisable to get it repaired as soon as possible.
How to fix an overheating laptop
Once you’ve determined that your laptop isn’t working, there are a few ways to get it back up and running.
- Turn off your laptop, unplug the cords, and remove the battery (if possible). You should take a break from using it until it has completely cooled down.
- Inspect the vents and fan for dirt or other signs of blockage. These components are usually underneath or on the sides of your laptop.
- Use compressed air to clean your laptop’s vents. If your fan continues to struggle, make noises, or run at maximum speed, it may need to be checked for other issues.
- Change your system’s fan control settings. If you have a Windows model, you can do this in the BIOS menu. There are also third-party power management apps that allow users to access their fan settings.
General Maintenance Tips
It is also useful to check the laptop once in a while to remove any errors or problems that might have crept in during the routine usage.
- Keep liquids away from your laptop. As tempting as it might be to drink coffee, soda, water, or any other liquid near your laptop, accidents can happen all too easily. Alternatively, use a cup with a cover on it, so even if it does spill, the liquid doesn’t go anywhere. Spilled liquids may damage the internal microelectronic components or cause electrical damage. Short circuits can corrupt data or even permanently destroy some parts of the laptop. The solution is very simple: Keep your drinks away from your computer. Even if you are careful, someone else might spill your drink.
- Having antivirus software available is the best defense against a virus. Even if you know what you download, it could still contain a virus. If you choose not to have antivirus software, you risk a circuit error or software problem in your system. The virus may also slow down the system’s operations and performance.
- Keep food away from your laptop. Don’t eat over your laptop, the crumbs can fall between the keys and provide an invitation to small bugs or damage the circuitry. Worse yet, the laptop will look dirty if there are crumbs on it.
- Do not use your computer in a room where animals are. Their fur and hair can get into the internal workings and damage them. Also, larger animals (e.g dogs) can accidentally damage them by knocking them off their support by brushing past, wagging tails, tripping over leads, etc.
- Ideally, keep the computer in a clean and dust-free room.
- Always have clean hands when using your laptop. Clean hands make it easier to use your laptop touchpad and there will be less risk of leaving dirt and other stains on the computer. In addition, if you clean your hands before you use the laptop, you will reduce wear and tear on the coating caused by contact with sweat and small particles that can act upon the laptop’s exterior.
- Protect the LCD monitor. When you shut your laptop, make sure there are no small items, such as a pencil or small earphones, on the keyboard. These can damage the display screen if the laptop is shut on them; the screen will scratch if the item is rough. Close the lid gently and holding it in the middle. Closing the lid using only one side causes pressure on that hinge, and over time can cause it to bend and snap.
- Hold and lift the computer by its base, not by its LCD (the screen). If you lift it by the screen alone, you could damage the display or the hinges attaching the display to the base. The display is also easily scratched or damaged by direct pressure – avoid placing pressure on it.
- Don’t pull on the power cord. Tugging your power cord out from the power socket rather than pulling directly on the plug can cause the cord to break off from the plug or damage the power socket. Also, if the power cord is near your feet, avoid kicking it accidentally; in fact, it is best to refrain from bumping into the plug at all because you could loosen it and eventually break it.
- Don’t roll your chair over the computer cord. Stick the cord onto your desk with tape or a special computer cord tie which can easily be undone when you’ve finished using the laptop. Always try to keep the cord away from the floor and your legs.
- Be sure to plug accessory devices into their proper slots. Always look at the symbols on the laptop carefully before inserting devices. Jamming a phone line into an Ethernet port or vice versa could damage the sockets, making it impossible to use them again. It is very important to observe this step.
- Handle any removable drives with care. CD drives that have been removed from your laptop could easily be crushed or dropped; do not be careless. If you are not putting them back into the laptop, put them straight into a storage box or case for safekeeping.
- Has the unit cleaned annually to remove internal dust? Get this done by a computer professional, or do it yourself if you can. If dust accumulates, the system will not be able to cool itself correctly. Heat can destroy the motherboard.
- Avoid placing heavy materials, such as books, on top of your laptop. This can push the LCD screen into the keyboard, and will eventually damage it. Also, the CD-ROM insert will be squished and, eventually, will break.
- Try to keep the laptop on a flat, clean surface. This prevents damage to the laptop. This can be hard to do, particularly if you are outside with your laptop, but if there is a flat surface available, put your laptop on it.
Maintenance on your laptop is paramount to its performance, and even the length of time the laptops last for. You must imbibe a maintenance culture for your laptops.