Published on: 21.01.2024 | updated on: 16.02.2024
In today's world, laptops, tablets, and all other electronic devices are something we have come to rely on in our everyday lives. You must look after your computer and regularly maintain it to keep it running smoothly and prolong its lifespan. In this article provided by Simply Fixable team, we look at how you can best look after your PC and tips to improve its function.
In this article, we talk about ways you can extend your laptop's life, such as installing updates, cleaning the exterior, cleaning the fan with compressed air, monitoring the temperature, and looking after the battery to improve performance.
It’s important to keep your laptop clean. A clean laptop is essential for keeping a computer running smoothly and working to the best of its ability. Debris and dust can accumulate on the fans and other internal components, which can cause the computer to overheat and become damaged. Having a dirty keyboard can lead to hardware failure and malfunctioning keys.
Cleaning the exterior of your computer might seem simple and easy, but there are some dos and don’ts when cleaning that part of your computer.
Dust can cause many problems for internal parts like the fans and motherboard. Dust can build up on the fans and cause the computer to overheat; it can block the air vents so air cannot flow properly, and it builds up on the internals, which can cause the internals to get too hot.
Fans play an important role in keeping your computer cool and running efficiently, which can help improve your computer's lifespan.
Fans are essential to any computer or laptop because they blow air on components like the graphics and central processing units that can heat up significantly. The fan helps to move the warm air around and out of the computer. The fan keeps the internals cool so they work more efficiently and last longer, improving your computer's lifespan.
Cleaning your fans is easy. Just follow these simple steps to get the dust out of your fans. You should aim to do this once every three months.
Step 1. Turn off the laptop and unplug it
Step 2. Take the back off your computer to access the internals
Step 3. With the back off, avoid compressed air, as it can blow dust under parts you cannot access
Step 4. Wipe over dusty areas with a soft microfibre cloth
Step 5. Using a soft brush, try to get as much dust off the blades of the fan as you can
Step 6. If there is dust inside the vent, you can use a brush or a toothpick to remove it.
Step 7. Give it all another wipe-over with the cloth, put the computer exterior panel back on, and plug it back in
To monitor the performance of your laptop fan, you can press the control+Alt+Delete together and then go to the task manager. Go up to the performance tab and then choose CPU. Here, you can see the fan speed and the CPU's temperature.
Every few months, look over your charging port and use some compressed air to blow out any dust or debris that may have built up in the port area. If the charger port seems loose in the socket, you may need a replacement before it stops charging.
It’s vital that your charger cable and other cables you use for your PC are in good condition. Turn your PC off, then look over your charger cable for any dents, kinks, or other damage. Ensure you check over your external keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc, and ensure all cords are in good condition.
Any fraying and damaged cords can cause damage to your PC. Never fold cords up tightly or squish them into drawers or containers; this can cause damage to them. When pulling cords in and out, do so gently; otherwise, it can damage the port area, and the device will not charge.
The general recommendation known as the 40-80 rule advises that you maintain your laptop battery charge level between 40% and 80% for most of the time. Preventing overcharging and undercharging can be beneficial in extending the lifespan of your battery. If you charge your battery beyond its capacity, it can lead to the generation of excess heat, which in turn may reduce its overall capacity.
Overheating your computer causes damage to the internal components and can significantly degrade your battery. When the device heats up, things like the battery and central core have to work harder, which can cause them to overheat and become damaged. When the battery is damaged, it will not charge properly or hold charge off the power for very long. When the central core is overheated, the laptop’s functions deteriorate.
Tips for ensuring proper airflow to prevent overheating.
If you are using your laptop outside, ensure you are sitting in the shade, and both the front and back of the laptop are not in direct sunlight. If the weather is extremely hot, avoid using the computer outside, as it will heat up and cause damage.
If you are using your PC at a desk and there is sunshine through the blind on the back of the laptop, pull the blind down as direct sunlight, either inside or out, can degrade the battery and wreck the internals. If the computer is hot, turn it off and let it cool down for an hour or so.
If you want to avoid getting battery replacements, it is important that you understand how to look after your computer and battery to continue to use it trouble-free.
Determining how good a battery is will depend on its age and whether you have looked after it. When the battery gets old or is degraded, the charging capacity is lowered. What can cause the battery to degrade? Let’s look below.
To help keep your battery healthy, go to the Windows search bar and type in battery. The setting window will open, and you can choose battery-saving options there. You can reduce the laptop's performance but improve the battery function and health.
Turning down the screen brightness can also help limit the stress on the battery.
PC updates are essential; they can fix minor glitches and keep the computer running smoothly. Security is vital as malware and viruses can infect your computer and cause a lot of damage.
When drives and software do not have the latest updates, they can run sluggish and malfunction. Without updates, your computer can run slow, and overheat, some functions may not work, and it can cause the PC to crash. Updates should be installed when available to keep them running as they should.
It is straightforward to do this; just follow the steps below:
Step 1. Go to the start menu and locate the control panel
Step 2. Find Windows update
Step 3. Click on check for updates and let the PC search for any
Step 4. If updates are found, install all of the updates
Step 5. If the PC does not automatically restart, you need to manually restart
It is important to keep up to date with antivirus and security measures to keep your computer safe and healthy.
Hard drives need space for their normal functions and memory. When the storage on your computer is full, the computer will run slow and may freeze or crash at times. When storage is full, you will have trouble playing games, and it may take a long time to start up and shut down.
Use an external hard drive to store pictures, files, or videos so you do not clog up your computer. You can access them whenever you connect the drive to your computer, but it will help free up space on your computer. Anything from games, files, documents, folders, music, pictures, and more can be stored on your external hard drive. You can get them with over 1TB of storage space, so you have plenty of room to store what you like.
Keeping your computer in a healthy state can begin with keeping the internals and fans clean, offloading large files to external hard drives, keeping software up to date, avoiding overheating, and keeping everything clean can help extend the lifespan of your computer and running to the best of its ability. Optimizing your battery charging settings and habits can also help your PC last longer. Regular maintenance may be frustrating, but keeping your computer healthy is important to ensure its longevity and full functionality.
Professional Content Creator
LinkedIn: Hollie Spooner
Hollie is a technical writer with over 15 years of experience specializing in creating content to help keep the rest of the world informed and updated on all tech-related subjects. Hollie has created content for many writing platforms in the tech and IT industry, and her passion for turning words into helpful articles is still growing. Hollie holds several certifications, like "Professional Article and Blog Writing", "Writing Editing and Publishing", "Creative Writing" and "Technology Digital Solutions" by Open Education and Thompsons Education Direct. When she isn’t creating content for the web, she is enjoying a crazy life with her family and friends.
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