4 ways to keep your laptop alive longer than average

A moment of silence for all the laptops who’s lights went out before their time. On average, a laptop has a lifespan of about four years but, as you probably know from previous experience, it’s closer to two or three before the core elements of the computer start to deteriorate. This just isn’t on.

Laptops are expensive, especially if you’re an Apple customer. Because of the rate at which our personal computers deteriorate and the reasons for doing so, it’s hard to say how long exactly they last – we have an awful habit of binning them before they properly break down anyway.

Many blame this on ‘planned obsolescence’ – the manufacturing conspiracy that computer companies purposely fit their products with lower grade internals to encourage us to upgrade sooner than we need to. The less stubborn laptop users of the world don’t play by Moore’s Law which dictates that computer technology doubles in complexity and speed every two years.

For those that are happy with their laptops now and want to keep their relationship strong, here are four ways of keeping your laptop alive beyond the average expectancy!

1. Back-up and store elsewhere

Imagine what would happen if at the end of this sentence everything that’s currently on your laptop is wiped. What would you lose? It’s the technological equivalent of the Vesuvius eruption. Whether you choose Dropbox or hard copying, you should move big and important files off of the machine that can be attacked by any amateur hacker.

2. Spring cleaning

You don’t actually have to reserve this activity for Spring, you should do it every month. Take some time to clear everything is irrelevant like duplicate files, old programs and full recycle bins. I use DiskDoctor to clear all of the fiddly space-wasters like application memory.

3. Give your battery a work out

I’m dreadful for never shutting my laptop down or unplugging it. Batteries are often the first bit of hardware to start failing. By unplugging a few times a week your battery can ‘stretch its legs’ and extend its lifespan. However, batteries are meant to have around 400-500 charge cycles so be sure to replace your battery if it starts degrading, don’t throw away a perfectly good computer.

4. Canned air 

The most common sign, people think, of a computer on its way out of this life is constant overheating. Before condemning your macbook, check to make sure there isn’t excessive dust clogging the vent fans. This can exacerbate a laptop’s tendency to overheat. Use canned air is clear those blockages!