Whether we like it or not, laptops have become such an irreplaceable part of our lives that losing yours, even for a day, might feel like losing one of the senses. So, to avoid this from happening, here are 6 tips for taking care of your laptop in 2017 (not much different from the previous vintage, to be honest).
Keep It Clean
It’s unbelievable that this has to be said, but there it is. There are more incidents involving liquids and solids than you might be prepared to believe. It’s all too easy splashing your soda, coffee, beer or other viscose fluids over the keyboard, with no one to blame but oneself. Bottom line, be careful, and the best way of being careful is keeping food and drink the crap away from your laptop!
On that same note, make sure to wash hands before using it. You might also see a marked improvement in your health. Sure, it all sounds like common sense now that you read it, but be honest with yourself and think how many times you actually did that. One more thing, while we’re on the topic of hygiene – don’t use your laptop on the bed or couch, as it’ll make the fans suck up all the dust, and that’ll throttle the ventilation system (yes, your bed is dusty, deny it all you want, it doesn’t change the fact it is).
Open ‘n’ Shut Case
One thing that people often do is not being careful. Sure, it’s vague enough to make sense, so here’s a specific example – when you close your laptop, make sure there’s nothing left on the keyboard that could damage your display – pencils, tiny earphones, even cables can scratch the display. People have even managed to forget books with hardcover.
Here’s how you want to do it – close the lid gently, holding it in the middle. If you close it by holding onto just one side, you’ll be putting pressure on that hinge particular hinge. It’ll make it wear out sooner than the other, and eventually give way. So, please, give your laptop some love and treat it every day like it’s Valentines.
It’s not only when you close it that you need to take special care of the display. For example, when you carry it around, it’s important that hold it by the base, not the screen. If you grab it by the screen alone, guess what can happen? That’s right, the display or the hinges can get damaged, and that’s about a hundred bucks you didn’t have to spend gone down the drain.
Keep Plugging and Good Things Will Happen
While we’re on the topic of hardware, it’s important to keep the power cord in good shape, so don’t tug on it directly when unplugging it from the socket. Instead, pull directly on the plug, that’s why it’s designed the way it is. On that same note, try and not roll over any cords with your chair… too much; to be fair, it’s bound to happen sooner or later, but there’s no reason to rush it. Just try and be aware of that, and it should help reduce the chances of it actually happening. Also, watch out how you plug/unplug accessory devices – people have managed to screw up their USB flash drives by trying to stick them the wrong side up (or even trying to plug them into the HDMI port).
Since we’re on the topic, it would probably be wise to not keep your laptop in the same room with your pets. If you do, things like accidental crashes, scratches and slobber between the keys will become all too real a possibility.
Store in a Cool & Dry place
Laptops are more rugged than people might think, but they’re still susceptible to all sorts of internal failures. To avoid this, keep your laptop in a well-ventilated areas, and avoid sudden temperature swings (in other words, treat it like you would yourself). If you’re travelling, pay special attention to not keep/leave your laptop in the car, especially in the summer, since you run a real risk of having it melt.
Speaking of travelling, make sure to unplug and remove all movable parts before you leave and pack your laptop. Check if you’ve left a CD inside (and take it out if you did) to avoid damage when during transport. However, the most important thing in this regard is to get the right size laptop bag. If you go too small, you might even be able to fit your laptop, but you’ll scuff it or scratch it on the zipper, or the bag will just give in and bust along the seams. If you go too big, your laptop will dance around inside and hit things, get scuffed, get scratched, fly off the hinges (sorry for the terrible pun).
Keep It Free of Crapware
Since we’ve pretty much covered everything about the hardware, let’s discuss software. First thing’s first – always, always install antivirus software a. s. a. p. Now, every laptop that comes with Windows OS preinstalled will have Windows Defender enabled, but that’s like protecting a house during riots with a shoestring. So, to reiterate – get antivirus software, and don’t cheap out – buy a legal copy, you’ll save yourself a lot of headache down the line. Here’s a list of suggestions:
- Norton Security
- Trend Micro
- Panda Security
Speaking of software, check regularly that your laptop doesn’t have too much bloatware and unwanted software installed. Granted, your antivirus/antimalware software should take care of most of it by blocking, but sometimes you get careless and install something coz it said you’ll get it as freeware.
The most important and useful piece of advice anyone could give you is to clean your laptop annually, starting year one. You can do it yourself, but it’ll void the warranty, so it’s better to take it to an authorized service while the warranty lasts. After that, you can decide which way to go about it. Again, cleaning it yourself is an option, and a budget-happy one, provided you know what you’re doing. However, if you’re not sure about it, take it to a service, and cough up the money, it’ll be cheaper than having to fix a blunder.