Keeping your hardware in good working order is important for maximizing your productivity and preventing costly breakdowns. While laptop computers have come a long way in the past few years, many are still vulnerable to common issues like overheating, battery faults, and loss or theft. However, by following six best practices, your hardware will last longer and perform better:
1. Protect your devices with extra padding
People who regularly work on the move often end up with battered hardware that has suffered from far too many drops and bumps. Even if the device still works, a lack of care can cause loose connections, cracked displays, and data corruption, to name a few common issues. Keeping your hardware safe from the elements doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, however. A laptop case and screen protector, for example, provides a convenient and lightweight way to protect your computer.
2. Clean your screen and keyboard regularly
It might come as a shock, but a laptop keyboard typically has more germs on it than a toilet seat. Moreover, a buildup of dust and dirt beneath your keyboard keys can also cause overheating. Chances are, it’s probably even worse inside the computer, where a buildup of dust acts as an insulator and causes overheating. Using a can of compressed air to clean your keyboard and fan vents can help prevent this, and you can clean your screen with any specialized screen care product.
3. Keep your cables organized for safety
Cables are the bane of any computer user, and while using a laptop will allow you to do away with most of the cables, you still need a dependable way to stay connected. For desktop computers, try using cable clips, color-coded cables, and rotating power strips to manage your cables more effectively. If you’re using a laptop, then you probably only have to worry about power cables, but it is still important to avoid using the battery when you don’t need to, since it reduces the lifespan significantly.
4. Update your operating system and software
To care for your hardware, you also need to care for your software. Not only does outdated or buggy software pose a serious risk to digital security and productivity, but it can also reduce the lifespan of your hardware by overworking it unnecessarily or becoming an excessive drain on the battery. In particular, never defer critical security updates for your operating system unless it’s absolutely necessary. Also, be sure to keep your hardware drivers and other software up to date to keep performance up to scratch.
5. Never leave portable devices unattended
Portable devices like laptops and smartphones might be convenient, but they’re also far more vulnerable to loss or theft. However, losing the value of the device is often the smallest worry. If someone else ends up with access to your sensitive data, then things can get a whole lot worse. Never leave your devices unattended in a public space and be sure to password-protect your laptop to prevent unauthorized access. Finally, consider using full disk encryption to keep your portable (and stationary) devices safe from unauthorized access.
6. Make sure your laptop is kept cool
Overheating is one of the most commonly reported laptop problems of all. Packing all of those miniaturized components into such a small space does, after all, make it a lot harder to keep things cool. To prevent overheating, regularly clean dust out of the fan vents, and avoid using the machine on insulative surfaces like couches or blankets. If you have a powerful laptop that often runs quite hot, then you may also want to consider buying an aftermarket cooler.
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