How to make your laptop ‘last long’

Keeping your laptop running smoothly for years is one big vibe. It doesn’t matter whether you are a 9 – 5 kind of jobber, student, a work from home kind of employee, or your own boss, laptops were made to make the working experience better. As a student or employee, you most likely need a laptop to help with assignments, jobs, or gigs. Laptops contribute to phones buzzing with credit alerts and the smile of confidence you wear on your face.

Nonetheless, our laptops can sometimes decide to behave funnily. They decide to develop a fault just when we need them so badly. Depending on a range of factors – from how old the PC is, to how frequently it is being used, your system is never free from suddenly developing faults or acting funny. The purpose of this post is to put you through basic things you can do to keep your laptop running smoothly for longer. Let’s go!

To better aid an understanding and for easy follow-through, this topic will be divided into four comprehensive sub-sections. Following these outlines religiously will definitely reduce, if not totally keep you from visiting your tech-savvy friend or the laptop repairs’ store for a very long while. These subsections are:

  • Things you should do weekly. 
  • Things you should do monthly.
  • Things you should do every 6 months.
  • Things you should do yearly.

THINGS YOU SHOULD DO WEEKLY 

  • Clean your Laptop: Quite simple right? Cleaning your system is one activity you should do every week. Wiping your system helps to remove skin oil, dust, and dirt that have bonded on to the PC. A dirty system on the surface might actually seem harmless as it has no major effect on performance but will absolutely affect the user experience. So, get a microfibre cloth and warm water to clean up your system. Be careful not to make the cloth too wet though. Avoid the use of detergents, or soaps as these chemicals can eat up the materials your system is made of.

  • Do a virus scan: whether your own a third-party antivirus or the inbuilt windows defender, that’s good to go for this activity. Ensure you run a virus scan on your PC for effective performance. This scan is needed so your PC doesn’t start a virus scan when you are working on something very important. I love to run my virus scan on Sundays after a nap in the evening. That way, I do not forget. So, pick a day of the week and dedicate it to a virus scan. Yes! Set a ‘reminder’ today!

  • Do a System Backup: Trust me, losing your files can be very heartbreaking; “heart-vandalizing” if I may say. Like most people, I learnt the hard way back then in school. Ever since I have made it a culture to regularly back up my system. Backups help you to restore your files in the case where something goes wrong. You can’t predict what happens in the world of electronic devices, hence stay on the safer side. The plus side of backing up your files on the cloud is that you get to access it anywhere in the world with a good internet connection and it’s pretty much safe.

So weekly, Clean, Scan, and Backup. These activities if done simultaneously won’t take up to an hour. Save yourself the stress and follow through. Develop the habit! 

THINGS YOU SHOULD DO MONTHLY 

  • Set PC to High Performance: If you have a windows 10 PC, this is for you. Switch on your laptop and place it on high-performance mode. Thereafter, make sure it is plugged into a power source and then hands-off. After about 5-10 minutes, you will notice that your PC fan starts to spin up. When you click on your task manager, you’ll observe the processes in the CPU. This is your system doing indexes and background checks that it won’t do ordinarily in Power Saver mode or when you are deep into your daily tasks.  Doing this helps your system stay snappy and responsive.  If your system is running on anything lesser than windows 10 or a Macbook, this doesn’t really apply to you.  
  • Remove Junk and Temporary Files: this is another thing you should do monthly to guarantee your system a smooth run. Removing temporary files with some PC software might put you at risk of losing important files, so do this manually. Removing junk files manually gives you the leverage to know what exactly you are deleting. Delete unused files and folders from your system or back them up externally if you doubt their use. Equate your system to a human carrying luggage; the more the load, the slower he moves.
  • Check your Task Manager: monthly, check your task manager to ensure nothing is out of place. When on power saver mode, make sure your system isn’t going above 5% CPU usage. On the task manager, make sure nothing is spiking and that everything is running as usual.

THINGS YOU SHOULD DO EVERY 6 MONTHS 

  • Check your Start-up items- every six months, check your start-up menu for applications that you consider dormant or quite useless and disable them. Disabling these dormant applications improves the performance of your PC. After disabling, do a restart and make sure your system is good to go.
  • Execute the TRIM command: this is applicable if your PC runs on Solid-state Drive (SSD), it is not only important to keep your hard drive relatively empty, making sure it is optimized – very necessary. You can make use of the in-built windows tool to help you achieve this. Executing the TRIM command will improve your PC performance and increase the longevity of your hard drive. 

THINGS YOU SHOULD DO EVERY YEAR 

  • Internal Clean Up:  it is quite important that you yearly open up your system and blow out any dust that might be clogging up in the internal components. It is quite understandable if you cannot do this on your own. This might be the point where you’ll be needing an expert to do the clean-up. If you are doing this yourself, try not to use brushes or vacuums. Rather, clean with compressed air. The clean-up is needed because dust serves as an insulator trapping heat inside your system, causes it to run hot, and makes the fan kick up. This ultimately translates to slower system-performance.

  • Reinstall your Operating System (OS): after the clean-up, you might just want to be a little patient with your PC repairer and re-install your OS. This action is one of the best ways to get rid of anything you might have missed in the last six months and to keep your system running smoothly. This also is the best way to remove any virus your scanner may have missed.

Keeping up with these system maintenance routines is the surest way to maximally optimize your laptop performance.  The durability of your laptop is guaranteed as you will enjoy the out-of-the-box experience every time you make use of your laptop. Make conscious efforts to keep your laptop running smoothly. Don’t forget to continue smashing all your tasks like the boss that you are and keep the phone box buzzing with alerts. 

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