If you treat your computer well, and look after it in the right way, you can extend the useful life of your computer a lot longer. Whether we’re talking about your personal computer or a work one, some simple changes could help you out.

1. Overheating

There are a variety of issues that overheating can cause to a laptop, some of which can kill the board completely. Added to this, some more modern, sleek designs can result in reduced airflow, further adding to this issue. For desktops, safeguarding against this can be relatively simple, and can be simply a matter of cleaning the dust from the fan to ensure that it’s cooling the system effectively.

With laptops, things can be a little bit more complicated. Due to the very nature of a laptop, portability is a major factor, so where a desktop tends to be on a table and stays put for most of its life, laptops can commonly end up sitting on top of a blanket or another fabric surface, blocking intakes from sucking in air. Where possible, use your laptop on a hard surface like a desk, which allows the rubber stoppers to keep the base of it raised. Outside of this, the same rules apply for laptops and desktops, direct sunlight and hot places in general are not ideal. If you can keep your computers dust free and ventilated, you can avoid a lot of potential issues.

2. Clumsy Hands

This would seems obvious, but it wouldn’t be an honest list if I didn’t point this out. Physical damage is absolutely the number one reason to end up prematurely replacing your laptop. I’ve seen and done some careless things with laptops over the years, opening it on one side can damage the hinges and screens, dropping/throwing it onto a couch, picking it up by the monitor, etc.

Additionally, and as silly as this sounds, the standard spinning hard drives still used in many laptops to this day are not ideal for physical movement and can be damaged easily.

3. Electrical Safety

Your laptop uses a decent amount of power, so will inevitably spend a large part of its life plugged into a socket. This makes your laptop susceptible to power surges; small increases in voltage that can cause damage to the battery, hard drive and even the mainboard. It may be advisable to use a good extension lead with a surge protector to help protect you from these issues.

Also, due to the nature of laptops, chargers are moved, pulled, and twisted around a lot, so can become damaged quite easily. This can have the obvious effect of no longer charging your laptop, but can also have even more serious consequences, such as damaging your laptop, or posing a fire hazard. So it’s always worth being a bit more careful when using and handling your laptop charger.

4. Pointless Maintenance

Anyone that remembers using Windows XP, back in the days when the hardware wasn’t powerful and computers were generally much slower than they are now. At the time, there was a lot of different things you could do to improve performance, whether it be deleting unused files, defragmenting your drive, or other maintenance processes.

These days, there are many free ‘PC Cleaning’ utilities available online that claim to improve performance and fix your computer. A lot of these are based on scams, and can try to scare you into downloading software for this purpose, but may potentially have other software or even viruses attached. Even the non-scam software can be unnecessary, as to be fair to newer versions of Windows, much of this necessary maintenance is handled already by default.

For any issues you see with your laptop, it’s would be a good place to start by using Windows in-built clean up tools, uninstalling any software you don’t use, or even resetting your PC. If this doesn’t help, it might be time to look at upgrading your hardware.

5. No Anti-Virus protection

Many people, including myself, have sometimes incorrectly thought that you’re generally safe browsing online with a ‘common sense’ approach. By not going to suspicious sites, and avoiding software from unverified sources, you can dodge almost all issues online. Where the risk can come in is that even by browsing a site that you know to be legitimate, you can open yourself up to issues if that site has gotten infected, resulting in a virus landing on your computer. Thankfully, on new versions of Windows, Microsoft’s built in anti-virus is actually quite good, despite its issues when it first came out.

Additionally, avoiding updates can be risky, and many of these can be available to patch security issues and other problems. Other than this, it’s always good practice to be careful of phishing scams, overly simplistic passwords and other ways you can leave yourself vulnerable.

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