|Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay|
If you want to wait a while before purchasing a new laptop, there are techniques to extend its useful life.
A laptop’s expected lifespan is similar to a person’s expected lifespan:
It depends on a combination of factors, including genetics, good luck, and responsible behavior. No matter what you do, there is no guarantee that you won’t pass away too soon or be unable to keep up with tasks that are getting harder.
Additionally, there is no assurance that, if you treat it badly, it won’t endure much longer than anticipated; in fact, you might find yourself hating it in 10 years. I’ll buy a new one if you fail already, you slow POS! With my iPad which was seven years old, I would argue about that every day. (despite having finally acquired a new iPad Pro, I still use it for some tasks.)
My friend’s laptop, which is more than seven years old, still works and does so rather well, for example, which puzzled me. It is dirty, has been flung from perilous ledges by flying cats, baked in the heat, experiences summers with 90% humidity indoors, and its operating system hasn’t been updated in… Never, I don’t believe. The 128GB drive is currently unfilled. Recently, she questioned if she should upgrade to Windows 11. (from Windows 8.1). Picking my chin up off the floor, I said, “I guess she couldn’t; even if it satisfies the requirements, it would probably be much slower than it is now.”
But I have to say that it has eventually been disposed of in that enormous e-waste container in the sky. just because she dropped it an excessive number of times. Recycle it now.
But in the meantime, I’ve gone through at least two computers, one with a swollen battery and another with wiring and a broken plastic issue that made the display useless. They left this world looking almost perfectly presentable. And after a year of working from home, she was forced to return a Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13-inch because of connectivity issues, even though it already appeared rather battered.
In short, it’s a crapshoot.
One of my many, many pieces of “do as I say, not as I do” advice is data backup. However, the longer you keep a laptop, the more irreplaceable data and files you’ll gather on it. And the higher the likelihood that it will break down into e-waste. Therefore, you should make a backup of your laptop before making any changes, including cleaning.
The unspoken rule is that your laptop will crash catastrophically if you don’t back it up. However, nothing will happen if you do. Because the cosmos operates in that manner.
Other easy techniques include:
To reduce the amount of dirt and oils that transfer, wash or sterilize your hands before using them. These may accumulate over time.
If you just sometimes use it, store it in the area with the least amount of dust.
Avoid covering it with fabric or leaving it in any other situation where there is no ventilation when it is on or in sleep mode. (This is especially true for Windows 10 laptops, as by default Microsoft wakes them to push updates but does not ensure that it puts them back to sleep thereafter. Having up-to-date virus definitions is clearly more vital than keeping me from catching fire, but twice my laptops have come dangerously near to overheating while I was in bed.
Don’t leave it constantly charging. It should be noted that depending on the make or type of your system, leaving it plugged in might not be a problem, but occasionally operating it without power allows you to check for any battery or electrical system problems. To determine how worn out your Windows laptop battery is, you can also utilize the software.
Avoid smoking around it. Nothing ruins electronics more quickly.
If you have dogs, you should regularly inspect the adapter cord. Inspect it with your fingertips to check for teeth traces. Although a chewed-through cable won’t harm your laptop because they are made to cease working if the insulation is damaged, the cost of repairing them might add up. If you spot it in time, you can reroute them safely. Furthermore, it’s bad for the animals.
Keep it Clean
But even if none of it affects your system’s long-term health, you shouldn’t wait until the debris has accumulated to the point where it’s nearly hard to remove. It’s crucial to keep the fan vents clean and free of debris.
At the very least, however, regular weeding might make it seem faster, much to how clearing out the clutter can make a space appear larger. And at the very best, you’ll see some genuine performance enhancements, like longer battery life. You might find that you don’t require the memory or storage upgrades you initially believed you did. And if you neglected to remove the Windows bloatware that comes with it
Instead of deleting the drive and starting over, freshening the operating system, which essentially reinstalls it while keeping your data and files intact, is the best approach to make it seem new. You use Recovery Mode in Mac OS. Windows offers two options: Refresh, which allows you to reinstall the operating system while keeping your files, and Fresh Start, which allows you to reinstall the operating system but remove any bloatware that could have previously been included.
That’s what software is. How about the hardware?
Aside from upgrades, the hardware in a laptop remains quite constant. There’s no magic wand you can wave to make your trackpad seem five years younger. One exception is battery life: changing your software settings can significantly improve battery life.
Dress it up.
If you frequently switch between desktop locations, a dock or hub for those external devices is worthwhile. This will reduce wear and tear on the connections caused by frequent plugging and unplugging. It also adds additional ports, which is another benefit that will extend the life of your laptop.
That is, as long as you are okay with opening it up to insert items. Before you begin, make sure to find an update or maintenance guide for your specific system to ensure that it supports your strategy. Additionally, make sure it doesn’t call for pricey, non-standard components that would be more expensive than necessary.
Although external updates are sometimes less effective, they can be simpler and more practical. Or perhaps they won’t have the impact you anticipated.
An external drive is a clear improvement if your storage is getting low. You might want to avoid getting too inexpensive unless you only intend to use it to unload files you don’t use frequently. An external drive that is too sluggish may cause more annoyance than joy. Although it depends on the connection and drive speed, starting from an external drive may also help performance.
An additional performance improvement is the addition of an external graphics processor, or GPU, to increase speed in programs or games that heavily utilize the GPU. However, this option is only available if you have a modern laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 connection. However, this can be an expensive update, and the graphics card and enclosure are sometimes supplied separately, which can be confusing.
If you aren’t already using a newer operating system, you might want to think about switching. Consider updating to Windows 11 if your laptop supports Trusted Platform Module, or TPM, which it likely does if it isn’t extremely old or low-end. In my perspective, Windows 11 doesn’t really contribute much, although it does have a revamped user interface and makes several previously hidden capabilities visible, which can at least give the impression that your laptop is newer.
However, I do not believe that an OS upgrade is a no-brainer. An updated OS may not always be better if your laptop is disintegrating into dust. Additionally, you could lose the ability to use some applications.
As an illustration, 32-bit programs were no longer supported by Mac OS Catalina (10.15) in 2019. Therefore, upgrading would actually be a step backward for you if a program hasn’t been converted from 32 to 64-bit—and there are valid reasons why it may not have been.
However, maintaining an obsolete operating system is generally regarded as poor hygiene as you won’t be receiving the steady stream of viruses, malware, and security updates that modern systems do.