How to extend the life of your laptop?

How to extend the life of your laptop?

Violet Field inHigh TechJan 15, 2021 4 min read4 views

While the average lifespan of a laptop hovers around 2 or 3 years, it is easy to extend it by adopting good habits.

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In the age of teleworking, laptops have become essential. But the average lifespan of a laptop is sometimes far too short, it turns around 2 or 3 years. However, it is possible to extend its life cycle by adopting good practices.

Avoid the emergency

Experts will tell you, it is better to recharge your laptop as soon as the battery drops below the 60, 50, or 40% threshold, rather than 20 or 10%. Charge more regularly but less battery in your laptop can increase your life expectancy. Charging it before it is completely discharged also helps prevent premature wear because fully discharging a battery tends to damage it. It is also one of the easiest tips to put into practice, so why go without?

Energy-saving at all costs

All the online guides point to the same fact: to reduce the wear and tear on your computer as much as possible, you should activate the battery saving mode - nothing could be simpler since you just have to click on the small battery logo at the bottom right in the taskbar and activate the saving function with one click. However, opting for this configuration will drastically reduce performance, from screen brightness to processor speed. If you want to avoid said mode at all costs, just adopt a few simple practical tips to put into practice once again:

  • When your laptop is not connected, turn off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, if possible.
  • Disconnect all devices that are not in use: external hard drive, webcam, audio system: they also consume your computer's battery.
  • Manually reduce your screen brightness, not as abruptly as battery saver, but by 10, 20, or 30%. This will already have an impact on the autonomy of your machine.
  • If your laptop is over five years old, check whether it is possible to replace its hard drive with an SSD. These are not only much faster (and will give your machine a nice freshness), but they are also less energy-intensive.
  • Remove software that consumes too much. Choose alternatives that consume less energy. Public enemy number 1 here remains Chrome. Google's browser is one of the most power-hungry software on the PC.

Do not keep your PC on the mains constantly

According to Wired, laptops that are permanently plugged intend to die sooner than laptops that are regularly charged/discharged. This is especially true for PCs older than 4 or 5 years. New innovations in the field have reduced the impact of permanent charging on newer laptops. In general, however, a laptop disconnected from the mains should be used. By applying the expert advice to the letter, you will charge your laptop as soon as the battery drops to 40% of its capacity and you will disconnect it from the network at around 80% of its capacity. In practice, however, it is difficult to apply these tips ...

Avoid hot weather

Electronic devices are highly sensitive to temperature. The ambient temperature of course, but also the internal temperature, which can greatly increase when you push a machine to its limits, playing games, video editing, or editing photos in particular.

It is important to note that a laptop will work best in a very cool environment. For this reason, it is best to store it in a cold room (below 12 degrees). If you regularly use it in a room heated over 26 degrees, your machine may age prematurely. Under such conditions, it can lose up to 30% of its capacity in just 3 months. So avoid placing it in direct sunlight when working, leaving it in direct proximity to the central heating and favor the colder rooms for working.

Give it a facelift

In the same way that it is possible to refresh an old smartphone, it is possible to give a facelift to an old PC by reinstalling the OS, cleaning its memory, and replacing its battery. Be careful, however, many laptops do not have a removable battery. On machines where it is possible, it will take a budget of around 40 to 60 euros. On the others, it is possible to try to replace the battery yourself. The iFixit site offers several kits and tutorials - but beware of the mess! Some all-in-one models like the Surface Pro are virtually beyond repair. Having their battery replaced, out of warranty, will cost you a whopping 600 euros.