How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer


This wikiHow teaches you how to maintain your laptop computer in order to keep it running fast and error-free.

Part 1
Taking Care of Hardware

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Protecting your laptop's hardware is usually a matter of caution. You can avoid the majority of common pitfalls by doing the following: Keep food and drink away from the laptop. Use your laptop in safe conditions (e.g., away from water, extreme temperatures, and so on). Place your laptop out of reach of children and pets.

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Especially if you're particularly accident-prone, having a hard-shell case for your laptop will prevent damage from minor falls or spills when your laptop is shut. You might also want to invest in a specific laptop bag (or a backpack with a dedicated laptop compartment) if you travel often.

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Unfortunately, factory laptop batteries tend to have reduced lifespans, so your laptop's battery life will usually not match the factory estimates. Battery life reduces each time you have to charge it, so consider keeping your laptop plugged into a power cable until you absolutely have to use the battery. Look for these common signs ofbattery trouble. If you have anApple computer, go to the topwhere you see your battery icon.If you click on that icon, itwill actually tell you when yourbattery is starting to fail.Also, if you see the bodystarting to warp on your laptopcase, it could mean that yourbattery is expanding, and itshould be replaced as soon aspossible.Look for these common signs of batterytrouble. If you have an Applecomputer, go to the top where you seeyour battery icon. If you click onthat icon, it will actually tell youwhen your battery is starting to fail.Also, if you see the body starting towarp on your laptop case, it couldmean that your battery is expanding,and it should be replaced as soon aspossible.Look for these common signs of batterytrouble. If you have an Apple computer, goto the top where you see your battery icon.If you click on that icon, it will actuallytell you when your battery is starting tofail. Also, if you see the body starting towarp on your laptop case, it could mean thatyour battery is expanding, and it should bereplaced as soon as possible.Look for these common signs of battery trouble. If you have an Applecomputer, go to the top where you see your battery icon. If you click onthat icon, it will actually tell you when your battery is starting tofail. Also, if you see the body starting to warp on your laptop case, itcould mean that your battery is expanding, and it should be replaced assoon as possible.Look for these common signs of battery trouble. If you have an Apple computer,go to the top where you see your battery icon. If you click on that icon, itwill actually tell you when your battery is starting to fail. Also, if you seethe body starting to warp on your laptop case, it could mean that your batteryis expanding, and it should be replaced as soon as possible.

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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When using your laptop, try to recreate the best possible conditions by doing the following: Make sure your hands are clean before using your laptop. Place your laptop on a clean, dust-free surface. Make sure the laptop is well-ventilated by ensuring that the vents are clear of obstructions. Keep your environment at a neutral temperature. Use a dehumidifier if your climate is exceptionally humid.

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Taking a few minutes to clean your computer of dust, grime, residue, and so on will make a huge difference in your laptop's lifespan. Focus on the following: Keyboard Vents Screen

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Peripherals are items you plug into your laptop; these can include USB flash drives or accessories, headphone or speaker cables, adapters, and even the power cable. Many of these items have specific ports or locations into which they fit, so pay attention to the shape and size of an item's connector before plugging it into its respective port.

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Not only do the insides of cars experience large temperature swings that could damage a laptop, but a laptop (or laptop bag) is an inviting target for a thief.

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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This can push the LCD screen into the keyboard, and may eventually damage your laptop's screen. This includes anything from your phone to books, dishes, or clothes.

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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You may notice that your laptop begins to run sluggishly after a few days of being constantly on. You can remedy this problem by turning off your laptop all the way and leaving it alone for 15 minutes; this will allow your computer's hardware to rest and reset. To turn off your computer all the way, do the following: Windows — Click the Start icon, click the Power icon, and click Shut down. Mac — Click the Apple menu , click Shut Down..., and click Shut Down when prompted.Pay attention to signs that yourlaptop needs maintenance. If youstart hearing noise from yourhard drive or your laptop isslower than normal, you may needto replace the hard drive. That'sa very common problem, becausethe hard drive has constant disksthat spin inside of it. In fact,most computers need their harddrives replaced within 5-7 years.Pay attention to signs that yourlaptop needs maintenance. If you starthearing noise from your hard drive oryour laptop is slower than normal, youmay need to replace the hard drive.That's a very common problem, becausethe hard drive has constant disks thatspin inside of it. In fact, mostcomputers need their hard drivesreplaced within 5-7 years.Pay attention to signs that your laptopneeds maintenance. If you start hearingnoise from your hard drive or your laptop isslower than normal, you may need to replacethe hard drive. That's a very commonproblem, because the hard drive has constantdisks that spin inside of it. In fact, mostcomputers need their hard drives replacedwithin 5-7 years.Pay attention to signs that your laptop needs maintenance. If you starthearing noise from your hard drive or your laptop is slower than normal,you may need to replace the hard drive. That's a very common problem,because the hard drive has constant disks that spin inside of it. Infact, most computers need their hard drives replaced within 5-7 years.Pay attention to signs that your laptop needs maintenance. If you starthearing noise from your hard drive or your laptop is slower than normal, youmay need to replace the hard drive. That's a very common problem, because thehard drive has constant disks that spin inside of it. In fact, most computersneed their hard drives replaced within 5-7 years.

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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If you lift your laptop by the screen alone, you could damage the display or the hinges attaching the display to the base. The display is also easily scratched or damaged by direct pressure, so take care not to place pressure on it.

Taking Care of Hardware on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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One of the reasons your computer's screen will always end up smudged regardless of how careful you are is because the laptop's screen touches the keyboard keys, which have oil, grit, and dust on them, whenever you close the lid. You can cut down on this problem by placing a thin piece of foam or plastic on your keyboard before closing the lid.

Part 2
Taking Care of Software on Windows

Taking Care of Software on Windows on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Out-of-date programs can slow down your computer and cause errors, so make sure you're updating your programs whenever you see the "Update available" window pop up. You can also check for updates manually by opening your program's Settings or Help menu and looking for a Check for Updates button. Downloading the latest version of a program's installer file and running it will also replace the older version of the program with an updated version.

Taking Care of Software on Windows on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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If you're still using Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer on your PC, consider switching over to something like Google Chrome or Firefox.

Taking Care of Software on Windows on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Each running program takes up a certain amount of memory (known as RAM) and processing power, so make sure you're closing the ones you don't want to use. You can force stubborn or unresponsive programs to close by doing the following: Press Ctrl+⇧ Shift+Esc to bring up the Task Manager. Select a program that's listed in the "Apps" section. Click End task in the bottom-right corner of the window. Repeat with other programs you want to close.

Taking Care of Software on Windows on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Having programs and apps installed on your computer's hard drive takes up space, thus creating strain on the hard drive itself. You can remove programs you neither need nor want by doing the following: Open Start . Open Settings . Click Apps. Find the program you want to install. Click the program's name, then click Uninstall. Click Uninstall again when prompted. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the uninstallation.

Taking Care of Software on Windows on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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When your computer's operating system has an update available, it's best to update right away. Not only will doing so give you access to the latest features and support, it will also ensure that your computer is protected from the most recent threats: Open Start . Open Settings . Click Update & Security. Click Check for updates, then allow any available updates to install. Restart Windows to allow operating system updates to install.

Taking Care of Software on Windows on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Temporary files, such as the ones left over from Internet browsing, can clutter your hard drive. You can easily remove them by doing the following: Open Start . Type in disk cleanup. Click Disk Cleanup. Check any box on the main window, including the "Temporary Internet Files" one. You can also click the Clean up system files button in the lower-left corner to see additional options. Click OK, then click Delete Files when prompted.

Taking Care of Software on Windows on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Startup programs—i.e., programs which begin running as soon as you start your computer—are notorious for making the process of starting your computer incredibly slow. Preventing all but the most necessary of startup programs from beginning automatically will ensure that your computer loads significantly faster, thus reducing the strain on your processor and lengthening your computer's lifespan: Press Ctrl+⇧ Shift+Esc to bring up the Task Manager. Click the Startup tab. Select a program that you want to disable. Click Disable in the lower-right corner of the window. Repeat with other programs.

Taking Care of Software on Windows on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Manually deleting files, photos, videos, and other items that you no longer need is essential if you want to maintain your hard drive. You can delete a file by right-clicking it and then clicking Delete.Try programs like Malware Bytesand CC Cleaner to clear outmalware and old files. Both havefree versions with all thefeatures you need.Try programs like Malware Bytes and CCCleaner to clear out malware and oldfiles. Both have free versions withall the features you need.Try programs like Malware Bytes and CCCleaner to clear out malware and old files.Both have free versions with all thefeatures you need.Try programs like Malware Bytes and CC Cleaner to clear out malware andold files. Both have free versions with all the features you need.Try programs like Malware Bytes and CC Cleaner to clear out malware and oldfiles. Both have free versions with all the features you need.

Taking Care of Software on Windows on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Due to Windows' file system, files and other data can become "fragmented" across your hard drive over time. This makes it harder for your hard drive to find the files. Defragmenting your hard drive will reassemble most of these files in their original locations, making your computer run much smoother. Do not defragment your computer if you have a Solid State Drive (SSD) instead of a traditional hard drive. It isn't necessary, and can actually ruin your drive in the process.

Taking Care of Software on Windows on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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It's easy to forget that files you've moved to the Recycle Bin by way of deleting them aren't automatically removed from your hard drive. To empty the Recycle Bin, right-click it, click Empty Recycle Bin in the drop-down menu, and click Yes when prompted.

Part 3
Taking Care of Software on a Mac

Taking Care of Software on a Mac on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Running outdated programs on your Mac can be a security risk. While updating third-party programs must be done from within the programs' Help or Settings menus, you can update your Mac's App Store programs by doing the following: Click the Apple menu . Click App Store... in the drop-down menu. Click the Updates tab. Click UPDATE ALL at the top of the page.

Taking Care of Software on a Mac on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Contrary to Windows computers, your Mac's Safari browser is the fastest option available to you. This doesn't mean you can't use other browsers like Chrome or Firefox, but if you're looking for the fastest browser available, Safari is your best bet.

Taking Care of Software on a Mac on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Each running program takes up a certain amount of memory (known as RAM) and processing power, so make sure you're closing the ones you don't want to use. You can close programs from the Dock by clicking and holding an app and then clicking Quit in the pop-up menu, and you can force stubborn or unresponsive programs to close by doing the following: Click Spotlight . Type in activity monitor. Double-click Activity Monitor. Select a program you want to quit, then click the X icon in the top-left corner of the window. Click Force Quit when prompted.

Taking Care of Software on a Mac on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Uninstalling apps on a Mac is relatively simple: drag the app's icon from the Applications folder into the Trash, then enter your Mac's password if prompted. This will help clear up hard drive space, which is especially important given that many Macs don't have huge hard drives.

Taking Care of Software on a Mac on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Your Mac's operating system will occasionally receive a free update that includes new features, protection against new threats, and error fixes. It's incredibly important to update your Mac when these fixes become available.

Taking Care of Software on a Mac on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Unlike Windows computers, your Mac doesn't come equipped with a built-in, dedicated antivirus program. You can use the free Malwarebytes program to protect your Mac from viruses, malware, and other malicious software.

Taking Care of Software on a Mac on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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While startup programs may not impact your Mac's startup time to the same extent that they impact a PC, you can still shave a few seconds off of your Mac's startup time and prevent unnecessary strain on your computer's components by preventing programs from starting when you turn on your Mac.

Taking Care of Software on a Mac on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Manually deleting files, photos, videos, and other items that you no longer need is essential if you want to maintain your hard drive. You can delete a file by clicking it to select it, clicking File, and clicking Move to Trash.

Taking Care of Software on a Mac on How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer

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Your Mac's Trash doesn't empty by itself, so any files you've deleted will technically remain on your hard drive until you clear out the Trash. You can do this by clicking and holding the Trash icon in your Mac's Dock and then clicking Empty Trash in the pop-up window.