In today’s digital world we depend on our computers for work as well as entertainment. A good computer can be a large investment so it pays to invest in its maintenance because a well-maintained computer will be more reliable, perform better and last longer.
The lifespan of a computer can vary depending on various factors, such as the quality of its components, how well it is maintained, and how it is used. In general, a desktop computer or laptop can last anywhere from 3 to 7 years or more. Here are some things you can do to enhance the life of your computer.
Laptops are designed to be portable and therefore are at risk of being dropped or damaged whilst on the move. Whether you are commuting on the train or moving around the house a protective case can help safeguard against damage. You can get skins which are a lightweight protection, a hard shell snap on cover for use in more rugged situations or a soft sleeve made out of microfibre for lightweight protection or even better a laptop messenger bag which provides a safe way of carrying it.
Clean your computer
It may seem obvious but keeping your computer clean can extend it’s life significantly.
Dust and dirt when caught between the keys and other moving parts can cause problems with how the computer operates. Clean your computer regularly and cover it when you’re not using it to prevent debris building up. Use canned air to clear out any dirt, especially from fans because if these get blocked their ability to cool down the computer decreases, which then raises the risk of overheating. When cleaning computer screens, only use the appropriate screen cleaners. Never use window cleaners because they contain ammonia, which can dull and damage the screen.
Be careful whilst eating and drinking near your computer as food particles can get stuck between the keys on your keyboard, making it difficult to type, and spilling drinks on your computer can cause it to short circuit.
Your computer won’t last forever, but making sure you keep it cool is an integral part of extending the life. Dust can clog fans and ports which reduces airflow and forms a “blanket” on internal components that traps heat, and prevents hardware from maintaining a solid connection.
As well as ensuring that your fans are clean and working it is also important to avoid exposing your computer to extreme temperatures or humidity: Keep your computer in a cool, dry place and avoid placing it in direct sunlight or anywhere that blocks airflow. If you’re using a laptop avoid placing it on your lap or on top of a blanket and if you ever feel your laptop getting hot, it’s best to close all of the programs you’re not using or shut it down to enable it to cool down.
Technology evolves rapidly so the lifespan of a computer can be affected by its ability to keep up with new software and hardware demands. For example, a computer that was built 5 years ago may struggle to run modern applications and operating systems such as Windows 11. In some cases, replacing certain components, such as the hard drive to an SSD (solid state drive) or memory (RAM), can significantly improve a computer’s performance and extend its lifespan.
Always use original parts that correspond with the serial number of your computer. Non-authorised sellers may seem cheaper but often cause problems further down the line that can be expensive to fix.
Ensure regular updates
Regularly update your operating system and software to ensure that your computer is running the latest and most secure versions. Ideally enable automatic updates or use our Bronze Plan that will ensure third party software is being updated and hasn’t been interrupted by a computer glitch. Updates to your computer’s drivers is also important and can overcome issues, enhance functionality, and increase stability. If you notice that your computer is beginning to lag when running larger programs, it may be due to an out-of-date driver. Ensuring that your computer is regularly updated will help keep your computer running smoothly and securely.
Safeguard from cyber threats
Install a good anti-virus and anti-malware software such as ESET or subscribe to our Bronze Plan that will also keep your software up-to-date and will ensure your computer is safe from cyber-attacks that can compromise your data or your system as a whole. It is not just the longevity of the physical parts of the computer but ensuring your software is up-to-date and protected.
Remove unwanted files and programs
Over time computers can often get clogged with useless programs, junk files and old and unwanted versions of software. If too many unwanted files accumulate it can add stress to your computer by taking up space and slowing it down. If you want to purge your PC of unnecessary files and programs carry out the following:
- Uninstall trial and unwanted software
- Run disk cleanup
- Delete temporary files
- Clear website browser cache
- Empty the recycle bin
Shut down your computer properly: Always shut down your computer properly instead of just turning it off. This helps ensure that all programs and processes are closed correctly, which can prevent data loss and other issues.
Also ensure that when your computer requests a restart that this is done.
If you look after your computer it will perform better and last longer. By investing in the proper maintenance of both the physical parts and the software inside, you’ll be able to enhance the longevity of your computer and avoid expensive computer repairs or even the cost of replacing it altogether.