Laptop Care Tips
After you’ve set up your laptop and followed our Things to Do After Getting a New Laptop guide, the only thing left to talk about is maintenance. We’d want our machines to last as long as possible, hence the need to maintain our machines for them to stay in tip-top shape. We’ll be breaking this down into two categories: software and hardware.
Disk cleanup is a simple tool built into Windows that frees space by deleting unused files. These files include temporary files, files in the recycling bin, etc. To do this, search for Disk Cleanup, select the drive you want to scan and clean, then press OK. After Windows scans the selected disk, a button will show up on the lower left with “Clean up system files” on it. Click on it, and it’ll rescan your system. You can now choose which files to keep and which to delete. You may also click on the “More Options” tab to remove all previous System Restore and Shadow Copies except for the most recent one.
Defragment and Optimize Drives
Windows typically handles this process automatically, set every week. However, there are times when Windows suspends this process should it decide that the user needs more system resources. To make sure that it’s up to date, search for “Defragment and Optimize Drives.” On the window, select each drive and click on Optimize, and Windows will handle the rest.
Back up your files
This tip is more important for laptops with only an SSD than dual-drive laptops. SSDs get slower as they get filled up, so backing up your data not only clears up precious storage space for other files but also makes your SSD perform slightly faster. If you’re working with two PCs, using a Cloud-based storage solution would be better since you can access files seamlessly between the two. If, however, you want to back up personal data, photos, and home videos, an external drive would be more secure.
Update Windows Virus & Threat Protection and run Security Scans
While modern antiviruses such as AVG, Avast, Malwarebytes, or even Window’s Security does a great job at stopping malicious sites or applications in real-time, you might still be at risk. Keeping your antivirus up to date is like giving yourself vaccines. It makes you immune to (or at least, the computer catches and quarantines) all known viruses and threats. Now and then, you should also run a complete system scan to make sure that your system is 100% uncompromised.
Monitor the Task Manager
If you feel like your laptop is slower than usual, then a background process might be hogging your system’s resources. Check Windows Task Manager for anything suspicious if you feel like your laptop isn’t performing as it should. If you happen to see a process that you’re not aware of, Google it first (most of these .exe processes are documented and on the web). Only remove them if they’re suspicious. Otherwise, you might disable or remove something important.
Always put your laptop on something hard
I know how cozy it is to lie on your bed, under the sheets, watching Netflix on your laptop. However, doing so would choke your laptop’s intake fans and limit the airflow that passes through the heatsink – increasing the operating temperature way above what it usually should be. To combat this, put your laptop on top of a book or a hard folder so there’s still a gap for air to come through.
Your laptop’s screen is the most delicate part of the machine. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the dirtiest – with fingerprints, dust, and even bugs! I mean, how many times have you killed a fly attracted to its light? To clean your laptop’s display, only use water or approved solutions on a microfiber cloth. Using strong solutions such as alcohol might damage and dissolve the thin layers on the display, while other types of fabric might scratch it. Take your time and gently rub the screen in a single direction until all the fingerprints, grease, and dirt are removed.
While there’s not much we can do about the wear and tear on your laptop’s keyboard, we can, however, keep it clean. More likely than not, there’s a gap between the base of the keyboard and the keycaps themselves – making it a perfect entry point for dust, hair, and other particles that may harm the entire system. To clean, run a dry microfiber cloth through the top of the keyboard. Like your laptop’s display, using alcohol could dissolve the plastics on the keys. So if you must use a solvent, stick with water. If you feel like a lot of dust and particles have already entered through the keys, spraying the gaps with a can of pressurized air will blow most of them out.
For dust and particles, your laptop’s IO ports are just another hole they can enter through. To prevent dust buildup, put silicone/plastic covers over these ports to keep them clean from dust and protect them rust and oxidation. These covers are relatively inexpensive and can be bought online from Lazada.
Internal Cleaning and Thermal Paste Reapplication
If you notice your laptop’s running a little hotter and slower, it might be thermal throttling. This happens when either there’s too much dust build up inside that it limits the fan’s cooling capacity or the thermal paste that sits between the heatsink and CPU and GPU has dried up. To remedy this, you’ll need to employ an expert because even though there are a lot of tutorial videos out there, taking your laptop apart will void your warranty. Take your laptop to the nearest authorized service center and ask for a cleanup and repaste.
Aside from these, make sure you don’t drop your laptop, don’t smash your keyboard out of rage and definitely don’t punch the monitor when you lose a game. A laptop can serve you a long time when properly cared for and maintained. What are your laptop maintenance and care tips? Let us know in the comments below!