Laptops are pretty much a necessity in today’s world. These portable devices are vital for working remotely but also important for school and gaming purposes.
How long can you expect a laptop to last?
You can expect a laptop to last 3-5 years, though this number can increase significantly depending on how well you take care of it, perform regular maintenance, and your storage practices when the device is not in use.
One of the most important things to understand is how long laptops are built to last. And since these devices are designed to be condensed and portable versions of desktops, they tend to be less durable, especially when frequently used.
Though 3-5 years is generally how long laptops last, you can extend their useful life with proper care and regular maintenance.
Of course, you can always opt for a desktop if you want a longer-lasting, less portable device for home or office use.
Why Do They Break So Easily?
Laptops break so easily because they are built to break down over time, forcing buyers to purchase a new one or get parts to repair the old one. Several factors, such as heat exposure, handling, usage, and software, can affect how quickly it degrades. Let’s go into each reason in more detail.
1. Your laptop is getting too hot
One of the best ways to kill a laptop is by allowing it to overheat regularly.
Laptops come with small, built-in fans to keep the units cool, but this will not be enough to prevent overheating if the devices are overworked.
To avoid overheating it, you should never:
- Run the device for too long without a break. If you use it for extended hours and notice it’s starting to overheat, it’s best to shut it down and give it some time to cool off.
- Leave your laptop somewhere warm. Leaving your computer exposed to the sun or in hot areas like a car is a recipe for disaster. Too much heat will affect the function of the device’s internal components, effectively increasing the risks of damage.
- Block the fan when your laptop is on. You should always avoid leaving your computer on fabric surfaces where the fan will struggle to circulate cool air. Therefore, always ensure your fan is exposed for it to function optimally.
Ultimately, allowing your laptop to overheat regularly will significantly reduce its useful life, meaning you’ll need to make costly repairs or purchase a new unit.
2. You’ve damaged your hard disk drive
Another reason your computer might be breaking is hard drive damage.
So what exactly does it mean to damage the hard drive disk, and why will this lead to your laptop breaking down?
However, if your device has an HDD, it’s more likely to get damaged since it’s a moving part and, therefore, more susceptible to rough movement.
To avoid this kind of damage, you must handle your laptop gently and avoid dropping or jarring the device.
While dropping your laptop can lead to hard drive disk defects, it can damage other parts like the screen and keyboard.
3. You’re being too rough with your laptop
Just because you paid a ton of money for it doesn’t mean it’s a metal tank you can mishandle without worry.
Despite your laptop’s appearance, it’s still quite delicate and must be treated carefully.
The leading cause of damage is mishandling through falls or rough treatment.
Not only could dropping or slamming a laptop onto surfaces lead to malfunctioning, but it can also damage the device completely.
To prolong your laptop’s life, you must handle it carefully. This means never leaving it exposed or somewhere it could be damaged.
It would also be best to always travel with your laptop in a padded case.
This bag is excellent for keeping your device safe, is super lightweight, and is made of high-quality fabric.
Packing your laptop alone without stuffing other items inside the bag would be best. Handling it carefully is a sure way to prevent unnecessary hardware damage.
Ultimately, the best way to prolong its life is to ensure it receives as few jarring drops as possible.
When a laptop falls, it can dislodge necessary hardware or even break it, causing irreversible damage.
4. You have been mishandling your charging cable
One of the most common culprits of laptop damage is charging cable mismanagement.
So, how can a charging cable affect its overall function and performance?
As the name suggests, the charging cable powers your laptop.
Therefore, if the cable is damaged, the laptop will not charge as expected, leading to unwanted outcomes such as gradual battery damage.
The best way to avoid mishandling your charging cables is to:
- Never move your computer around when it’s plugged in. If you constantly pick up your laptop when plugged in, it can kink the cable and gradually damage the charging port.
- Avoid pinching your charging cable indoors, behind dressers, or other household objects. If it’s a tight squeeze to plug your cord into an outlet, you are bending your cable less than ideal and should find a different outlet.
- Replace the charging cable immediately when the charging process slows down. When a cable isn’t giving off the right amount of voltage to the battery, it can lead to overheating and gradual battery damage, reducing the device’s useful life.
Ultimately, you must be careful with your cables to ensure you don’t unknowingly damage your laptop.
This means watching for anything that may damage your charging cable and the charging port.
5. You are opening and closing your laptop incorrectly
Hinges are one of the most frequently damaged parts of a laptop.
This is because they are so small, fragile, and used multiple times daily.
While you can’t avoid using hinges to open your laptop, there are a few things you can do to protect its hinges from damage.
How to make sure your laptop’s hinges don’t wear out prematurely:
- Gently open and close your laptop. By maneuvering it more carefully, you will put less pressure on the hinges, effectively reducing the chances of damage.
- Limit how often you open and close it. Opening and closing your laptop less frequently will help your hinges last longer.
- Replace the hinges if they grow stiff. If you notice your laptop has become increasingly challenging to use, consider taking it in for repair and have the hinges replaced before they become too broken.
Hinge replacement costs can significantly range, but the more minor the damage, the cheaper it will be on your wallet to replace it.
It is advisable to handle hinges with care. While repairing hinges might make sense for some brands, you might need to make full replacements altogether.
Fixing hinges as a DIY project isn’t advisable as you can worsen the situation.
For best outcomes, it’s best to leave the repair work to experienced professionals.
6. You’re not allowing your laptop’s fan to breathe
I touched on the importance of allowing your fan to breathe earlier, but I want to briefly describe how important it is to allow your laptop fan to breathe.
Now, what exactly do I mean by letting your fan breathe?
Every laptop has small slots on the side where the fan can suck in the fresh air and spit out old air to cool itself.
However, excessive heat can prove damaging to laptops, so anything that might impede the use of your fan is a danger.
The best way to keep your fan in peak condition is to:
- Avoid placing your laptop on soft surfaces like carpets, blankets, or clothing.
- Please keep it away from dirty, dusty surfaces.
- Move the fan to a flat surface if you notice the fan is struggling.
A laptop fan can easily suck in lint and dust, which, more often than not, leads to a gradual breakdown.
Therefore, if you notice your fan struggling, you should consider replacing it to avoid worsening the situation and dealing with multiple repairs.
I recommend this cooling pad if your device overheats or overworks the fans.
This cooling pad is slim, portable, and has three ultra-quiet fans.
7. You haven’t taken steps to prevent viruses
Computer viruses cannot physically damage a computer; they can, however, ruin some programs that control particular hardware, such as your fan, leading to overheating and gradual breakage over time.
If you’ve owned a computer for over a few years, it’s good to check that your virus protection is updated and that everything functions as required.
Computer viruses aren’t quite as common nowadays, but it’s still important to be vigilant when visiting unknown websites.
Ensuring your computer is fully protected from malware and viruses is a great way to prolong its useful life and prevent premature breakdown.
However, when choosing virus-prevention software, it is best to settle for reputable companies with several positive reviews.
8. You’re not keeping up with your laptop updates
Like viruses, failure to update your laptop regularly won’t lead to physical damage.
However, it can cause your laptop to function sluggishly or crash.
Ensuring your laptop has updated software guarantees smooth function, especially if you take good care of the device.
Pro tip: You should never shut off your laptop during an update as it may malfunction and lead to data loss.