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How Long Should a Laptop Last?

Mar 21, 2022

Laptops are great for staying connected and being productive while on the go, but how long do they last? And how can you make sure your laptop lasts as long as possible? Read on, as we answer all your questions about the longevity of laptops.

Life Span Depends on How You Use It

Laptops have a wide range of life spans, depending on how you use them. If you only use your laptop for light web browsing and email, your machine could last five or more years. But if you’re using your laptop for more intensive tasks, such as gaming or video editing, the computer may only last a couple of years. The tasks you use it for — along with how well you take care of it — will play a major role in how long your laptop lasts.

How to Extend the Life of Your Laptop

So, what can you do to extend your laptop's life and make sure you get the most out of your investment? Here are ten tips to keep your machine running strong.

Keep Your Laptop Cool

Laptops can develop a number of issues resulting from excessive heat. If your laptop is overheating, you may experience sluggishness and other performance issues — or worse, permanent damage to your laptop's internal components. Making sure that you’re limiting your laptop from overheating can have a drastic impact on its lifespan and how well it functions.

Keep Your Laptop Clean

One of the most important ways to keep your laptop running smoothly is to keep it clean. Dust and other debris can build up over time and cause your laptop to run slowly or even crash. Cleaning your laptop regularly can help prevent this from happening.

There are a number of ways to clean your laptop. You can use a soft cloth to wipe down the screen and exterior; a small vacuum cleaner with the appropriate attachment can be used to clean out the keyboard and interior. Also, be careful when drinking liquids around your laptop as liquids inside the laptop is an extremely common way for laptops to become damaged.

Store Your Laptop Properly

If you plan to put your laptop away for an extended period of time, make sure you’re storing it properly. Keep your laptop in its carrying case when not in use to protect it from scratches or other damage. Also, make sure not to expose your laptop to excessively cold or hot environments, as this can permanently damage the internal components.

Use a Surge Protector

Power surges are another of the most common causes for damage to laptops. If you’re using your laptop at home, make sure that you use a surge protector. This will help protect your laptop from any power issues caused by storms or other electrical problems in your area. A surge protector will also help you avoid losing any data stored on your computer.

Adjust Computer Settings

If you notice your laptop running slowly, take a look at how the settings on it are configured. Having too many applications open at once, or having your screen brightness set too high, can cause your computer to run more slowly — and also decrease how long the laptop lasts. Adjusting these settings will help fix any performance issues and keep your computer running smoothly.

Get Rid of Programs You Don't Use

Having too many programs downloaded onto your computer can put unnecessary strain on the hard drive, impacting how long the laptop lasts. Make sure you’re only keeping the programs that you are currently using on your laptop, and that you periodically delete any old programs you aren't using anymore. This will not only extend the life of your laptop, but it will also help keep your computer running quickly.

Shut It Down

If you’re not going to be using your laptop for an extended period of time, make sure you shut it down. Leaving your computer on all the time will cause it to build up heat, which could decrease how long it lasts. Shutting down your laptop when you're not around is one of the best things you can do to keep it running smoothly.

Keep It Clear of Viruses

Computer viruses are yet another way to decrease the useful life of your laptop, so make sure you’re keeping your laptop clear of any viruses. By getting rid of suspicious and corrupted programs, you’ll ensure that your laptop is running properly and that nothing is slowing it down. The best way to eliminate any viruses is to scan your laptop regularly for any such programs; if you do come across any, get rid of them as soon as possible.

Utilize Cloud Storage

Having a large number of documents or files saved directly to your computer can cause unneeded strain on the system and decrease the life of your laptop. Investing in cloud storage can provide relief to your computer and make it easier for you to free up much-needed space. Not only will this ensure that your laptop doesn't slow down, but it will also help extend how long it lasts.

Update Computer Software

Just like any other program, your computer software will eventually become outdated. If you want to ensure your laptop is running properly, always make sure you’re using the latest version of software by regularly checking for updates and downloading them when they become available. If you make this a regular part of how you care for your laptop, there’s no reason your machine shouldn't last a few years.

What to Do if I Need a New Laptop

If you determine that your laptop is too old and is no longer worth the cost to repair it, then it’s probably time to start looking for a new one. Acima can help you get a new laptop with our lease-to-own* solutions that can increase your shopping power and get you the laptop you need from a name-brand electronics retailer. We’ll purchase the laptop you select from the retailer, up to your approval amount, and lease it to you.

Common Questions about Laptops:

How do you set up dual monitors with a laptop?

When attempting to set up dual monitors on a laptop, the first thing you need to do is make sure your video card supports dual monitor output. Once you’ve confirmed this, all you need to do is plug in an extra monitor and configure how the monitor appears within your computer’s settings. If you have specific questions about how to connect the monitor to your laptop, a quick Google search will often provide the specifics for your situation.

Is a laptop a PC?

All laptops are technically considered PCs. PC stands for “personal computer,” and a laptop is just a type of personal computer. However, in everyday usage, the term “PC” has come to denote a computer that runs the Windows operating system. Thus, within this more common usage, an Apple® laptop (for example) would not be considered a PC.

Can I connect my AirPods® to my laptop?

Yes, AirPods can be connected to your laptop. You’ll simply need to follow the directions that come with your AirPods to connect them over Bluetooth® to your laptop.

How do I measure a laptop screen?

Laptop screens are generally measured diagonally from left to right, not horizontally. Note: The laptop screen size does not include the display frame, also known as the bezel.