Worried you’re not getting the most out of your IT devices? The average desktop computer has an operational life of around 5-8 years. For laptops, performance starts to suffer around the 3-5 year mark. A laptop running at slow speeds will quickly detail workflows. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to extend the lifespan of your beloved IT devices. Read on for 6 essential tips to keep your IT devices performing well for longer and
1. Keep Your Devices Clean
An easy way to help extend the life of tech equipment is to keep your devices clean. Cleaning your devices regularly will help them last for as long as possible. Computer keyboards and peripherals can quickly become clogged with dust and other debris. While desktop peripherals can ultimately be swapped out for new ones, replacing a laptop keyboard is far more difficult. Compressed air and cleaning putty are inexpensive, but essential for keeping your keyboards pristine.
Internal computer components can also become impaired by dust. If enough dust accumulates on internal fans, your CPU will struggle to maintain the right temperature for optimal performance. To tackle this issue, keep your machine protected with a dust cover when not in use.
2. Install Updates
Regular updates are designed to address inefficiencies in your devices’ software. They usually need to be installed while you’re busy, so attempt to schedule it rather than postponing it. Patches may improve software efficiency or provide virus protection. Keeping your device’s malware protection up to date might help extend its usable life.
3. Watch Out for Overheating
All IT devices suffer from overheating from time to time. Most of the time, temperature levels aren’t a cause for concern. However, if you’re using a gaming machine or running countless applications at once, overworked processors can quickly generate excess heat.
High temperatures put incredible strain on IT devices. The temperature of a desktop computer under strain should never exceed more than 175℉. For laptops, an overworked CPU should never cross the 190℉threshold.
Overcoming overheating is fairly straightforward. The most important thing is to consider where you’re placing your device. To keep internal temperatures as low as possible, [position them in cool spaces and never expose them to sunlight. It’s also important not to cover device vents.
4. Take Care of Device Batteries
This is an issue that most laptop owners have to contend with. The lithium-ion batteries found in most laptop models are designed to last for 2-4 years. This equates to around 1,000 full battery charging cycles. However, many laptop batteries encounter issues long before this.
The good news is that with a little care and attention, you can dramatically extend the lifespan of your laptop battery. Most important is to ensure you’re only ever using a charger that’s designed for use with your device. Ideally, if you’ve purchased a refurbished laptop or refurbished MacBook, stick to the original charger that came with your laptop. If the charger eventually needs replacing, swap it out with an identical model sourced directly from the manufacturer.
Additionally, make a habit of monitoring battery reserves. If your battery is left to regularly reach low levels, it’ll begin to discharge more quickly. Finally, avoid using your laptop to charge secondary devices like phones and media players.
5. Shutdown, Don’t Standby
If you’re using your device daily, avoid hitting standby at the end of a session. Sleep and standby modes can be useful on occasion, but they can shorten the lifespan of your device.
If your device is left plugged in and on standby, you’re exposing it to power surge risks. What’s more, you’re consuming excess energy you don’t need. Regularly shutting your device down will also boost performance, forcing your machine to clear RAM.
6. Time to Invest in a Surge Protector?
Laptops, desktops, and other IT devices are vulnerable to power surges. Everyday issues like subpar wiring can lead to power surges. Meanwhile, power outages and lightning strikes can also lead to power surges. Whatever the cause of a power outage, once electricity is restored, your machines are susceptible to surges.
To keep your data and applications safe, surge protectors are something to consider. Although inexpensive, surge protectors provide invaluable peace of mind. For added assurance, make sure you’re unplugging your devices when they’re not being used.
7. Eliminate Moving Parts with an SSD
Solid-state drives (SSDs) are now the standard when it comes to IT devices. By removing the moving parts associated with traditional hard drives, you can expect faster speeds and improved performance.
Most laptops today come with SSDs. If you’re looking to maximize the lifespan of an existing desktop, think about replacing your existing hard drive with an SSD. They’re particularly useful if your device is suffering from extreme temperatures or slow speeds.
Making Your IT Devices Go Further
If premature death of IT devices is a thorn in your side, take stock of your user habits. Maintaining a regular cleaning routine will ensure dust isn’t causing unseen damage. If your machine is running at slow speeds, monitor CPU temperatures to ensure they’re never crossing the recommended threshold. If your main device is a laptop, consider battery best practice and shift from standby to regular shutdowns. For desktops, swapping our conventional hard drives for an SSD will yield instant results.