The global health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown rules that have followed in many parts of the world have made every business more reliant on digital devices like laptops. With a great number of people still working from home, laptops are serving as ad hoc offices, connecting people and their teams and wider organizations.
With laptops pulling double duty as both utility tools for document creation and management and communications channels to the wider world, any technical difficulties or malfunctions are more problematic than ever.
Besides the increased physical wear and tear stemming from more frequent handling and usage, the functionality, efficiency, and longevity of laptops can also be impacted by usage methods and habits. We at Safebit Solutions have compiled a few tips and tricks to ensure you get maximum usability out of your laptops and minimize the risk of malfunction.
Don’t work where you eat
The first of these tenets seems overly practical, but that doesn’t make it any less viable. Consuming food and drink near laptops will always pose a risk. Besides the more obvious spills that can completely short-circuit them, as they would any non-waterproof electronic device, there are less obvious, but possibly even more pressing concerns.
Crumbs and little bits of food lodged in the nooks and crannies of a laptop, such as under the keyboard, can interfere with its functionality, or attract insects and the like. If the convenience of eating or drinking while using your laptop is too alluring to resist, ensure that you take measures to minimize the risk of spills. Use coasters and plates, and lids for drinks where possible. Also, avoid eating directly over the laptop itself.
Cleanliness is next to godliness
A natural follow-up to the first point is that if or when your laptop does get dirty, make sure to clean it. Bacteria, mold, and other organisms can proliferate in the tiny corners of a laptop and can interfere with its performance. The build-up of dust and grime can be prevented through regular wipedowns with microfiber cloths. For those hard-to-reach spots, compressed air can do the trick.
Clear the vents
Not unlike how organisms need to breathe, machines need ventilation to maintain internal temperatures, especially high-configuration machines like computers. It’s thus important that a computer’s vents be kept open when it’s running. To this end, placing laptops on soft materials that’ll change shape under their weight, or near loose flaps of fabric or paper should be avoided, as these can obstruct the flow of air.
Leaving a laptop plugged in not only consumes no small amount of electricity, but it also reduces the life span of the laptop’s battery. Contrary to popular belief, laptop batteries will not overcharge. However, keeping the laptop constantly attached to power will mean that the battery’s life span when not attached will get lower over time. The best practice would be to unplug a laptop’s battery after it’s fully charged, and only plug it back in after the power has gone below 50%.
Turning a laptop off at the end of the day gives respite to your laptop’s components, such as the ventilation. For Windows laptops, shutting down also gives them the opportunity to install updates.
When turning a laptop off, it’s important to use proper shut down procedure instead of the hard switch triggered by holding down the power button. The latter can lead to files or programs being disrupted or lost.
Updates to a laptop’s operating system and software patches are the equivalent of getting check-ups and vaccine shots. They ensure that laptops are equipped to ward off the latest viruses and malware floating around on the internet, and fix any bugs or issues in its software programs. Regular updates are perhaps the most important measure one can take to ensure a laptop’s longevity.
Now that we’re more reliant on laptops than ever, it’s important that we take care of them in turn. Call Safebit Solutions now for more tips on how to take care of your business's computers as well as other best practices to adopt in this new normal.