I’ve been a desktop guy my whole life so I was pretty clueless when it came to laptop care. I’ve owned a crappy HP laptop since 2011 but it wasn’t until I had to baby my MBA that I learned I was doing things wrong.
The biggest care tip for laptop users is to take care of the battery. What does this mean? This means properly using, charging and storing of your battery.
Depending on how often you use your laptop, you should almost always run it on battery. Leaving your laptop charging once full is not considered good practice for the battery. The general understanding that I have is heat applied during charging degrades battery life.
If you aren’t a daily user, then you should always run it on battery, then charge it back up when it’s low. The battery needs to be used regularly (rather than on charger) in order to get good use out of the battery. Modern Macs (maybe old ones too) count charge cycles as an indicator of how many times the battery has been depleted and fully recharged.
Here’s a link that shows you how many cycles you can expect out of your Mac. If you notice an unusual drop in the battery health and your charge cycle is low, you may have a faulty battery that can be covered under warranty.
Here are some guidelines I use.
- Daily user: They recommend you cycle (run down and recharge) your battery at least once a week, but I would do it at least every other day since you’re using it frequently.
- Non daily user: Use it on battery all the time. Charge it up when it’s low.
- Charge it up when it hits 20%. Don’t let it deplete all the way. This can permanently damage/shorten its lifespan.
- If your laptop is older, you can check if there is some sort of battery calibration techniques. Some older macs have this I think.
- Never leave your laptop plugged in overnight. This is battery death
since you’re needlessly leaving it “topped up” after 100%.
- If your laptop won’t be in use for a while, turn it off rather than letting it sleep.
- For prolonged periods of non-use, store it at 50% charge.
- Get a widget or app to monitor your laptop. I’m using a discontinued istat Pro but there are others. Good ones will give you indicators on everything from temperature, to your battery state.
Another tip is to clean your vents regularly. Laptops tend to overheat easily and it’s often because of dust in the vents. Use a compressed air can to blow out dust regularly.
If you have any questions or if you have any of your own tips, feel free to leave a comment.
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