Our laptops often play a daily role in many of our lives, be it for work, entertainment, shopping, or just about anything else. But constantly using our trusty laptops can quickly lead to a build-up of unwanted files, external dirt, and myriad other things that just make them feel old and worn down. But there are things you can do to remedy this, so let’s get into the best ways to make your laptop feel brand new again.
1. Spring Clean Your Files and Apps
When you use your laptop regularly, it’s easy to aggregate a load of files and apps that you no longer want or need but are still taking up storage space. On top of this, having your documents and images stored randomly without any kind of system can be very confusing. So it always helps to clean and organize your apps and files.
Creating a set of folders into which you can categorize your files will massively clear up your laptop, and getting rid of old images, screenshots, and documents will free up more storage than you’d think. It’s also worth clearing your recycling bin too, as deleting files will often just move them there instead of permanently removing them.
2. Clean Your Laptop’s Exterior
You’d be surprised at how much better your laptop will look after a clean. Dust, oil, and other substances can quickly build up on your device and make it look a little gross, so a quick five-minute clean will make all the difference.
To clean your screen, you need to be mindful of what you’re using. If you have a glass screen, Windex is a suitable option, but if not, you’ll need to use something else. Dish soap is a great option, as well as a small amount of water. But you should never spray or apply anything directly to your screen. Put a small amount on a microfiber or dishcloth (not a paper towel) beforehand instead.
The same goes for the rest of your laptop. Ensure that you avoid ports and other gaps, and make sure you’re only cleaning gently. You may also find that dirt under your keyboard is making some of your keys stick, so check out our piece on how to safely and effectively clean your keyboard if you want to tackle this part of your laptop, too.
3. Add More RAM
We’ve all become frustrated with a slow laptop. Over time, our devices can begin to perform less effectively, but this doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a new model altogether. In fact, adding more RAM to your laptop can noticeably improve its processing speed, and this doesn’t have to break the bank, either.
Depending on how much RAM you want and the brand you prefer, prices will vary. It can cost you anywhere between $10 and $200 to buy new RAM. If you’re confused about what to buy, take a look at our piece that breaks down how much RAM you really need for your device.
4. Update Your Operating System
Operating system updates are there for a reason. They’re designed to improve your laptop’s performance and your experience as a user. So it’s always worth considering updating your laptop’s OS, as this could fix bugs and add new features that can make your device more enjoyable to use.
If you haven’t received any update notification on your laptop, an update may not be due. But you can still check on this in your device’s settings.
The process of doing this differs depending on the make and model of your laptop, but simply typing “update” into the settings search bar should bring up the necessary result that you can use to check for updates. If you’re still in the dark, check out the following operating system update guides:
5. Buy a Laptop Cover
If your laptop is a little scratched or chipped, buying a nice laptop cover could be the answer. Not only can a laptop case cover up any flaws on your laptop, but it’s also a great way to personalize your device. After all, most laptops come in black, gray, or white, so it can be nice to add a pop of color to truly make it yours.
A range of online stores sell laptop cases. You could try Amazon for convenience or take a look at sites like Etsy, where you’ll find more unique and personal products.
6. Remove Peeling Stickers and Residue
It’s pretty common to personalize your laptop using stickers, but they can quickly go from looking amazing to awful when they begin to peel or leave residue after being removed. Cleanly removing stickers from any surface can be a frustrating process, especially when you’re taking them off an expensive piece of tech.
So, if you want to get your laptop back to looking clean and polished, you can remove residue or old stickers using a range of different methods, from massaging them with a solvent to applying heat with a hairdryer. We’ve got a great list of easy ways to remove stickers from your laptop if you want a more in-depth guide.
7. Clean the Fan
Your laptop’s fan plays a crucial role in its performance, as it removes hot air from within and keeps components cool and safe. But, as time goes on, dust builds up in these fans, making it much harder for them to function effectively. So, if you’ve noticed your laptop is heating up easily, you may need to give the fan a clean.
Depending on the laptop you own, the process of removing and cleaning your fan may differ. So, it’s best to look up a method for cleaning the fan of your specific device to get the best instructions.
8. Replace Your Hard Drive With an SSD
While many newer laptops already contain SSDs, this won’t be the case if you’ve had your laptop for some time. If you’re unsure whether your laptop has an SSD, you can look up its specifications online. If it appears you have a spinning disk hard drive, then you can consider replacing it with a faster, more efficient SSD.
An SSD can considerably improve your laptop’s performance (by up to ten times in some cases) and are also pretty affordable. You can grab yourself a reliable SSD for around $70, though this price point will increase depending on its storage capacity, read speed, and brand.
If you want to remove your hard drive and install your SSD on your own, we recommend looking up the specific process required for your laptop model and to check out YouTube tutorials for a visual guide.
Don’t Buy a New Laptop Before Trying These Tricks
Before you head out to buy another laptop, consider the tips above to remedy processing and storage issues, as well as a lacking appearance, in a far more affordable way. You may realize that your laptop is fit to survive for another few years with just a few changes and a little TLC.
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