1. Using Your Laptop on a soft surface – it should always be on a hard surface or cooling pad

Portability of laptops leads to a lot of bad habits, like putting it on a blanket or other plush surface. This blocks airflow under the laptop, and potentially through the laptop (if the blanket covers the fan vents).

When possible, use your laptop on a flat surface , or at least make sure your lap is free of blankets and other things that can block airflow.

Don’t leave it in hot places (like a car on a sunny day) and blow out the dust once in a while, or bring it in for a strip and clean once a year

 

All computers accumulate some dust over time, heating up the components and making those fans work harder.  Cleaning it 3-4 times a year is recommended, but also avoiding build up in the first place.

For example, cigarette smoke and pet fur will exacerbate those problems, and putting your desktop PC on the floor will ensure more of that dust, hair, and debris will get sucked into the intake. And if you have carpet on your floor, you’re probably blocking the power supply’s intake fan. Keep your computer on a desk of elevated off the floor if possible

Secondly, don’t eat or drink near your PC, or at least take some care when you do. No only do crumbs create problems, but we have had plenty of dead laptops and gaming PC that have been brought in due to accidental liquid spills.

Even well-intentioned moves, like cleaning your screen with Windex, can introduce liquid where it shouldn’t be (also, Windex is too harsh for your monitor). Spray your gentle screen cleaner on a microfiber cloth, not on the screen, and don’t go crazy—a little goes a long way.

3. Handling Your Laptop Carelessly

 We have seen people pick the laptop up by the screen, causing it to crack, close the lid whilst something is on the keyboard, we seen power jacks getting destroyed by people being too rough, and laptops tossed carelessly onto a couch

Laptops are meant to be portable, and some can be pretty durable, but the more you abuse it, the more likely you are to damage something. At best, you’ll just have to deal with a worn-out laptop hinge or a crack in the casing. But if your laptop has a traditional spinning hard drive instead of an SSD Drive, tossing or shaking the computer—especially if the drive is active at the time—can even cause its head to dislocate or touch the surface of the disk. It isn’t common, but if that happens, you’re going to have a bad day, especially if you haven’t performed a recent backup. We have a video on how to backup your PC

4, Mismanaging Your Old Battery

You may be degrading it faster than necessary if you always run your laptop down to 0 percent or leave it permanently plugged in

To prolong your battery’s long-term health, it’s best to perform charge it overnight and let it run on battery until it needs another charge,

You should, however, stress out if your battery is swollen. If your battery is bulging so much that it’s pushing against the case of your laptop, creating a gap between the panels, you need to stop using your computer now and (safely) replace the battery, lest you encounter an explosive failure.

5. Disregarding Electrical Safety

Your PC draws a sizable amount of power, and it’s susceptible to damage from power surges—small, temporary increases in voltage coming through the power line. These can happen after power outages, after turning on another high-power device in your home, or an unreliable power grid in your city. The power supply inside your PC includes some basic surge protection, but you’ll get longer-lasting protection from a good Battery Backup UPS

Note that this is different from a power strip, which provides multiple outlets without the protection from surges. Be sure to replace it every three to five years, since that protection wears out over time—if yours is old, there’s a good chance it’s offering zero protection. Keep in mind that surge protectors won’t protect against high-voltage spikes (like lightning), but it can protect you from smaller surges and extend the life of your PC.

 

6. Stressing the Cables and Ports

While damaging a USB port or cable isn’t as dangerous as mishandling the power adapter, it can still cause avoidable damage to your computer. This may seem obvious, but don’t force cables into ports if they aren’t sliding in properly (I once knew someone who forced a USB cable into a FireWire port and broke both).

Similarly, if you leave something plugged in, take care not to bend it—if you have a flash drive in your laptop’s USB port, using your laptop cross-legged may bend the flash drive, damaging either the drive, the port, or both. And with USB ports at such a premium on today’s laptops, you definitely don’t want to ruin one of them.

The same goes for your cables. If you constantly make sharp bends back and forth, you’re more likely to break the connection inside, which can render the cable finicky or useless. Keep them away from hungry children and pets who might chew through the plastic, and when you coil them up, avoid wrapping them too tightly. Thankfully, a damaged cable is cheap to replace compared to your PC, but why waste money when you don’t have to?

7. Wasting Time on Unnecessary Maintenance

Back in the days of Windows XP, when hardware was limited and computers were slow, PC maintenance may have made a difference. But these days, deleting unused and temporary files is unlikely to give you a noticeable speed boost. Many “PC Cleaning” utilities are scams meant to scare you into buying their product—and the free, less scammy ones are still unnecessary most of the time.

Furthermore, certain types of “maintenance” may actually be harmful. Registry cleaners provide almost no benefit, but if they delete a registry entry you actually need, they can actually cause problems. Similarly, these new “privacy” apps that claim to stop Windows 10 from “spying” on you can break certain features without you knowing why.

The internet is full of people confused about why something stopped working, only to find that it’s the fault of one of these tools. You’re better off going through Windows 10’s settings, learning what they do, and tweaking them yourself.

And last but not least… Always do regular backups – Watch this video on how to setup backups

8. Browsing the Web Unprotected

Thankfully, Microsoft’s built-in Windows Defender feature has gotten quite good, after a few years of sub-par ratings. Just leave it on and let it do its job. If you want extra protection, though, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a bit more aggressive with its protection, and I’ve found that it catches a lot of stuff that Chrome and Windows Defender miss.