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10 ways to energize your laptop

Extend the life and performance of your PC

Energize your laptop

For many of us, laptops are an indispensable part of our lives. They travel with us to school, to work, and even on vacation, giving us immediate access to the internet and our files wherever we are.

New advances in technology have made laptops so lightweight and portable, they can even double as chic accessories, with a range of colors and designs you can personalize to match your every outfit or mood.

But don’t let the designer covers and colorful keyboards fool you—a laptop is still an investment. And with the right treatment, yours will last much longer than this year’s fashion trends.

Take care of your hardware

The health of your machine relies largely on the condition of its hardware. While you can’t completely avoid wear-and-tear, you can keep your hardware as healthy as possible by following 3 simple rules:

  • Keep your display and keyboards clean. With proper care and treatment, your computer’s display, keyboards, and tracking pad should last for a long time—even longer than the hard drive itself. However, these components can also be easily damaged through careless mishaps.Keep food and liquids away from your laptop to prevent any inadvertent spills or stains, regularly wipe the screen with a lint-free cloth (dry or lightly sprayed with glass cleaner), and clean out the keyboard using compressed air.
  • Don’t let your laptop overheat. Perhaps the worst enemy of hardware is heat. The good news is that hard drives in laptops can be more tolerant of high temperatures than those in desktop models, but even a laptop is susceptible to damage caused by excessive heat. To monitor the temperature of your machine, use System Mechanic’s DriveSense™, which displays the temperature of your drive, as well as real-time data on up to 46 other indicators of drive health and reliability.If the temperature is high, make sure air can flow and circulate around your computer and that the exhaust fan is not blocked. Regularly clean out the fans and inlets with compressed air; these components often get clogged up with dust or pet hair. And consider getting a cooling pad, a laptop accessory that helps reduce operating temperatures.
  • Use a case. Laptops are designed for portability, but it’s important to remember that they’re also sensitive electronic equipment. The everyday hazards that befall laptops—the knocks, the drops, and the spills—can end up taking a toll on overall performance. While most laptop models are quite sturdy, it always helps to keep it in a padded case or sleeve to protect it from the inevitable bumps and jolts.

Take care of your software

The best way to extend the life of your laptop is to keep its operating system and other software in peak shape. To ensure that yours operates smoothly and stably for years to come, you should:

  • Install and update antivirus software. It’s critical to the life of your laptop that you keep viruses, spyware, and other malicious programs from infiltrating it. Your first line of defense is good anti-malware software, and because malicious files evolve and change very quickly, it’s equally important that you have a program capable of adapting to new threats.iolo’s System Shield® not only updates its virus and spyware definitions daily, but also uses Sentient™ Technology, which actively observes and adapts to unclassified malicious attacks using behavioral analysis. With this multi-layered defense, you get the most up-to-date protection available and your laptop stays safe regardless of how threats mutate.
  • Clear out system clutter. Eliminating clutter is one of the simplest and yet most effective tasks you can do for your laptop’s health: regular de-cluttering prevents unneeded files from building up and needlessly draining your it’s resources.System Mechanic’s PC Cleanup PowerTool™ gets rid of all the digital debris with the click of a button, instantly freeing up valuable memory resources and improving the overall performance of your laptop. Read more about how getting rid of computer clutter helps maintain PC health.
  • Keep your PC tuned. Over time, it’s common for laptops to accumulate issues that undermine their stability—obsolete settings, unnecessary startup commands, and registry bloat, to name a few. To combat this everyday wear-and-tear, run System Mechanic tune-ups, which identify and fix the problems that inevitably crop up over time.At the core of System Mechanic’s tune-up and repair tools are Tune-up Definitions™, which provide intelligence about how specific programs, services, and settings cause errors and impact performance. Best of all, Tune-up Definitions are updated every week, so System Mechanic is kept agile with the most current repair data available. Read more about how Tune-up Definitions keep your laptop running smoothly.

Maintain battery life

The more life your battery has, the better—particularly when you’re on the go and it’s almost impossible to find an electrical outlet in a busy airport or coffee shop. To maximize your laptop’s battery power, you should:

  • Avoid extreme temperatures. Neither extreme cold nor extreme heat is good for the battery—but heat is especially damaging. Leaving your laptop in a car on a hot day or otherwise exposing it to extreme heat can cut the life of your battery in half, if not kill the battery altogether.
  • Put your laptop into “sleep” or “hibernate” mode when you’re not using it. Configure your it so that it powers down after being idle for a set amount of time—this conserves a great deal of battery power. Laptops typically offer a “sleep” (or “standby”) mode and a “hibernation” mode.
    • With a sleep mode, power is suspended from the display and from most, but not all, system operations. When you return, you’ll be up and running quickly, but your laptop still will be drawing some energy from the battery pack.
    • With a hibernate mode, your laptop is not using any battery power at all. Of the two modes, hibernate saves the most energy, but the time it takes for everything to power up will be a bit longer; this mode may be ideal for when you’re away from it for a long period of time.

     

  • Turn off or limit use of power-draining processes. There are a number of small changes you can make to cut down on the amount of battery power your laptop uses: for example, you can dim the brightness of the screen, turn down the sound, and turn off the WiFi feature when you’re not web surfing. The basic rule of thumb is: if you’re not using it, turn it off. Read more useful (and eco-friendly) energy-saving tips.
  • Beware of energy-hogging background programs. Some PC maintenance programs run their system checks while you’re working on other projects: this processing can not only slow you down, but can drain energy away from your battery right when you need it the most.

System Mechanic takes a different approach—its automated, patented ActiveCare® technology goes to work when your PC is on but not in use, combining state-of-the-art system protection with a light energy footprint. ActiveCare also has unique features designed especially for laptop users: from the Options window, you can set ActiveCare to not start when your machine is running on battery power. (You can also control settings based on specific time frames, CPU usage thresholds, and more.) Read more about how ActiveCare works.

iolo UptoSpeed

UpToSpeed™ is iolo's ongoing article series written by PC experts for everyday computer users. Each article is packed with easy tips and practical advice on the latest issues affecting computers to help you get the most out of your PC.






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