How-To: Maintain Laptop Performance

This article may reference older System Mechanic® features that have been replaced or enhanced in the current version.

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Maintain Laptop Speeds

 Take Care of Hardware

As hardware degrades over time, you’ll need to clean it and replace any broken parts.

Watch Over Software

Using a system optimizer and avoiding malware helps your system run smoothly.

Maintain Battery Life

Keeping your battery fresh allows your laptop to perform well whenever you need it to.

How-To: Maintain Laptop Performance

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. Here’s how to ensure your laptop maintains peak performance throughout its life.

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 three simple rules:

1. 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.

2. Don’t let your laptop overheat

Perhaps the worst enemy of hardware is overheating. 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.

3. 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.

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:

1. 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.

2. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

3. Turn off or limit the 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. 

4. 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.) 
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What is iolo's Whole Home License?

The Whole Home License® is iolo’s licensing policy that allows you to install and keep your software running on all of your compatible devices within the same home. Previously, users were allowed to install and license their iolo software simultaneously on a maximum of three PCs. Under the Whole Home License, a single activation key allows you to use your iolo software on all of your PCs, other than any PCs you use for business purposes. What you need to know about Whole Home Licensing

  • You, your spouse, and your relatives living within the same household may use the same license on any number of PCs that you own which are not used for business.
  • For full legal terms and conditions, see

To install your iolo product on additional PCs:

  1. On the additional computer, download the latest version of your iolo product. Choose from the list of downloads offered here.
  2. Follow the steps in the installation wizard, and enter the same Activation Key that you used to install on your original computer.

You can view the Activation Key on the original computer from within System Mechanic > red menu bar > key icon > Activation Key.