Bad Habits Are Destroying Your PC


We all want our computers to last forever, but if yours seem to die before their time, your habits could be to blame. Here’s some behavior to avoid.   Nothing lasts forever—especially tech—but your computer can last you quite a few years if you treat it well. If your laptop tends to break down earlier than you feel it should, there’s a chance you’re helping it along with some especially bad habits. Here are some of the worst things you can do to a PC without even realizing you’re doing anything wrong.

Leaving Your Laptop on a Plush Surface (and Other Overheating Problems)

Heat is your computer’s mortal enemy. If your computer gets too hot, it can reduce the lifespan of the hardware inside, like your processor, fans, and battery—not to mention make your computer loud and sizzling to touch.

Handling Your Laptop Carelessly

Again, while desktops have the luxury of sitting comfortably in your office, laptops are subject to all sorts of abuse. I’ve seen people pick up the laptop by its display, open the hinge from one side with way too much force, and toss the laptop onto the couch from the other side of the room. (Sure, a couch is rather soft, but one day, you’re going to miss and hit the table or floor, and you’ll be sorry.) I’ve even seen people use closed laptops as a coaster for their drink, which makes me grit my teeth in anxiety.

Constantly Discharging Your Battery

Just because your laptop’s battery starts with “eight hours of battery life” doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way forever. Batteries degrade over time—you may get eight hours on a full charge when you first buy it, but after a few years, that may degrade to six or seven hours. There’s no escaping this decline, but you may be degrading it faster than necessary if you always run your laptop down to 0 percent. To prolong your battery’s long-term health, it’s best to perform shallow discharges, and recharge it frequently.

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 could just come from 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 dedicated surge protector.

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.

Browsing the Web Unprotected

Contrary to popular belief, “common sense,” while very valuable, should not be your only malware protection. Even legitimate sites can become infected with malware, passing those problems on to you, and browsing carefully won’t save you. You need to use antivirus on your computer.