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Laptop top tips

This week I thought I’d give some advice on keeping your laptop running spick and span.

Your laptop is an advanced bit of kit, worthy of special care and attention. That doesn’t mean looking after your laptop is difficult though as my top tips below should explain.

Dim It
The LCD display on a laptop sucks battery life like you wouldn’t believe. To make the battery last longer when the laptop is not plugged in, turn down the screen brightness to the lowest level your eyes can bear.

Windows laptops include power plans for maximizing battery life, but you can also customise your laptop’s power-management features. Setting shorter times for when the display turns off and when the laptop goes into sleep will help your battery last longer.

Cool It
Due to their small vents, laptops can easily overheat when kept in small cases and using your laptop on your lap can prevent ventilation and make matters worse. Try using a lap desk or a laptop cooling pad that doesn’t conduct heat or block the laptop's vents.

Back It Up
Lots of movement puts computer components at risk, which means that laptops suffer much more wear and tear than desktops. This increases the risk of hard drive failure, so do ensure you back up the data on your laptop to an external hard drive, USB memory stick, or the cloud on a regular basis. Portable hard drives are good for backing up data when you are out and about.

Bag It
If you often carry your laptop about with you, the most useful accessory you can buy is a laptop bag. For maximum protection, it is advisable to buy a bag with a built-in padded sleeve. If you want something less conspicuous place your laptop in a stand-alone sleeve and stow it in your backpack or briefcase.

Acclimatise It
When your laptop is moved from a cold to a warm environment (and vice versa) don't turn it on until it reaches room temperature. Sudden temperature changes can cause condensation and moisture to build up inside the laptop, which could damage the internal components.

Track It
Thousands of laptops are reported stolen every year. It is worth investing in tracking software, such as prey from, which is able to locate a registered laptop once it connects to the Web, thus increasing your chances of recovering your system.