This post contains affiliate links. We earn from qualifying purchases without any added costs to the buyer.
“How long does a laptop last?” This is a question commonly asked on various online forums, especially by people who want to buy a new laptop.
So will a new laptop last 5 years? Or is it 7 years? Or can it last a decade?
I literally saw one participant on a reddit forum suggest this:
I typically like to keep one 6-12yrs
Is this even practical? Can laptops last this long? Well! We are about to find the answer in this blog post. Read further to lean more.
How Long Does a Laptop Last Before Replacement?
On average, good laptops from a reputable brand can last for about 5-6 years (but can also last longer than this) depending on its price range, how frequently you use it, how you use it, and how you maintain the laptop.
Usually, manufacturers use high-quality components to design premium laptops. That’s the reason why these laptops can go up to 7 years with proper use and maintenance.
Budget to mid-range laptops can last up to 3-4 years depending (again) on how you use them.
But one question normally comes up after this:
How Long Do Laptops Last with Heavy Use?
Let’s say you want to use the laptop for gaming, video editing, or 3D rendering. These are examples of tasks that require a lot of processing power. How long do you expect the device to last?
That, again, depends on the quality of components used to manufacture the laptops. Heavy tasks, such as gaming, require a lot of power to process the graphics and sound – unlike when you are browsing or using a word processor. The heat produced causes these components (GPU, CPU, and the RAM) to wear and tear over time, which reduces the laptop’s durability.
A gaming laptop – for instance, can last for 3-5 years if you use it for intense gaming and depending on whether it has quality components or not. You’ll also need to replace the laptop’s battery after 2 years.
Laptops used for video editing and programming may also last 3-5 years.
Note: From our research, we noticed that business laptops often last longer than gaming laptops since most office tasks ( i.e. presentations, generating reports, & documentation) don’t require a lot of processing power.
Want to know more about Macbooks? Click on this link.
For more information on How Long a Gaming Laptop lasts, click on this link.
Can You Extend a Laptop’s Durability?
We cannot really put a cap on the number of years laptops will last. Based on our research, the 5-year-limit is just an estimation. Hence, it’s good to note that reliable laptops may last for several years after the 5 year limit with proper care and maintenance.
How Do You Maintain Any Laptop to Increase Durability?
Regardless of how durable your laptop may seem, you can increase or decrease its durability depending on 3 fundamental things:
- How you intend to use the device
- Frequency of use
- How well you take good care of it
So, upon purchase, there are several things you can do to increase durability:
1. Keep it Cool
Laptops usually generate heat as you use them. This occurs because internal components heat up during intensive processes such as gaming or coding.
If you want these components to last long, you have to ensure that the device doesn’t overheat. In essence:
- Place it on a flat surface such as a desk. Don’t place it on a couch or pillow to avoid blocking the ventilations
- You can also invest on a good cooling pad such as the havit HV-F2056 15.6″-17″ Laptop Cooler Cooling Pad
- If the fan is loud or is overheating, give it time to breathe. You can also lower your game setting to give it time to cool it
- Use it in the right environment. According to a research by Hampshire College, a safe temperature range for using laptops should be between 10 – 35 degrees C or 50 to 95 degrees F
- Clean the fan regularly. (Here’s our tutorial on how to clean a laptop fan)
Note: If you are looking for a laptop that you can use in harsh environments (like deserts and cold areas), a rugged laptop could be the best option for you. One we can recommend is the Dell Latitude 5000.
2. Update Software Regularly
The next thing you need to ensure that you do is update software regularly. Doing so prevents bugs or viruses from corrupting important programs and hardware in your computer.
HP, one of the largest manufacturing brands, suggests using updated software also enhances security and protects from data breaches. You can read more about this here.
To achieve this, ensure that you:
- Reinstall your OS at least once a year to start a fresh and delete viruses that may be hiding in the device
- Uninstall software that you no longer use
- Avoid websites that have a doubtful reputation, according to Asus
Here’s a helpful resource you could use to know more about computer viruses and how to avoid them.
3. Optimize Your Laptop’s Battery Settings
Either way, your battery will degrade with time. However, you can increase its longevity by:
- Optimizing your battery settings (this depends on the brand)
- Don’t let your battery charge drop to 0%
Note that you can leave your laptop plugged in all the time. It will not affect the battery’s life because modern laptops usually have a way of stopping charge from getting into the battery once it’s completely full.
More on this: Can I leave my Laptop Plugged in all the time?
You can also check out this video on more tips of increasing your laptop’s battery life:
4. Store Your Laptop Properly
Another thing you need to do is consider where you’ll be storing your laptop. Those who carry their laptop while travelling quite often should consider buying a laptop bag that will protect it from adverse weather conditions.
While using the laptop at home, keep it on a surface that’s not dusty and moisture; otherwise,crucial components such as the motherboard might begin to rust.
- Keep it away from food and drinks
- Don’t stack several laptops together when storing them
- Ensure that the ventilations are never blocked during storage
- Use appropriate cleaning products to clean your laptop
- Use appropriate cleaning products: Here are a few cleaning kits you can buy.
Here’s a guide on how to clean a laptop properly from HP.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Laptop
Once the 5-year- limit reaches, here you signs that warrant you to find a new laptop.
- Your laptop is slow
- It crashes regularly
- It shows error messages frequently
- The battery life is shorter than before
The good thing about the laptop niche is that manufacturers keep on releasing new laptop models that provide better processing speeds, better graphics, and improved battery life than the ones in the market.
Hence, your old model could be having a difficult time handling such software, especially for a gaming laptop.
At this point, you’ll have two options: You can choose to upgrade the hardware components if you don’t have a budget for a new laptop or you can simply buy a new laptop.
- Not all laptops are upgradable. So, consider upgradability before you buy a laptop
- Once your laptop gets to 5 years, you don’t need to buy a new one if it still fits your needs
- If any of the components fails, consider buying a new laptop if the repairing costs are high. For instance, if the laptop needs a new battery, but everything else functions properly, finding a battery replacement would be better than buying a new one. But if you need to use your old laptop for gaming but it’s specs doesn’t support the gaming software, buying a new one is better than upgrading the old device.
Wrapping it Up
There you have it! As you can see, taking good care of your laptop increases its lifespan. Note that if it cannot handle your software needs after the fifth year of use, buying a new device would be the best solution than upgrading it.