How to Take Care of a Gaming Laptop? (Top Maintenance Tips)

A gaming laptop is not an ordinary machine. It packs power and punch, and that takes a toll on its health over time. However, you can prolong its life by taking care of it. Here’s how to take care of a gaming laptop because you want it to last longer.

Top 5 Laptop Care Tips in 2022

Here are my proven tips on how to take care of your laptop.

1. Monitor the System 

The first thing you wanna do is keep an eye on your laptop’s overall performance. That will give you an idea about its behavior when, for example, you overclock it. Listen to the sounds it produces, the indicators it gives such as that of the temperatures. You should also see if there is any intrusive software, causing any unnecessary ruckus. 

One good way to start is to regularly check the stats given by the proprietary software of your laptop. For example, using the MSI Afterburner should give you valuable insights into the performance of your graphics card, its temperature, and so on.

Once you start monitoring your laptop, it’s time to work on the following to get the job done. 

Delete clutter and organize files

Clutter has the potential to weigh on the overall performance of your laptop. These are the things you don’t need on your desktop – things that run on their own such as bloatware. Look for any software that you haven’t used in the past month or so and do away with it because your chances of using it are still slim. 

Next, organize all your files in a clean manner. Make separate folders for similar things. While it may not seem a big deal, but in the long run, it helps your system deal with one thing at a time. Also, run Drive C clean-up to get your inner files organized.

Perform regular software and driver updates

Now, this is very important if you want your software to run smoothly. Sometimes, not updating them and the drivers put a strain on the system as it tries to cope up with newer demands with their outdated version. Therefore, look for new updates. One way to start it is to keep the Windows Update running. There are certain paid tools out there that do the job of updating your things for you. Certain software asks for an update on its own. You might not want to ignore that.

Do away with unnecessary startup programs 

Some programs start on their own when you boot up your machine. Those that deal with the performance of your laptop such as the MSI Afterburner, Windows Defender, Chrome, and so on are an exception but if you’re letting Utorrent run on startup with other unnecessary programs, then you’re definitely slowing your machine’s boot time. So, either uninstall the unnecessary startup programs or simply block them from using that liberty. To do that, press Alt + Ctrl + Delete and open Task Manager. Then, click on the Startup and choose which programs you want to disable.  

Don’t install software from unknown sources

This is a no-brainer. Installing software from unknown sources has the potential to harm your computer.  You never know if the source has potential viruses or malware/adware intended to override the security of your PC and do unwarranted things. Even if they don’t harm your files, they still take a toll on the processing speed of your laptop. 

2. Keep the Laptop Cool 

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A gaming laptop has powerful GPUs. If you’re playing games on the like of NVIDIA GTX 3080, you do notice how the temperatures soar to 100 degrees and even more. So, you cannot hope to introduce more heat to the system when it is already producing unimaginable degrees. Many laptops come with a built-in cooling system, while others do not. Here’s how to keep them cool.

Maintain good airflow 

When playing games on your laptop, make sure that the vents are working fine. Do check that by opening the proprietary software that controls the fan speed and so on. You may want to increase the speed of the fans when you’re playing graphics-intensive games. Also, always play games on a table so that the vents are working fine. Using a powerful laptop on your lap has its consequences for the heat.

Don’t use in extreme temperatures 

Another way to avoid adding temperatures to your laptop is to avoid using it in extreme temperatures. For example, if you live in South Asia, which is typically a very hot region, you should only use your laptop in an AC room. The same can be said for summer in other regions. The idea is to refrain from using your laptop when you can barely sit on your seat because of the heat around you. 

Keep the lid closed and vents protected when not in use

Dirt and gunk accumulation blocks vents, you know that. The particles can also move through your keyboard keys to sensitive parts. Normally, a laptop’s performance drops by a fair degree when it’s dirty because of all the intrusion of dirt in the performance of the transistors and other small parts. So, when you’re not using your laptop, keep the lid shut and block vents physically from the outside to stop any chance of the dirt getting in.

3. Run Diagnostic Scans

Windows PCs are always susceptible to running into problems because of malware, adware, or any virus for that matter. The reason for this is that it is open to the internet and normally we download a lot of things from unknown sources. Unlike Chromebooks that run web-based apps, some of the Windows apps have to be downloaded and installed. 

No matter how careful you are in that respect, always run diagnostic tests and scans to see if you’ve run into some problem. 

Run windows defender and use a VPN

Windows Defender is your first line of defense against internet-borne and other viruses. Keep it updated and always running in the background because that’s how it keeps an eye on anything fishy. If you can afford a third-party anti-virus program, install it by all means but I sincerely trust the Windows Defender more than any other software. 

Also, I prefer you should start using a VPN because it’s not just our files at risk but also our location and identity. That’s an extra layer of security for your laptop. There are some good VPNs out there to use. I personally use it when I’m surfing or interacting with the outside world. 

Back up files in your cloud or use an external storage device 

Keeping files on your PC is risky for a lot of reasons. One, if God forbid anyone breaches the integrity of your PC, your files could be at risk. Secondly, your SSD could run into problems due to a number of reasons. So, it’s always a good idea to invest in subscribing to Cloud services such as OneDrive or Google Drive. Both these services are extremely reliable and trustworthy. They give away huge spaces for a monthly subscription so you should be good to go. 

However, if you don’t want to use any Cloud services, you can still use external storage devices such as external hard drives and USBs.

4. Shut Off When Not in Use 

The 4th tip on how to take care of a gaming laptop is to shut it off when not in use. When you don’t intend to play games on your laptop, why keep it running? Powerful laptops like yours consume huge amounts of electricity and even though you don’t play games on them, there’s still some background activity going on. Continued useless activity puts your processors at great risk, so make sure that you shut down your laptop when you’re not using it. 

This will also save your battery life. I’m not talking about sleeping or hibernating your machine. I’m talking about completely shutting it down. 

Use an external keyboard and mouse when gaming 

Your laptop’s keyboard and trackpad are meant for heavy usage, but at the same time, you should go a mile to protect them. That you can do by using an external keyboard and mouse. The more often you use external ones, the more life you’d get out of your laptop. That’s for sure. 

Use a power surge protector 

I highly recommend using a power surge protector. Normally, you don’t have electricity power surges but who knows when you do? Besides, there are always minor surges that we do not notice. Our devices are protected by built-in mechanisms. However, in case of a high power surge, you may not be able to save your laptop but only one way – installing a power surge controller or protector. 

5. Perform Routine Cleanups 

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Last but not the least, make sure that you frequently clean your laptop inside out. Please do not do it if you haven’t done it before because you could potentially harm the internal components of your laptop. First, learn how you could do it carefully by watching YouTube videos if you have to or asking a friend for help. It is relatively easy; there’s nothing too complicated in cleaning a laptop but you still need some expertise so that you know what you’re doing.

Clean laptop every 6 months 

I recommend you repeat the cleaning cycle every six months. Doing that every day will surely lose the screws leading to the inside of your laptop. Likewise, doing it after a long would lead to unruly dirt accumulation around sensitive parts. Besides, you’d have to spend more time cleaning the laptop than what you’d spend on when you’re doing it after 6 months. 

Start by carefully unscrewing the bottom and making your way inside. Buy dedicated cleaning tools such as a Philips screwdriver, silk or microfiber cloth, and a water-based cleaning agent such as dish soap or better yet, alcohol. Make sure you don’t lose the screws.

Keep the screen clean and use a screen protector 

You can use the dish soap/alcohol to clean the screen or buy a dedicated glass cleaner. Keeping the screen clean would help you avoid scratching it unnecessarily. I also prefer you use a screen protector. That would help you use your laptop without worrying about hurting its screen. 

Conclusion 

A gaming laptop is a sophisticated machine as I said. It needs extra care because it doesn’t come cheap; its component can take a toll because of the dirt and dust, and unchecked temperatures can hurt its performance, not to mention the burden of unwanted software. I’ve listed all the things you should follow to keep it safe from harm. After all, it’s your laptop and if you won’t’ do it, who else would know how to take care of your gaming laptop?

FAQs – Taking Care of Your Gaming Laptop

Following are some of the frequently asked questions

How do I keep my gaming laptop healthy?

Routine maintenance such as cleaning it from dust and debris, keeping it in acceptable temperatures, and upgrading its hardware and software will surely keep your laptop healthy for years to come.

Do gaming laptops need maintenance?

You should take good care of your gaming laptop and avoid mishandling it since they are prone to wear and tear and require maintenance from both a hardware and software perspective.

How often should a gaming laptop be cleaned?

Cleaning your gaming laptop after a couple of months would be more than enough to keep it in a healthy state and prevent any sort of issues from popping up, sooner than expected.

1. What should you not do on a gaming laptop?

A gaming laptop is meant to be powerful. It can take on any task other than gaming. It lets you edit 4K videos, make music, stream games, and whatnot. However, at the same time, it has its limitations. So, make sure that you do not overclock your laptop when using it. You can check whether you’re overclocking it or not by keeping an eye on the temperatures, CPU, and GPU usage. 
Overclocking it for a long time will reduce its lifespan because the components will receive elevated heat signatures throughout the time, causing them to malfunction in the end.

2. How do I prolong the life of a gaming laptop?

Gaming laptops are made to last longer than traditional laptops. However, they still need care. You should take care of your laptop if you want to enjoy gaming on it for long
I’ve listed all the possible ways in which you can do that. Please give it a read.

3. How do I keep my gaming laptop battery healthy?

Usually, the battery of a gaming laptop does not last long. The components ask for a lot of power, which the battery cannot cope up with. Still, you need to keep the battery healthy because it runs your laptop even for an hour or two. These hours could save your game stats in case your main power dies out because of a fault or power cut. Here’s how to take care of it. 
Do not overcharge the battery. Once it’s charged, unplug the battery, and recharge it when it needs to be. The recharge and discharge cycle keeps a battery healthy. 
Remove the battery when you’re not playing any game. You can still use the laptop corded and that’s actually a good idea. However, make sure that your area does not experience any power cuts or such. 
Make sure you keep all the liquid based materials out of its sight. Spilling anything on it might destroy it. 
Do not drop your laptop more often to not damage the battery physically, which can be dangerous, to be honest.