How to make your tech gadgets last longer (2023)

tech gadgets

Tech gadgets are becoming increasingly essential in our everyday lives. We use them for everything from staying connected with friends and family to getting work done. But as with anything, tech gadgets can wear out over time.

In this article, we will discuss the best tips on how to make your tech gadgets last longer. We will cover everything from proper care and maintenance to avoiding common mistakes. By following these tips, you can help extend the lifespan of your tech gadgets and save money in the long run.

So here are 10 of the most effective steps you can take to squeeze as much life as possible out of your phones, tablets and computers without breaking the bank.

1. Check Your Battery Health

Consider viewing your device batteries in a similar light as you would car tires – a component that requires periodic replacement. Batteries, akin to tires, have a finite lifespan defined by the number of charge cycles they undergo. Consequently, they often rank among the initial components to experience wear and tear in mobile devices and laptops. Read our comprehensive guide on Easy ways to maintain your iPhone Battery Health to Last Longer.

How to make your tech gadgets last longer (2023) - Check Your Battery Health

It’s worth noting that battery longevity varies across different gadget categories. Typically, smartphone batteries endure for approximately two years, while those in laptops or tablets maintain functionality for three to four years before necessitating replacement. Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit, a platform specializing in DIY gadget repair instructions, shared these insights.

Now, how can you gauge whether a battery demands replacement? Several software tools offer assistance:

  • Apple users utilizing iPhones or iPads can navigate to Settings, then Battery, and opt for Battery Health.
  • Android users can leverage third-party apps such as AccuBattery to assess battery health.
  • For Mac users, a path encompassing the Apple icon, About This Mac, and System Report leads to battery health information.
  • Windows users can avail themselves of BatteryInfoView, an app that facilitates battery health evaluation.

2. Use The Right Updates

Ensuring your phone remains up-to-date is a crucial step to align it with the latest patches and software offerings, ensuring its relevance even as newer models emerge. Operating system updates, in particular, usher in performance enhancements and security enhancements. Consistently updating your smartphone is paramount to maintaining its operational efficiency and safeguarding it from potential security risks.

Nevertheless, exercising caution is prudent. The rationale behind selectively embracing updates is underscored by the fact that not all updates are universally suitable. Occasionally, fresh updates are meticulously tailored for cutting-edge hardware, potentially impeding the performance of older phones. Prior to initiating an update on an ageing phone, it’s prudent to scour online sources for user feedback and insights. This precautionary measure helps mitigate any potential drawbacks tied to upgrading an older device.

3. Clean Them

It’s crucial to maintain the cleanliness of your devices on a regular basis. Accumulated dirt and debris can obstruct vital components, leading to overheating and a shortened operational lifespan. However, exercising caution while cleaning your technology is paramount. When dealing with smartphones, pay close attention to the various ports, and make it a routine to eliminate any lodged debris. On the other hand, for computers, a yearly cleaning of the fans is essential to avert overheating issues.

If you’ve observed that your laptop emits more heat than usual or if the fan operates more frequently and produces louder noise, it’s a clear indication that a cleaning is due. You can employ an aerosol can or a compact vacuum to cleanse your computer fans. But here’s a crucial reminder: avoid any moisture exposure. While wiping your devices with a damp cloth might seem like an option, water can wreak havoc on delicate components.

  • For mobile devices, look inside the ports. Dust and food crumbs easily get lodged inside the charging ports, which causes the phone to charge more slowly. Shine a flashlight into the port for a close look. Use canned aerosol or a sewing needle to remove any debris.
  • For computers, blow out the fans once a year. Opening up the case of a laptop or desktop machine reveals its fans. The fans accumulate lots of dust and hair over time, and the dirtier the fans are, the hotter your device gets. Take a small vacuum cleaner or a can of aerosol to get rid of the gunk.

Additionally, you can read our comprehensive guide on How to Clean Your iPhone Speakers.

4. Get It Insured

At first glance, it might appear to be an unnecessary expense, particularly if you’re striving to avoid the expenditure of acquiring a completely new smartphone. Nevertheless, the significance of smartphone insurance becomes abundantly clear when the need arises.

In our world of increasing connectivity, smartphone insurance has evolved into an indispensable safety net. Regrettably, smartphones frequently fall victim to mishaps like damage or theft. This is where smartphone insurance steps in to alleviate these potential hazards. It serves as a shield that covers the expenses tied to repairs or replacements in instances of physical harm or theft.

Certain policies extend their protective umbrella to encompass unauthorized usage as well, safeguarding against the distressing consequences of stolen phones, such as financial fraud and identity theft. Moreover, these policies often offer data backup features, which prove invaluable for recovering cherished data such as photos, contacts, and essential documents.

5. Protect Them

Should your devices come into contact with moisture or experience an accidental fall, they are susceptible to damage. The pivotal strategy here is safeguarding them, which is precisely why a significant number of individuals opt for phone cases. However, it’s equally imperative to employ a protective case for your laptop. This practice becomes particularly relevant in scenarios where your laptop might undergo an accidental drop or friction within your bag.

For those with a tendency towards accidents, incorporating a screen protector emerges as a wise move. This measure serves to avert screen breakage in the event of device drops, while simultaneously offering protection against unsightly scratches.

6. Free up space on your device

The more space your device occupies, the more sluggish its performance tends to become. To counter this, it’s a smart move to set up a calendar reminder for an annual data cleanup.

For iPhone users, Apple has the iPhone Storage section, which compiles a rundown of apps consuming the most storage along with their last usage dates. On the Android side of things, Google provides a comparable feature known as Files. These tools come in handy for identifying and removing apps that haven’t been accessed in over half a year.

For a quick and efficient decluttering process on computers, navigate to a folder and arrange files based on their last opening dates. This way, you can promptly rid yourself of files and applications that have remained untouched for years.

If the process of purging files appears to be a bit cumbersome, there are some convenient workarounds. Several Android phones boast slots for memory cards, allowing you to load games and videos onto them. Likewise, with computers, plugging in an external hard drive provides a solution for storing sizable files without clogging up your main storage space.

7. Keep your devices secure

It’s not just damage that can cut short your smartphone’s lifespan. Given the significant cost of your device, it can become an attractive target for thieves.

Phone theft remains an ongoing concern that can result in financial loss and the potential compromise of personal information. Taking preventative measures, such as establishing a robust passcode and activating biometric authentication (fingerprint or facial recognition), can heighten the difficulty of unauthorized access. Moreover, regularly backing up your data to the cloud or an external device is a prudent step to ensure the possibility of data recovery in the event of theft.

Cybersecurity Incidents

Learn to protect your devices using MFA, read our article on Understanding Three-Factor Authentication (3FA) for Beginners.

8. Avoid downloading from untrusted sources

Safeguarding the well-being of your tech gadgets involves steering clear of any dubious applications or software. Prior to downloading anything, take the time to conduct research if you’re unfamiliar with it. While the likelihood of mobile phones contracting viruses is low, the possibility exists when obtaining files from the web.

Furthermore, exercising caution with regard to unfamiliar emails or files is imperative to shield your computer. Enhancing your computer’s security involves installing anti-virus software to fend off hackers who might compromise your data and disrupt your computer’s functionality.

9. Prevent exposure to liquid

Water has the potential to wreak havoc on technology, making it essential to maintain distance between liquids and your devices. Let’s take the instance of enjoying your morning coffee – it’s a good idea to do so at a distance from your computer, especially if you’re someone who tends to be accident-prone.

Moreover, when it comes to your phone, it’s wise to exercise caution. When nature calls, consider placing your phone in a secure spot rather than leaving it in your back pocket to avoid the unfortunate mishap of it falling into the toilet.

It goes without saying that using your devices in proximity to water is a recipe for disaster. For instance, if you’re contemplating working by the beach with your laptop, opt for a picnic table away from the sandy waterfront. Similarly, steer clear of using your phone while indulging in a bath, as the slippery environment increases the likelihood of accidental drops.

10. Consider Temperature

It’s a good practice to avoid subjecting your tech gadgets to extreme temperatures – be it cold or scorching heat. Phones and computers aren’t engineered to withstand such conditions. Perhaps you’ve encountered a situation where your phone notified you of an impending shutdown due to overheating when you took it to the beach.

While most smartphones are designed to function within moderate temperatures, either too cold or excessively hot conditions can lead to malfunctions or even complete breakdowns. If you find it essential to have your phone on hand all the time, ensuring it stays within the optimal temperature range is key. For instance, if you’re soaking up the sun, consider placing your phone in the shade. On the flip side, if you’re venturing out in chilly weather, tucking your phone into your pocket, close to your body, can help maintain its warmth.

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