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Can You Leave Your Laptop On All the Time? Here’s The Real Answer
It’s the truth with anything that runs on electricity – where there’s a current, there’s things getting heated. Even with all the cooling systems functioning, your laptop is going to get hot. So leaving it on for too long will cause some problems in the hardware.
Laptops give you the comfort that you need. Take it to the coffee shop and switch on your Wi-Fi or get it for an academic/business presentation, we all need a laptop. The motto is; if you can afford it, you will buy it. So, what’s the deal? The only problem is that we have become a little too comfortable with its use.
To be more direct, we use it way too much and it stays on all the time. We love to stay connected even if we don’t need to because who likes to shut down the laptop and then switch it back on every time you do need it.
Plus, you have so many windows open; the cool website/article you just discovered (no, we haven’t heard of bookmarking or browsing history, now have we?), or the playlist you just made (who wants to save it because you just want to listen to it right now) or you just love being logged into your social networking account 24×7. Everyone has got a reason.
Why is it Bad to Leave Your Laptop On All The Time?
Your laptop is pretty much a lean version of a desktop PC and, hence, it contains all the components; CPU (Central Processing Unit), RAM (Random Access Memory), battery, speakers, hard drive, CD/DVD drive, LCD and keyboard within the same body.
This leaves little space between the hardware parts and they heat up easily, even though a laptop has an inbuilt cooling fan. It is not safe to keep your laptop on all day long because when you do that, you are most likely to also keep it plugged in for that duration to prevent the battery from draining out.
Excessive charging causes overheating, leading to heating up of all the hardware components of your laptop, especially the motherboard and CPU.
When your CPU cannot withstand the heat, it will automatically shut down as an emergency measure without following the proper procedure of shutting it down. This causes software problems and such frequent occurrences can slow down your laptop and increase instances of no response (freezing), ultimately leading it to crash!
It is not worth it, just to save time on starting the operating system and re-loading the programs. It only takes about 2-3 minutes to do so.
Since your laptop is essentially made of metal, it is likely to change its properties due to changes in temperature, especially in high temperatures. The hardware components made of metal will expand slightly causing further problems in the design mechanics of the laptop.
Also, if you leave the laptop on all the time, it will negatively impact its battery. You will find your battery quickly draining out within a week of overuse, that is, when you are keeping your laptop plugged in all the time. It will also degrade the memory from overuse making it worn down.
Every time you shut down or cold boot your laptop, it wipes out the previous program logs from the memory so it is not overloaded with data. Hence, if you leave the laptop on all the time, it will reduce its lifespan due to internal heating and stress on the hardware and software.
What Should You Do?
A lot of us are used to bringing the laptop to the bed, like it is our bedtime lullaby, to watch a movie or listen to a playlist or download files and we often end up sleeping amidst the activity. Here is how you can minimize the damage to your laptop if you need to leave it on all day or all night long or you tend to do it out of habit.
➦ Use a laptop cooling pad.
➦ Disconnect the power.
➦ Put it on sleep mode if you can.
➦ Do not run too many programs simultaneously.
➦ Don’t use it on the bed as it causes overheating.
➦Place your laptop on a heat-resistant surface.
➦ Change power management settings to automatically switch to sleep mode, after 15 minutes of idleness.
➦ Remove the battery and let it charge through the adapter. However, this is not appreciated much as any fluctuation in power supply will also stop the power supply to your laptop. With no backup, it will shut down immediately.
Any electronic equipment is fragile and if not cared properly, will malfunction! You can keep your laptop on all the time, but overuse will damage your laptop. If you have left it on for more than 8 hours, give it rest or at least a 2 hour cooling period by shutting it down, so that it functions at its most optimum level. You will also be saving energy.
Laptops can withstand only a temperature between 50 ºF to 95 ºF. It is an absolute myth that switching your laptop on and off frequently will damage it! You must know how to care for your laptop to minimize damage from heat and other factors. If you have to keep it on, better switch to a desktop computer because they have better heat dissipation properties.