Money tends to be tight when you’re a student, and the last thing you need is to have to foot the bill for a new laptop halfway through your studies. While every computer has an expiry date, there’s no need to leave your laptop’s purely down to fate, as there’s plenty of simple things you can do to prolong its life. Read on for our pick of the top four.

Protect its exterior

If you often throw your laptop in your bag before heading off to university or the library, it can pick up bumps and scrapes that could cause more than just superficial damage. Making the small investment in a padded case or bag specifically designed to hold your model of laptop will ensure you’re never met with a cracked screen when you sit down and open up your computer.

Be smart about its battery

You’ll find plenty of contradictory advice online about exactly when and how you should recharge your laptop in order to get the best Ultrabook battery life. However, PC Mag set the record straight, explaining that charging your laptop to just 80% or leaving it on the charger for as long as possible is outdated advice now that modern laptops run on lithium-based batteries. Instead, they recommend that you let your laptop’s battery drain completely as often as possible in order to prolong its life.

Don’t let it overheat

There isn’t much that causes more long-term damage to a laptop than frequently allowing it overheat. This could be caused by the vents on the side of your laptop being blocked with dust, so you should be sure to give your laptop a clean every few weeks to prevent a build-up.

When using your laptop, you should also be careful not to block its vents, which can often happen if you’re using it on a pillow or duvet. To prevent this, use it on a table or desk as often as possible.

Reduce the number of programs that open on start-up

If your laptop takes an age to start, it be tempting to resign it to the scrap heap and buy a new one. However, before you jump to this conclusion, there’s plenty of simple things you can do to improve your computer’s performance.

In their guide to speeding up a slow computer, LetUsFixIT explain that one of the most effective ways to improve the performance of an aging laptop is to reduce the number of programs that open when it starts up. This simple fix only takes a few minutes, but could speed your computer up so much that you won’t have to shell out for a new one to make it through your studies.

So, there you have it — our four top tips for prolonging the life of your laptop. Stick to these and you might just save yourself hundreds of pounds over your time as a student.