Your Mac was likely a hefty investment that you want to keep running for as long as possible. Whether you bought it new, refurbished or used, keeping your costs down and your data secure and transferrable is always a plus! Your Mac can get damaged, become outdated or just suffer greater wear and tear from extensive use that can take years off its lifespan. There are few tips that can help the system running longer without problems or limited capacity.
The physical side….
The physical machine includes controllers, screen, logic boards, keyboard, mouse and other similar parts. While a keyboard and mouse can be replaced, it may be harder to do that for other components.
The Machine Itself
If you haven’t purchased your Mac yet, be sure to ask about options to configure your system when you do make the purchase. Apple offers a number of configure-to-order details that can fit your needs best, everything from speed of processors and hard drive capacity to RAM.
It just makes sense that the more capacity and speed you give your system, the longer you will be able to use it before you need an upgrade.
Power Source Care
One of the most common items to be damaged is the power supply. Wall power circuits are harsh and can cause a lot of stress on the power supply. Also, the external power supply for laptops takes an even higher degree of abuse that can eventually lead to a failure.
Continued use for power supplies may not be as much an issue as surges and power failures that disrupt the system and result in date corruption or broken components. Be sure to protect your system by turning it off when not in use or using a surge protected power strip or better yet, use an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS).
Laptop users could consider purchasing a second power supply for your system. Additionally for laptops, take proper care of the battery. Best practice is to use your system regularly enough to run through a full charge about once a month to help prevent what is called “dead spots”. This can reduce their overall charging capacity. Do not use them in extreme temperatures and if you are not going to use your computer for a longer period of time, store it with at least a half battery charge.
This might be a no-brainer….avoiding physical abuse will increase the longevity. The Apple is pretty hardy but it is not indestructible. Protect your laptop with some sort of case or cover when traveling. Over time the keys will wear so that the symbols disappear and the surface wears down. You might want to consider a keyboard slip cover or transparent stickers to place on the keys if they show wear.
Be kind to the ports on your Mac. When peripherals are attached, rough handling can cause them to bend or twist and over time may result in it no longer working or not being able to stay firmly connected. They can also short out or fry a component on the motherboard. This, unfortunately, happens easily when fishing around in the dark and plugging the wrong plug into a port.
Be Aware of Your Touch
Taking your frustration out on your keyboard or typing with a heavy hand will wear out your keyboard faster. If it is not working properly, clicking or tapping harder or faster will not fix anything and will only increase the chance of damaging the system. Sometimes multiple presses can confuse the system more and make matters even worse.
Also avoid touching your display. Apple’s glossy glass displays are a little more protected from touching but if you have a matte display it can easily be poked and damaged.
Lastly, having clean hands will help increase the longevity of your system. Keep key surfaces clean and cuts down on the amount of dirt that gets into the keyboard that can block keys from working properly.
Clean Your System
Gently wipe away any grime on the keyboard or around the edges of the display and more importantly, make sure ports and vents are clear of dust or obstructions. Use canned air or a vacuum cleaner to remove dust in the vents to help prevent overheating.
Avoid Hard Shutoffs
Avoid holding the power key or unplugging your system to shut it off if you experience a crash or severe hang-up. This sudden interruption can damage the logic board and components. If you are experiencing regular crashes, consider finding solution resources at the Apple retail store and on its online discussion forum.
Don’t forget to take care of maintaining your system’s capabilities, security and stability. This involves the operating system, software, components and upgrades that are available.
Updating a system is a cinch by going to the Apple menu and choosing Software Update, where the system will check for and then install new versions of operating system software or Apple’s supplied programs like iTunes, iPhoto, or iWork.
Be sure to update any third-party software you have installed and keep those at their latest versions. This will maintain security but also compatibility with OS X.
As you continue to install new releases of OS X and upgrades of your software, it may result in your system running slower. As mentioned above, then it might be time to look at speed upgrades. This will get you up and running faster without having to purchase a new computer.
Back up regularly
Continual backups will keep your Mac experience at its optimal level. Should you face an irrecoverable problem, your documents, settings, installed applications and all of your system’s software can be easily restored or migrated from the backup to a new system, if needed.
Don’t forget, if you should have a computer catastrophe, companies such as Rentacomputer.com offer Apple Computers For Rent.