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Can You Leave Your Laptop On All the Time?

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
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    Can You Leave Your Laptop On All the Time?

    Is your laptop on since last evening? Have you shut it down at all? Do you often leave your laptop on until the battery drains out? Do you often find yourself keeping your laptop on for a week at stretch? Now, that is very disturbing indeed, for your laptop of course. Have you ever wondered that stressing your laptop to stay up and running continuously for long stretches could ultimately damage it? Let's find out how true this is.


    The past decade has given us the most awe-inspiring technological innovations. Although, the laptop has been around since more than 35 years, in this day, almost everyone is hooked onto it, thanks to the Internet which is now more popular than ever because of search engines and social networking sites. Everyone likes a portable computer even if you don't really need to carry around. Enter laptops and you have the

    comfort that you need. Take it to the coffee shop and switch on your WiFi or get it for the 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 all the time and then switch it back on. Plus, you have so many windows open; the cool website/article you just discovered (no, we haven't heard of bookmarking or browsing history), or the playlist you just made (we don't want to save it but you want to listen to it) or you just love being logged into your social networking account 24X7. Everyone has got a reason. But, can you leave your laptop on all the time? Are you unknowingly damaging your laptop? Well, the answer may quite possibly be a yes. Here is why.

    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 leave 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 as 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 if you leave your laptop on all the time 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 or just work on something and we often end up sleeping amidst our 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.
    • Remove the battery and let it charge through the adapter.
    • 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 25 minutes of idleness. 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 or device is fragile and if not cared for properly, will malfunction! You can leave 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 equal 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 50ºF

    to 95ºF. 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. It is recommended that you DO NOT leave your laptop on all the time. If you have to, better switch to a desktop computer because they have better heat dissipation properties than a laptop.