back to top

21 Ways To Make Your MacBook Last As Long As Possible

Make your $2k investment outlive your student loans.

Posted on

1. If you have an older version that doesn't come with a solid-state drive, GET ONE.

If you're on a tight budget and you're not concerned with speed or extending the life of your laptop, then keep the hard drive. But if you want something that will improve your laptop's performance, get a SSD. It also makes your laptop much more durable in case you ever drop it.

Check out these options here: $44 and $140. If it's your first time installing, it's best to have a specialist install it.

2. Avoid filling up your drive to full capacity.

Dave Fothergill / Via

Keep 5-10% of your drive free because when you fill it all the way up, your precious laptop slows down. After you run out of space, your drive has to keep re-writing and re-organizing new data, which is just frustrating and something your computer doesn't want to do. Keep your investment happy.

3. Restore your laptop to its original state every year.

1) Backup your entire computer and also make sure to de-authorize any apps because after wiping everything out, your computer will be recognized as a **new** computer.

2) In order to install a clean version of the latest OS, make sure you have a bootable USB El Capitan install drive ready to use.

3) Insert your flash drive, reboot your Mac, select your flash drive, and select Disk Utilities under OS X Utilities.


6. Don't leave your charger on continuously.

Keeping your charger plugged in all the time kills your battery because you need to keep the electricity moving. Unplug it right as it reaches 100% and re-charge only when the battery gets low.

Also, if you're not going to be using your laptop for a long period of time, keep it 50% charged, because a full charge might decrease the battery's maximum cycle count.


8. Determine your battery cycle count so you know when to replace it.

One cycle is using up a full battery charge and each type of MacBook has a different maximum cycle count. You can check your current cycle count to determine when you need to replace your battery.

Find your cycle count by holding down the Option key as you click the Apple icon on the upper LH corner. Select System Information > Power (under the Hardware tab) and find your cycle count under Health Information. Once you determine your current cycle count, find out your maximum cycle count here (usually between 300-1000).

Replacing your battery ultimately depends on how much you use your computer. Even if your battery is nearing its maximum cycle count, you may not need to change it for a while if you don't use your laptop very often.

9. If you use heavy graphics programs, you may need to upgrade your memory (RAM).

Disney / Christina Lan / Buzzfeed

If you're using graphics-heavy programs, like Photoshop, Premiere, or just opening a ton of tabs, you'll need more RAM to help your computer run more efficiently. When upgrading your memory, don't go for cheap, since this will cause more problems in the long-run.

Find out how much base memory your MacBook has here as well as instructions on how to install more RAM.

10. To prevent Google Chrome from devouring your RAM, try adding OneTab, an extension that grays out inactive tabs.

Look how FREAKY FAST OneTab deactivated those tabs. This helps reduce CPU load (a good thing for better performance) and frees up your RAM. Try it here.

11. Know and stay within its optimal temperature.

A MacBook can operate between temperatures of 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C) and in humidities between 0% to 90% noncondensing. But if you're working in particularly humid locations (like a rainforest), there are laptop plugs that'll give your laptop extra protection.


13. Clear your desktop or at least minimize its number of items.

David Carson / Caroline Kee / Via /

Having more things on your desktop really eats up your RAM because your computer has to render each of those icons every time it turns on, which slows everything down.

15. To prevent image persistence or burn-in, toggle with the display sleep settings.

These two issues involve images that faintly linger even after you minimize them or replace them. To keep this from happening, open Energy Saver from System Preferences and set the "display sleep" slider to 10-15 minutes on both the battery and the power adaptor tabs.


17. This keyboard cover will protect your laptop from dust, dirt, and spills.

Yes, because you're a slob who drinks coffee and eats everything over a laptop. It's OK, it's human. Get a solid-colored cover here or if you want some pizzazz, try this ombre one here.


20. A tilted laptop stand will help keep your laptop cool and also improve your posture.

When you use your laptop directly on a table, it overheats more quickly. It's also not at the right height for your eyes, which causes you to stoop, and that ain't good for your later years. Here are two ventilated options: an adjustable laptop stand and an elevated birch wood stand.