Looking after your laptop

Did you know that leaving your laptop plugged in overnight can cause battery issues? Or that leaving items on your keyboard can break the screen if you accidentally close it forgetting they are there?  

There are many ways that we can damage our laptops, but the good news is that there are good habits we can all easily get into which will help our devices to stay in good shape for a long time. 

Laptop dos and don'ts

Here are a few pointers for managed laptop users at Oxford (but the tips work equally well for everyone): 


  • Power off and unplug your laptop regularly
  • Install updates when prompted
  • Allow your laptop to run using its battery occasionally – laptops are not designed to run off mains 24/7 and occasional battery usage will improve the battery life of the laptop
  • Use the laptop bag provided (or similar) when transporting your laptop
  • Report any damage to your laptop and/or its case. If your laptop case starts to expand, this may be an indication of a faulty battery
  • When bringing your laptop in from a cold environment (such as a car boot), let it acclimatise before switching it on - this will stop condensation forming inside it which could cause other problems.
  • Keep food and drinks away from your device.


  • Carry your laptop with the lid open as the screen and hinges are susceptible to damage
  • Close your laptop screen with papers/pens etc between keyboard and screen - this will cause the screen to crack
  • Place items on top of a closed laptop such as books or mugs of coffee etc
  • Block the air vents – always use on a solid flat surface and not resting on a cushion or your lap - this will cause the laptop to overheat and may cause burns
  • Use a non-standard charger – if you break or lose a charger speak to your local IT contact.
  • Leave your laptop in direct sunlight

We recommend getting comfortable with checking the Software Center and installing updates when they are available. Keeping your devices up-to-date provides better security and reduces chances of your software becoming outdated and unsupported.