How Long Do Laptops Last: Everything You Need to Know

A laptop typically lasts between three and five years.

One of the most well-liked pieces of technology is a laptop computer, and for good reason too! It can be used for work, watching videos, playing games, communicating, and more, unlike other devices, which are incredibly limited in their uses.

You’ll understand what we mean if you’ve ever attempted to watch a Netflix movie on your phone or written a report using the tablet’s on-screen keyboard. Although it’s not very comfortable, it is possible!

However, not all laptops are created equally. In contrast, a laptop can do everything. This article will discuss the various laptop models you can purchase, the best ways to take care of them, and the effects that will have on their lifespan and usability.

The Average Lifespan of a Laptop

Although there are many factors at play, you can anticipate that a well-maintained laptop will last for three to five years.

Due to its small size, a laptop has a shorter lifespan than a desktop PC. Components that are packed closely together are more likely to overheat and difficult to upgrade; as a result, obsolescence sets in more quickly. Battery life, which gets shorter with each charge, is yet another important factor.

Additionally, due to their portability, laptops are more likely to be misused. These vehicles are easily damaged by the rigors of the road, suffering from water damage, cracked screens, dented chassis, and other damages.

Why Computers Age?

A computer will age due to normal wear and tear, just like the car in your garage. Long-term exposure to intense heat damages delicate hardware, including the motherboard and RAM. The hard disk drive (HDD) and other components with moving parts inevitably wear out.

Then there’s the chance of human-caused accidents, like laptops being dropped or keyboards getting wet.

Even if you treat your prized machine with the utmost care, it will eventually become outdated. Even though the hardware is flawless, it will have trouble keeping up with modern, resource-intensive operating systems, programs, and games.

If you perfectly kept, albeit aging, a computer manages to complete necessary tasks, you’ll eventually stop getting updates and support. For operating systems that are too old, developers stop releasing security updates, leaving you open to malicious viruses and hacks.

A computer’s practical lifespan is typically between three and eight years, even though, in theory, it could operate for decades with minimal use and proper maintenance.

Does Price Equate to Length of Life?

Let’s start by addressing your urgent query. Will my laptop last a long time if I spend more?

A laptop’s price and lifespan are undoubtedly related. However, it’s crucial to understand that the majority of people think that rule has a cap.

According to research, a laptop under $700 will last for two to four years, while a laptop costing between $700 and $1,000 will last for up to five years, and a laptop costing more than $1,000 may last for up to seven years. Of course, some laptops can cost up to $5,000!

While you’ll undoubtedly get better features or a longer charge-up time in terms of battery life, you’re unlikely to continue to get more life out of buying a new laptop once you pass the $1,500 threshold.

Is There a Difference for Different Kinds of Laptops?

Of course, this can change depending on the type of laptop you buy. The hardware of a laptop can suffer as a result of the various uses that they are put to.

For instance, you might discover that your consumer laptop doesn’t last as long as it would if you only used it for word processing and web browsing rather than intensive gaming, video editing, or graphic design. On the other hand, if you invest the money in a powerful gaming laptop and primarily use it for work-related tasks or are content to settle for lower graphics settings, it may live up to your expectations.

Let’s examine the three main categories of laptops available for purchase in terms of cost and lifespan.

Consumer Laptops

A consumer laptop is your everyday, family computer that you most likely use at home to perform tasks like check email, streaming videos, and browsing the web. Even though they are frequently the least expensive options, they can still last just as long as laptops for work or gaming. Simply put, it means that the hardware inside may not be as high-end as that found in their business-focused cousins because they are designed for light use.

Of course, more recent technological advancements like Chromebooks, which are entirely powered by Chrome OS, reduce the need for hardware and allow even those on a tight budget to choose from ultra-light, reasonably priced laptops. They also have the advantage of having incredibly long battery lives. For instance, the Chromebook we recommend below has a battery life of more than 20 hours. Woah!

Consumer laptop warranties are typically one year, but you may be able to extend them further if you so desire. If properly maintained, a consumer laptop should last you around three years! Find out how to prolong the life of your consumer laptop in the following paragraphs.

Business Laptops

Business laptops are exactly what they say they are: laptops with more substantial business applications. They typically come with a 3-year warranty and are more dependable than consumer laptops. They may have reinforced casings, for instance, to protect against deterioration or the occasional bump on the daily commute. If they are used for several hours straight, they may also overheat less frequently.

Business-grade laptops will cost you a little more, frequently exceeding $3,000 in price. Three of the best business laptops from the 2021 models have been chosen after careful consideration of various models. Your decision may also be influenced by your brand loyalty, as many people have strong attachments to Mac OS, Microsoft Surface, or HP products.

Gaming Laptops

There is an entirely different discussion to be had when it comes to gaming laptops. The price, weight, and durability of gaming laptops are all significantly higher. A mid-range gaming laptop won’t function flawlessly for more than a few years before you need to upgrade it in order to play the newest games. Even if you spend a lot of money, you can expect a gaming laptop to perform well for no more than five years at most.

What Are the Signs My Laptop is on the Way Out?

Compatibility Problems

Of course, some people will hang onto their laptop for dear life and continue to use it long after others would declare it to be dead and buried.

These are undoubtedly indications that a laptop has reached the end of its useful life if you work in IT or as a managed service provider.

Compatibility Problems

It’s possible that you will experience compatibility issues if you want to replace specific components of the laptop to improve speed or performance. Upgrading the RAM and switching to a solid state drive may be all that is necessary to complete this task. It can be challenging to replace parts without creating errors, especially in cheaper laptops where the parts may be made by different companies.

Depending on the operating system security or software versions, you might also discover that the hardware is incompatible with the software. To ensure that the laptops you are supporting for use are eligible for updates, you can check their compatibility with Windows and Mac operating systems here.

Loud Fans

We’re not referring to the people who are sitting in the stands while you dream about playing basketball. The fan running very loudly is one of the first indicators that a laptop is past its prime. If you are not using any computationally intensive software or hardware at the time, this is even more concerning.

Slow Processes

Your laptop’s performance will probably start to deteriorate over time. Web page loading times, application startup times, and even laptop startup and shutdown times could all be delayed. Your outdated hardware might struggle, especially if you’re using the most recent application versions. You should perform a speed test approximately every six months because laptops gradually slow down over time, which you might not notice.


Accidents do happen, and even a brand-new laptop may require repairs that are too costly to be justified. Take caution because your laptop could be damaged by knocks, spills, cold pressure, and even drops.

Weird Behavior

It’s obvious that your laptop is working too hard to complete typical tasks if it frequently crashes, the screen flashes or resets, or there are problems when you try to multitask. The majority of the time, this is probably going to appear when you switch between applications or open new tabs in your web browser.

If you have enough RAM, you might be able to resolve this issue without buying a new laptop, but keep in mind those compatibility issues! This is a typical issue when using a laptop for tasks that require more hardware, like using your home computer for work.

Can I Fix These Problems?

If your laptop is nearing the end of its useful life, there may not be much you can do to fix these issues. However, here are a few ideas that you can try:
Reduce the number of programs that run continuously in the background.
To fix issues and make space on your disk, use Windows Disk Management or Mac Disk Utility, or partition your drive.
Keep an eye out for high battery temperatures and moisture, both of which can make already existing issues worse. To make this less harmful, you can change your system preferences.

The Connection Between Battery Life and Longevity

It goes without saying that you want to maximize the lifespan of your laptop. One of the really crucial aspects you should consider when making this significant purchase is the battery life of your laptop.

The battery life of a personal computer typically starts to decline after 1 to 2 years of ownership. It may be beneficial to charge your laptop less frequently or wait until it is completely depleted before charging it more frequently because this typically equates to 500 charge cycles.

It goes without saying that you don’t want to alter how you use your laptop in order to increase battery life because different programs will drain the battery in different ways. Here are some suggestions that are simpler to put into practice than asking for a streaming ban.

  • Your screen’s brightness should be decreased. Additionally, your eyes will appreciate it!
  • Reduce the screen time-out measurement from five minutes to one.
  • The number of open programs should be kept to a minimum.
  • Reduce the number of tabs open in your browser!
  • If you’re not using the Wi-Fi, ignore it.
  • Utilize a cooling mat to lessen the possibility of becoming too hot.
  • Use your headphones rather than the device speakers.
  • After charging, be sure to unplug your laptop.

When purchasing a laptop, be sure to inquire as to whether the battery is replaceable or not. If you can easily replace the battery in your laptop—which is frequently one of the first components to degrade when your laptop is dying—you can avoid this issue.

How Can I Make My Laptop Last Longer?

The longer your laptop lasts, in general, the better care you give it. The maximum lifespan of a laptop is always 7 to 10 years, so there is a limit to how long they can last. Even then, it’s possible that at this point it’s acting strangely or that it’s slower or less effective than it was in its prime. When it comes to security or ensuring updates and patches work, never skip steps.

If your laptops typically only last 2-3 years and you’re hoping to get closer to 4 or 5, some good laptop hygiene might be able to help you extend its lifespan.

Be careful with it: Although it may seem obvious, avoid leaving it in the sun, eating or drinking near it, cleaning the keyboard and screen frequently, blocking the airflow, never smoking near it, and leaving it plugged in constantly.

Keep it clean: This refers to more than just the parts and the screen. Make sure to occasionally review your applications and files and purge anything unnecessary. Empty the recycle bin and check your downloads.

Freshen your OS: Both Mac and Windows provide options for reinstalling the operating system without wiping out your data. For Mac laptops, use Recovery mode; for Windows 10, try Fresh Start.

Add extras: Some useful accessories, like an external mouse, keyboard, headphones, or speakers, can help lighten the load on the hardware. Additionally, a case can shield against damage. Additionally, they enhance the aesthetics of your laptop.

Upgrade it: The usual suspects of a laptop headed for device heaven are storage, memory, and battery life, and typically — these can be upgraded. Consider an SD card for memory, an external hard drive for storage, or a backup battery. Another option is to consider an external graphics processor.

Is It Better to Upgrade Or Replace a Computer?

To increase their useful lifespan, many contemporary computers, including laptops and desktops, can be upgraded. These targeted upgrades can give your aging PC some much-needed extra oomph, whether it be in the form of more RAM, quick SSD storage, or a potent new GPU.

While such improvements are frequently worthwhile, it is advisable to compare their price to that of a completely new machine. You’re probably better off looking for a replacement computer if your current one requires a lot of new hardware.

In addition, it can be difficult to upgrade some parts, like the motherboard. You’ll probably require the help of a qualified technician, though it’s not impossible. An upgrade might quickly become financially unviable due to labor costs.

Is It Better to Repair Or Replace a Computer?

There is a good chance you can repair a specific component rather than replacing the entire computer if it stops working properly.

According to the damaged component, the economic viability will vary. A cheap laptop probably isn’t worth the cost of fixing a cracked screen, for instance, because parts and labor are both expensive. A new laptop will be much more expensive than repairing a recent, cutting-edge model, though.

Consider your options carefully before fixing your computer if it is getting close to the end of its useful life. You may be able to save money by replacing your PC now since you’ll probably need to upgrade it soon.

The cost of severing ties with your work machine is an additional crucial factor. Many technicians will need weeks or months to fix your computer. Being away from your device can result in significant productivity loss.

Do Macs Last Longer Than PCs?

The question of which lasts longer, Macs or Windows PCs, is frequently the subject of heated discussion. The hardware and configuration determine the answer.

Apple has a strong system in place for support and maintenance, and Macs are known for lasting longer. With its Surface line, Microsoft has somewhat imitated Apple’s business model, and other PC makers, particularly those that cater to businesses, have made an effort to provide a thorough experience and ensure seamless upgrades as the hardware ages. This can reduce the cost of upgrades for your company and the support burden on your IT department.

Due to the close integration of hardware and software as well as Apple’s support ecosystem, Macs continue to be a good value, especially for businesses.

Key takeaway: It depends on your computer’s hardware whether a Mac or PC will last longer for you. Having said that, Apple has a solid reputation for providing desktop and laptop computers with longer lifespans.

Conclusion: How Long Will the Laptop Last is Up to You!

How long you want your laptop to last should be a consideration when choosing one. A consumer laptop will typically be less expensive, which means it will likely last for less time. However, you’ll also be using it for less power-intensive tasks, which can also lengthen its lifespan.

Although a laptop designed for business use will last longer and be more reliable, using it for gaming will shorten its lifespan by several years. Developing good laptop hygiene habits can make all the difference and add years to the life of your computer.