How to Know When You Need to Replace Your Laptop

Last Updated on March 12, 2021 by Editor Futurescope

We use our laptops to get things done much of the time. We are reliant on them for work, entertainment, and communication. Laptops can work a dozen hours every day for years and years, but there comes a day when even the most beloved laptop requires replacing.

Understandably, buying a computer requires a lot of research, a considerable amount of money, and the willingness to part with the older machine that may have been with you for years. Then there’s the hassle of reconfiguring the new machine and transferring all your old files. It’s better to do all of this in advance than to have your old laptop suddenly die on you.

Generally speaking, a laptop that is older than 5 or 6 years is better off replaced. However, any of the following signs may also indicate that your laptop is getting too old or too faulty:

When It Takes Forever to Run a Program

Does your laptop take forever to boot up or open your favorite web browser? The reasons why computers run slowly are varied, of course. However, if everything, in general, is slower than it used to be on your laptop, then that’s a telltale sign you need to buy a new one.

Slow computers can be the result of running out of memory, malware issues, or even hardware failures. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to first run a diagnostic or get a professional IT checkup before you go on to browse for new laptops. If all these potential causes have been eliminated, then you may need to go on to buy a new laptop.

Your OS Won’t Upgrade to the Latest Edition

Whether you are using a Mac or a PC, do you get an error message when you try to upgrade the operating system to the latest version? You may get a message from Apple or Microsoft saying that the hardware on your computer is not compatible with the latest operating system. It’s possible that your graphics card is out of date or your computer doesn’t have enough memory.

In most cases, a laptop that cannot easily upgrade to the latest OS edition is quite outdated. Instead of speculating, go to the official website of the OS provider. Check the list of minimum required specifications. Now check the specifications available on your laptop. If your laptop doesn’t meet more than one of these specs, then that’s a siren call to buy a new machine.

Frequent Crashes

No one likes looking at the blue screen with dreadful crash reports. It’s easy to say that a computer is in need of serious repairs if the operating system keeps crashing. If the crashes are frequent (meaning it happens more than once a month) and result in lost work, your machine may be in need of replacing or serious repair.

It’s important to determine that the cause of the crashes is not a software issue or a malware problem. Run a virus scan and a software diagnosis to make sure it isn’t. Read the crash reports to determine the cause if possible. If the cause is software, you may get a prompt to upgrade the programs. In case the latest versions of the software are not compatible with the existing specs of your laptop, voila, you will need to replace the machine.

Sometimes it can be very complicated to determine the cause of frequent OS crashes. In this scenario, the age-old advice is to save your work, backup, and move onto a new computer.

Your Laptop Overheats

When You Need to Replace Your Laptop

Overheating is a common but serious issue with laptops. When you type, do you feel the heat beneath your hands? When your laptop is on your lap, does it quickly get too hot to bear? These are signs of overheating.

Overheating is the result of fan issues. You need to have the fan inside your laptop cleaned at least twice a year. If you have already done this, then the fan may be failing. Fan replacements can be a bit complicated, confusing, and sometimes unnecessary. You will have to find a fan that is compatible with your machine, of course. If none are available, then you need to buy a new laptop, not a fan. In case you need to spend hundreds of dollars to replace the fan, make sure it’s actually worth it.

It’s Difficult to Run Even Basic Games like Minecraft

Games like Minecraft and World of Warcraft are not graphically intensive. These games are designed to be run on just about any computer. However, if your laptop has trouble running even these basic games, then the graphics card inside is woefully outdated. As a rule of thumb, try playing a game title at least 5 years old on your computer. Does it run smoothly? If the answer is no, then your laptop needs replacing.

Graphics cards or integrated graphics systems in laptops cannot be upgraded or replaced, unlike with desktops. The only way to upgrade the graphics card is to buy a new laptop with a better graphics card.

Your Laptop is Too Heavy

A surefire sign of a laptop that has run its course is a bulky and heavy body. If lugging your laptop around is becoming a pain, you might want to consider a replacement. The latest laptops are thin with slim frames, optimized for portability. If your laptop looks like a massive supercomputer next to one of these newer ones, then do look for a replacement laptop.

The Screen Resolution is Awful

It’s normal for the screen resolution, color, contrast, and viewing angles to get out of sync once in a while. Go to the graphics settings of your laptop and reset everything to default or a pre-saved theme. Does the screen resolution go back to normal, or at least become viewable? Can you see colors and text clearly? If you can’t see the screen clearly without squinting or using glasses, then your screen is too old to be rescued.

Here’s the problem with laptops: the screen can’t be replaced easily. If the screen is gone, then the whole machine is gone, very unfortunately. You can still use the laptop with an external monitor, theoretically. But that would eliminate the portability of your machine.

Double check the screen graphics settings and try to restore everything to normal. You can run a diagnostic tool just to be sure. But if nothing is making the screen graphics salvageable, then you will need to replace your computer.

The Laptop Battery Won’t Charge or Dies Quickly

Laptop batteries don’t last forever. The original that came with the factory-new laptop may last up to 5 years. Don’t count on each replacement battery lasting more than 2 or 3 years. If your laptop battery is experiencing charging or other power problems, the simplest solution is to replace the old battery. If the power problems persist with the new battery, then the problem could be the laptop.

Some laptops come with integrated batteries. That means if these batteries die, you can’t replace them. You will definitely have to buy a new laptop if this is the case. You can try visiting a hardware specialist to replace an integrated battery, but the cost would be as much as buying a new laptop. It doesn’t make much financial sense to spend hundreds of dollars to save an old laptop battery.

Keep in mind that if the replacement battery models are being discontinued by the manufacturer, then that’s also a glaring sign that your laptop is just too old. In case you find yourself searching high and low for a compatible replacement battery, stop. Search for a new laptop instead.

Not All the Keys in the Keyboard Work

Do you have to tap twice on the “g” to type it? Laptop keyboards are remarkably durable, but even these pieces of hardware don’t last forever. Most laptop users find themselves replacing key caps once in a while. However, if a key no longer works, then it’s gone for good. There’s saying in the IT repair world that if one key goes, soon the rest would follow.

If the laptop keyboard has taken a beating over the years, there are two options to solve the problem: replace the keys or the keyboard or buy a new laptop. You will need to find a compatible keyboard model for your machine. If none is available, then, yes, your laptop is really old and really needs to be replaced.

Funny Clicking Noises Coming from the Hard Drive

Consider any clicking noises coming from the hard drive as the “clicks of death.” That’s a sign that the hard drive is failing. You need to immediately back up your files go to a repair shop. You will need to replace your hard drive, which means also installing the previous software once more.

It may be more cost-effective to simply buy a new laptop that comes with an SSD, better memory, and a cooler graphics card. This decision is up to you. You can check the other specs on your laptop and decide whether it’s worth it to replace the hard drive or spend several hundred dollars more on a new machine.

Be aware though, any weird noises coming from inside the machine are signs that the laptop has run its course.

You Can’t Connect the Newest Gadgets

Do you find yourself unable to connect your laptop to a smart TV, an 802.11ac router, or a USB-C device? These new technologies are intended to make data transfer and wireless connections faster and more efficient. A laptop without the right hardware support for new adapters is really past its due date.

Here’s another sign: Do you need to use a Bluetooth adapter for your laptop? If Bluetooth isn’t inbuilt, then you may soon find yourself needing a laptop with this feature. Better to start shopping now before it’s too late.

As a laptop owner, if you experience some of the problems listed above, then it’s time to start shopping for a new laptop. You can replace a part or two. However, if you find yourself needing to replace multiple hardware parts, then you are simply better off buying a new laptop.

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Founding writer of Futurescope. Nascent futures, foresight, future emerging technology, high-tech and amazing visions of the future change our world. The Future is closer than you think!

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