How Often Should You Replace A Laptop?

A laptop is one of the most expensive personal devices you will ever buy. It’s also one of the most convenient, with people using them to work remotely, play games, or do other activities. But how often should you replace a laptop? Here are 29 signs that it may be time for an upgrade

The average laptop lasts about four years, but knowing when yours is on its last legs can be challenging. The signs are often subtle and hard to spot, so here are 29 of the most common.

It’s too slow for what you’re doing now.

If your computer has slowed down or become glitchy in recent months, even though you’ve cleaned out all the junk files and apps that could bog it down, then your laptop needs a new battery.

A failing battery will also charge slower than usual, gradually draining power throughout the day until finally dying at an inconvenient moment right before work or school starts. You may also notice that your computer takes longer than usual to boot up because not enough power is available to complete the process quickly.

It’s too small to see anything or too big for your lap

If you find it difficult to read text on your computer screen, it’s time to upgrade to a larger display. Other symptoms include difficulty hitting letters on the keyboard or clicking buttons with the cursor because they are so tiny.

If your laptop is too big for you to use comfortably wherever you go, this can also cause other problems. Your shoulders might hunch over and strain from supporting its weight, leaving them in terrible shape should you need surgery later in life.

You could also become dehydrated if there isn’t enough airflow around the device during extended use, which leads to headaches and fatigue caused by a lack of hydration.

It lacks compatibility with the software and hardware

It lacks compatibility with the software and hardware.

If your computer is outdated, it may not handle the latest apps and other computing essentials like drivers and printer cartridges.

If there isn’t an update available for that piece of hardware, then its usefulness will also expire when yours does. You might also find that older computers lack the speed required to complete specific tasks, such as processing video or creating 3D graphics objects like maps for modern games.

The battery stops charging after a few minutes/hours

The battery stops charging after a few minutes/hours.

A failing laptop battery will stop holding a charge or give you less than an hour before needing another recharge. They can even start draining faster over time because the cells inside may be damaged and more likely to get stuck in a permanent state of decay.

This isn’t just inconvenient and dangerous because it can lead to unexpected crashes or even total system failure if everything runs out of power simultaneously.

The storm has bulges or feels warmer than usual

This is among the most evident signs that your laptop’s battery needs replacing because it won’t hold nearly as much charge and could start venting hot gas.

If this happens, you might notice a pungent smell coming from the device, which is toxic gasses emitted by its metal components. If you are feeling dizzy, nauseous, or experiencing other adverse effects after it has been plugged in for a few hours, this is the likely culprit.

The vents under and around your laptop are clogged with dust 

Laptop fans aren’t mighty because the components inside don’t need them to be that big or robust. They use small amounts of power and don’t heat up very much because Who built the devices themselves to dissipate heat well and avoid overheating issues before they can even occur.

Suppose you notice that there isn’t enough airflow through your computer’s chassis. In that case, it could overheat when its processor reaches maximum capacity as usual (99% of computing tasks will leave 30-60% of processing power available).

This will make it crash, and if it doesn’t, you could still experience recurring bluescreens or other errors that make using the computer impossible.

The screen is starting to dim and need more frequent adjustments

Your laptop isn’t like a desktop monitor because its backlight is not constantly powered on. It uses less energy when the display is black, making sense for most people who aren’t looking at it all day.

However, this also means that your screen brightness will slowly fade over time as it loses its charge unless you turn the display on periodically throughout the day or replace it with something brighter and more vibrant soon after noticing a drop in luminosity.

The sound from your speakers is distorted 

Computer speakers are cheap to replace once they stop working, but most people don’t bother because it means that their laptop is already on its last leg.

A severe hardware issue with your speakers could be a sign that the device’s motherboard is near the end of its useful life and may need to be replaced soon if you want to continue using it for anything more than surfing the web.

The fan is whirring loudly or not at all

Your laptop will produce a lot of noise whenever it cools itself down or manages heat levels effectively enough to prevent damage.

That fan also has a vital role in regulating battery life because it helps dissipate heat when possible instead of allowing components like chipsets to overheat and go into thermal shutdown mode during extremely CPU-intensive tasks like playing games or crunching numbers.

The high number of fans inside a laptop can make it sound like a low-flying aeroplane when they start going full blast, but if you notice that the offending noise is coming from just one fan and not the other(s), then its time to check your warranty or prepare for an expensive repair bill.

Depending on what you need your computer for, this issue could be a dealbreaker because the fans in laptops are notoriously loud.

People either use it when they’re not around others or buy headphones to plug into it so that they can still hear what’s going on around them while also attending their TV shows and movies out of their computer speakers.

If the device is unbearably noisy, you’re better off looking for a new one because there isn’t much that can be done about this problem safely without voiding the warranty since internal components have been known to explode from heat exposure before.

The screen is flickering 

The screen is flickering.

You’ll only see this happen right before your laptop crashes if it has been running for too long without being restarted, so don’t be alarmed by this sight.

However, you should be worried about shorting out any circuit boards near or around your screen if the damaged display is touched during a random reboot sequence because this could lead to a severe fire hazard.

The device is noticeably warm 

This sign isn’t all that different from your laptop being too cold because it could be a sign of a problem if there is a sudden temperature change in the chassis after sitting idle for an extended period.

This can happen when dust clogs prevent fans from doing their job effectively and keep internal components like chipsets cool enough to avoid errors, lockups, crashes, and bluescreens.

Who should check any sudden jump in heat levels by opening up the laptop’s chassis and cleaning out its internals before leaving it plugged in overnight or while you’re at work because this could lead to further damage and hacking attempts if left? Unattended for too long.

The touchpad is not responding correctly 

The touchpad is not responding correctly.

There are two ways that a laptop’s touchpad can be rendered useless: it either stops working altogether, or the cursor moves on its own whenever there is any activity on the hard drive or when some outside source has initiated an otherwise normal system process.

Either way, this will usually happen right before your laptop crashes and could also indicate a hardware issue with the motherboard after you boot up Windows and load some programs but still manage to work correctly when using alternative input devices like an external mouse.

Your laptop won’t start up correctly 

Your laptop won’t start up correctly.

Computers follow simple rules such as shutting down gracefully whenever they get turned off without warning because of low battery or overheating issues.

This won’t prevent your laptop from crashing after you’ve already taken the time to set it up and load all of your programs.

Still, it can be a sign that something is wrong with one or more internal components because Windows 8 should still run generally if compatibility settings are disabled. Windows 10 should try to repair itself if Who never installed it correctly in the first place.

The machine takes a long time to turn on 

A computer does not take much time to go through its startup process once everything has been initialized because those tasks only take a few seconds to complete, even on low-end hardware like Chromebooks.

If it feels like you’re waiting for hours before anything happens, then either Windows will not load, or there is a hardware problem with the HDD, SSD, RAM, wireless card(s), chipset(s) or one of their respective controllers.

The device gets unusually hot after only a few minutes 

If your laptop feels like it has been used as an oven and will not let you put it back into sleep mode because it’s too hot to even touch without burning yourself within 5-10 seconds, then there is something wrong with either its battery or power adapter.

As we mentioned before, this could lead to a significant fire hazard if allowed to continue for too long, so always check for any damage on these accessories as well as the laptop itself before using them again after they have been exposed to extreme heat levels.

If there are no visible signs of damage, then there is a problem with the laptop’s internal cooling system, and you’ll need to take it to a repair shop before making any other attempt at using it again.

The battery life has decreased significantly 

A laptop’s battery will not last forever because its cells start breaking down after enough time passes, and they no longer hold as much charge for as long as they used to.

This can happen in less than a year, even if you don’t use your device often and do not let its battery completely deplete itself regularly like most people do while working on their laptops.

Suppose the original warranty has since expired, and an OEM replacement is not available anywhere near where you live. In that case, we recommend buying a new one from a reputable third-party manufacturer to make sure that it will work properly for a long time after you get it installed.

Who cannot remove the battery 

In most cases, people either forget where the release latch is located on the laptop they’re working with or what is needed to detach its battery.

In almost all of these situations, this requires either pushing the eject button inside the compartment while depressing a small clip that holds everything in place OR removing screws from the bottom and prying out the battery manually using a plastic tool, so you don’t damage it with your bare hands.

If nothing happens when any combination of these steps are attempted, then one or more connections have come loose between components in your device’s motherboard, or its internal power adapter has failed. You will need to take it to a repair shop before your laptop becomes an expensive paperweight.

The device randomly crashes 

The device randomly crashes.

Suppose your laptop restarts or shuts down unexpectedly.

In that case, this usually means that there is either an incompatible application running in the background, Windows 8 compatibility settings are preventing important updates from getting installed (in the case of Windows 10), or one or more drivers need to be updated to fix any problems they might have with working together correctly.

Suppose things like these become a regular occurrence even after making sure all programs and drivers are up-to-date. In that case, there could be something wrong with either your RAM modules (if your computer crashes when trying to load a program) or SSD/HDD (if it happens when the computer is idle or just sitting on your desktop).

We would recommend either taking it to a repair shop for diagnostics and possible hardware replacement to fix the issue or, if you’re comfortable doing it yourself, replacing one component at a time until you find the faulty one.

The laptop has been dropped 

Dropping laptops can be especially harmful depending on how high up from the ground they fall.

People only need to worry about something being loose inside their device after dropping it in most cases. Still, in some rare cases, there could also be damage done to its screen or keyboard that appear later as symptoms of trying to use them with a broken internal part.

Even if this isn’t the case, all laptops have a maximum height above the ground that Who can drop from them without risking physical damage to their point or internal components.

The height of a laptop in a backpack full of books will likely be much higher than the one in someone’s hands, so if yours falls, check its keyboard and screen for any signs of being damaged before using it again.

The laptop is overheating 

This usually occurs because dust has accumulated inside the device over time as either loose particles with nothing else blocking them from entering small gaps between components OR as larger chunks that have become wedged into those spaces preventing airflow from moving past it.

It might be necessary to take apart your laptop and use compressed air to clean the insides out since there could also be lint from your clothes stuck somewhere it shouldn’t be.

If this fails to fix the problem, then it’s time to consider taking your device into a repair shop or buying a new one to work with since overheating can cause irreversible damage in only an hour or two if you’re lucky.

There are a few ways that a computer might start overheating, and doing this protects both you and your device.

The device might have started using a process that is too taxing for handling, which causes the temperature to rise, or if it’s been dropping in performance recently, then there may be something wrong with the fan(s). It needs to be replaced before anything serious happens, such as permanent damage or loss of data.

The keyboard is awkwardly laid out

Depending on what model laptop you have, its built-in keyboard might have specific keys that are too close together for comfort or that are missing entirely.

This is especially true when comparing laptops made for Windows 10 and ones made for previous versions of Microsoft’s operating system because certain special symbols (like brackets and parentheses) no longer exist in newer releases, so Who dropped them from keyboards altogether to reduce their size and free up more space on the sides for palm rests and trackpads.

If you find yourself typing slowly or having typos appear more frequently, then the best solution would be to replace your laptop with one that has a keyboard layout that works better for your needs.

The computer doesn’t connect to WiFi 

If you’re unable to connect your device to any open WiFi hotspots around you, then there’s probably something wrong with its internal wireless adapter.

This issue could have started happening after an update on Windows 10 because Microsoft deprecated support for older WiFi protocols in newer versions of their operating system, so adapters that only work with those older standards stopped being manufactured as much by manufacturers.

After updating, many devices were stuck using either outdated technology or none at all since what is built-in is usually the only type that Who can use.

This is one of the most common problems people run into with their laptops, and it’s awful when you can’t even access the internet without having an actual cable plugged into your device.

If there isn’t any physical damage to the laptop itself, turning off the router for a few minutes and turning it back on again is often enough to fix this problem if everything else fails.

The computer hasn’t been updated in a long time 

Suppose your device hasn’t received any updates from its manufacturer lately. In that case, there could be a problem with either hardware or software, and it’s recommended to take it to a repair shop so they don’t damage it further by trying to update the device themselves.

If updating fails, then you’ll need to either buy a new computer or try obtaining an old one that still works through whatever means necessary because this model likely won’t receive any more support as more security holes appear and patches are released.

The laptop has just stopped working all of a sudden 

Computers aren’t built for lasting forever, and issues like ones with hard drives that have failed or ones with RAM that is no longer working are common. If your laptop doesn’t turn on, then you’ll need to invest in a new device because it most likely won’t start again unless you know how to fix the issue yourself, which many people don’t.

The laptop’s battery life is too short 

Suppose your computer is only lasting half as long as expected when running off of its built-in battery. In that case, it might be time for a replacement because not being able to do anything away from an outlet means that your laptop is essentially useless until it’s plugged back into one.

You can either buy another battery for your device or purchase a whole new product depending on whether replacing the cells inside will even work for this model.

The computer has lost its colour vibrancy

Suppose images on your screen look faded when looking closely at them. In that case, there’s probably an issue with either your graphics card or your monitor itself since one controls how vibrant images are displayed while the other one displays them in the first place.

These devices don’t last forever, and buying a new one would be better than having to spend money on a repair that you don’t know if will fix the problem or not.

The laptop’s screen has permanent damage 

If the stains and burn marks stay no matter what you do and they can’t simply be cleaned off, then it might be time for a replacement because those types of images make people notice the issue more than anything else.

There’s also a possibility that some pieces inside have been broken unless all this is happening around the same time as your laptop shutting down randomly without warning, which would point to an overheating problem, as mentioned earlier.

The computer frequently freezes up 

Computers aren’t perfect machines that will work perfectly every time, so allowances must be made for them when they take longer than usual to do something or shut down entirely because of problems elsewhere in the system.

However, computers that frequently freeze up aren’t stable or have had their RAM depleted, which means you need to check how much space is left on your hard drive while also adding an extra stick of RAM (if there’s space for it) to help boost the computer’s memory to make everything run smoother.

The computer has begun lagging 

A slow computer can be overloaded with too many programs or doesn’t have enough storage space left on its hard drive, but even sometimes, things like device drivers could cause problems.

If you’re running into this problem, then you’re better off just restarting your device and clearing out any caches that might be slowing it down since it happens to Windows users all the time whenever they install a new program or update something else on their computers.


As you can see from the list of 29 signs, that tells you how often should you replace a laptop, and it’s difficult to tell when your computer is dying. However, by adopting some habits that will help prolong its lifespan and monitor how often you use it, you may be able to extend its life significantly.

If all these signs still don’t seem clear enough and you don’t know how often should you replace a laptop for you and if this article has convinced you that a new laptop is in order or if there are any questions about whether or not your old one is ready for retirement, feel free to reach out. Anytime!

We’re here to answer any questions and guide which laptops we think would work best for whatever type of user (gamer/business) fits into your lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do laptops need to be replaced?

A laptop can often last three or four years, but this depends on how much the computer is used and what type of use it is put to.

A machine that gets heavy use or has an unusual duty cycle (unusually taxing programs) may need to be replaced sooner than a typical home or office computer. One straightforward way to tell, especially if you’re noticing reduced performance, is to open up the programs one by one until your operating system loads.

The program at which your computer starts to act incredibly sluggish will likely be the culprit for increased wear and tear. If you notice slowing down every day, even after rebooting, replace it!

But if performance slows periodically throughout the day-say when you update your Facebook status-you might need more RAM or a faster processor.

Can a laptop last ten years?

I’m not sure. I know that they last a lot longer than phones, though.

This is because laptops don’t change nearly as often as phones, with new models coming out every six months. Newer laptops often provide better performance with more robust processors and more memory.

For this reason, like in any technology, there will be people updating to get the latest and greatest in laptop computing (I changed mine two years ago).

Laptops also don’t need to be replaced with less power over time as batteries do, so their life span is only limited by the durability of other parts or loss of functionality due to software or hardware changes.

How do you know when your laptop needs to be replaced?

Modern laptops last around 5-8 years on average. A good indication that yours is past the lifespan is running warm or hot for “just doing nothing,” Most models shut down when they overheat.

On most laptops, you can remove the battery BIOS battery yourself to check its age. This will cause the computer to reboot and may require resetting your laptop once logged into Windows 10 with a working power cord plugged in; then, we can replace the old one.

Is a seven-year-old computer worth fixing?

If well taken care of, your seven-year-old computer should still have a lot of life in it.

Your seven-year-old computer may have slowed down or developed other minor issues due to hardware problems or other programs running in the background.

And while you can replace some parts (like RAM) on your own at home, other electronics might need to go back to the manufacturer for a repair if they’ve become entirely outdated by new technology.

But with enough memory and following this guide on how to do simple maintenance tasks like defragging, changing power settings and having plenty of storage, you’ll be able to keep that machine humming along for many more years without too much trouble.

Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse for an extended weekend project? 🙂

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Waleed Hassan Sheikh
By Waleed Hassan Sheikh

Waleed Hassan is a tech enthusiast both by passion and profession. He has been in touch with the PC's world since childhood. He loves to write the best of tech reviews, especially on laptops, to help regular user's and tech guys to choose the best in their budget. When he is not blogging, he can be found watching AFL or EPL matches.

Laptop Scope is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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