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When You Should Replace Your Mac Laptop

Mac laptops are known for their long lifespans. But no device can last forever, so it’s important to have reasonable expectations about the durability of your computer. So, what are the signs that it’s time for a replacement?

Macbooks should last around seven years, and Apple won’t service them beyond that. You can extend your laptop’s life by minimizing storage use, protecting it with a case, and carefully maintaining the battery. When your laptop struggles with the programs you use daily, it’s probably time to upgrade.

Let’s take a closer look at how long Mac laptops last, as well as how to extend their lifespan. We’ll also discuss how to determine when you’re better off buying a new laptop.

How Long Do Mac Laptops Last?

Mac Laptop

It’s hard to give a definite timeframe for how long a Mac laptop should last, as it depends on many factors, including the model and how well it’s taken care of. However, it’s fair to say that a Mac laptop can last for at least seven years, as Apple services them up to this point and won’t service laptops any older.

Even though they have this cutoff, it’s typical for well-maintained Mac laptops to continue to run for eight to eleven years. That means if you’re careful with your Macbook, you can make it last this long.

How to Extend the Life of Your Laptop

Getting the most out of your laptop involves maintaining your device thoroughly and following best practices for use, just like anything else.

Here’s some tips for keeping your Mac laptop going as long as possible:

Clean Your Computer Regularly

You should clean off your computer regularly so that no dirt or debris gets inside. Avoid using a harsh or damaging cleaner or more than a damp cloth’s worth of moisture. Wipes specifically formulated for electronics (on Amazon) are usually ideal for gently polishing the exterior and ensuring the computer is in good physical shape.

Don’t Drink or Eat When Using it

It’s also a good idea not to drink or eat while using your computer. Spills can happen easily, and liquid getting to the key parts of your laptop can be a death sentence. When you do need to multitask, keep your beverages far out of reach to avoid making a fatal mistake.

Put a Case on it

People often have to replace their laptops because they drop them or bump them against something. One of the great advantages of laptops is how portable they are, but sometimes, they aren’t particularly resilient, and taking them everywhere can have consequences.

It’s a good idea to put a case on your laptop. Some cases (on Amazon) are designed to be shock resistant, meaning if you drop your laptop, there’s significantly less chance of damage. It’s always worth checking out the reviews before buying a case, just so you know it’s good quality.

Replace the Battery

Batteries tend to have a much shorter lifespan than the laptop itself. Instead of struggling with a battery that has bad health and keeping your laptop plugged in all the time, update the battery when you need to. If the battery is burning up and swelling, it can cause issues with other laptop components and lower the lifespan. 

Run Virus Scans Frequently

Although Mac laptops are pretty good at avoiding viruses and malware, it’s still a good idea to run frequent scans and ensure nothing insidious has made its way into your software. Computer viruses can be hard to kill and do severe damage to your laptop, as well as steal your information.

Use Storage Space Sparingly

The closer your laptop’s storage is to being full, the slower the laptop will run, which can significantly impact its overall performance. Some programs, like CleanMyMac, can run through your laptop, look for trash files and programs you aren’t using, and remove them.

Keep the Software Updated

Lastly, you should make sure to keep the software updated. Unfortunately, many people don’t update their software as regularly as they should. Still, it’s not just about new features — it’s also that it will get rid of old software bugs that could negatively affect your laptop.

How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Laptop

Macbook Air

Regardless of your efforts to keep your laptop alive, there will come a time when it needs to be replaced — hopefully far in the future.

Here’s some signs of when it’s time to move on to a new device:

The Battery is Struggling

If you’ve replaced the battery before and it still seems to be struggling, it could be a sign you need to replace your laptop.

While it’s always a good idea to get a new battery first, there will come a time when the laptop’s health is just so poor that even a battery replacement won’t help, and you may have to keep it plugged in every time you use it — ruining the point of a laptop.

It Runs Slow

Although there are ways to speed your computer up, there are also times when it seems that troubleshooting methods like off-loading large programs or cutting down on storage space just aren’t working.

Eventually, there will come a time when your laptop’s performance degrades, partially because the software it uses is likely no longer supported. When this happens, it may be necessary to get a new laptop.

It Can’t Keep Up with Certain Activities

Just as it may run slow or even freeze up, you may notice it can’t keep up with certain activities. If resource-intensive programs like Photoshop or next gen video games are your thing, you’ll probably want to upgrade.

Apple Won’t Service it

Apple won’t service a Macbook that’s more than seven years old, which is something to consider. While other repair shops might, they don’t have the experience and guarantees that Apple does, and they may charge you money to investigate a laptop they can’t even fix.

So if Apple no longer services your laptop, it’s time to consider buying one they will take care of.

No More Software Updates are Available

If no more software updates are available for your model, it’s another sign you might need a new one. Older software will slowly become obsolete as Apple will no longer support it or fix bugs in the system, and you’ll miss out on cool new updates.

It Randomly Shuts Down Often

Older laptops will sometimes randomly shut down because they’re struggling to keep up. Of course, you should first check if this isn’t because of the battery dying or a software glitch, but if you can’t find a solution and it’s an older laptop, it could simply be because of its age and degraded performance.

It Won’t Start Up

If you push a laptop to its limit, it will, eventually, just die. There will come a time when your laptop won’t turn on, which is a clear sign you’ll have to get a new one. If you need data on your old laptop, take it somewhere that can recover it (such as the Apple store) before you go ahead and dispose of it.

When your laptop does hit the end of its lifespan, you can’t just throw it in the regular trash. The best thing to do is take it somewhere that will recycle it for you. Apple stores are usually willing to do this or send you a box so you can mail it to a recycling center.