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5 signs you need a new laptop

Even the most reliable laptops have an expiration date. But it can be hard to tell whether your machine is dying or just in need of a repair. Luckily, you can look out for a few surefire signs you need a new one.

Need a new laptop but can’t afford it? Just take my one-minute laptop quiz. You’ll answer a few questions about your needs and price range. Then, I’ll tell you which laptop is your best fit.

Here’s a top-secret insider tip. If you’re Googling, “Do I need a new laptop?” or “Should I upgrade or replace my laptop?” the answer is probably yes. Here are a few less obvious ways to know when it is time to get a new laptop.

Sign 1: Your laptop can’t keep up

I’m not just talking about web pages taking a little longer to load than they used to. I’m talking about when your laptop takes 10 minutes to turn on. Maybe you’re running two programs at once and everything slows down to a crawl.

A laptop getting slower is mostly a sign of age. Of course, it could also mean you have malware or hackers on your device, so watch out for that.

Laptops slow down as their memories start to fill up and when multiple applications are run at once. Sometimes you can speed up a computer by upgrading the CPU and RAM. Always try that before you buy a laptop. You could save yourself a lot of money by upgrading your hardware.

Then again, some repairs can cost just as much as a new laptop. In that case, you might as well upgrade.

Sign 2: Your laptop is overheating (This is one of the most significant signs you need a new laptop!)

Laptops come with built-in fans to keep cool. You may have heard the fan whirring when you’ve been doing a lot on your computer over an extended period. It’s trying to make the toasty device in your lap drop by a few degrees.

Over time, though, these fans can get full of dust and debris. Or they’re just worn down. When this happens, your laptop will still heat up — but now it can’t cool itself down. Soon it’s uncomfortable to put on your lap.

You can use cushions or fabric to keep your laptop in position. You could invest in a cooling mat like the TECKNET Laptop Cooling Pad.

Ultimately, this kind of heating up is a sign that you should replace your laptop. If your computer gets hot enough, it will cease to function.

Plus, a hot laptop can cause severe damage

Consistent overheating can lead to breakage or even melting. If nothing else, a hot laptop will slow to a crawl. Eventually, you’ll be unable to watch a video or send a large email attachment. You’ll be waiting in agony while it cooks your thighs.

Save yourself the physical and emotional pain, and get a new laptop once yours starts regularly overheating. A cooling pad will give you time, but most laptops can’t be saved from this fate. It’s just time to get a new one.

Sign 3: Your device is no longer supported

Count your blessings if you have a laptop that’s lasted longer than four to five years. You can easily access old files — and you’re saving money by not having to buy a new device. There’s one downside: Sometimes, using an old machine is a considerable cybersecurity risk.

Software updates are critical for your digital health. Now and then, Big Tech companies will update your operating system (OS). Often these updates come with cool new features that make life easier — but they also patch bugs that hackers exploit.

For example, if you’re still using Windows 7, you’re in danger. Microsoft doesn’t update that OS anymore, which means a hacker could exploit a years-old vulnerability to break into your computer. Windows 10 or 11 get the latest OS updates, which means they have better cybersecurity protections.

Dig through your settings to see which OS you’re running. Research the latest update and see if your device can run it. If not, take this for what it is: one of the most prominent signs you need a new laptop.

Sign 4: Your hardware belongs with the dinosaurs

This is related to the previous sign, but we’re talking about hardware instead of software. Sure, old laptops can continue to run. But newer laptops have more RAM and superior processors, graphics cards and motherboards.

If you’re dealing with a slow computer that doesn’t get updates, it’s probably because of your outdated specs. New programs need more processing power than an old laptop can generate.

RELATED: Shopping for a new computer? 3 specs that matter 

If you’re using an ancient laptop, you have less RAM to work with. Running multiple programs can slow your computer to a snail’s crawl. If you buy a newer laptop, you could get four times as much RAM as your current device has. Your digital life could speed up like a roadrunner.

Bottom line: If your laptop has seriously outdated specs, you might want to get a new one. This way, you’ll be able to run all the new programs that require more than what you already have.

Sign 5: A dying battery is one of the most obvious signs you need a new laptop

"How do I know if my laptop is dying?" you wonder. A broken battery is one of the biggest signs you need a new laptop.

Laptop batteries, like phone batteries, lose charge as you use them. Over time, they lose how much charge they hold. This means your laptop will eventually need to be charged more often.

This can escalate to the point where it must be plugged in all the time to have it on. For many people, particularly those whose only computer is a laptop, plugging in all the time isn’t that much of a hardship. But the entire idea of laptops is they’re a computer you can carry around with you.

Luckily, there are a few fixes you can try. You can get a new charging cable or buy a new battery. Tap or click here for seven ways to extend your laptop’s battery life.

These solutions won’t last forever, though

Say you keep buying new batteries, but they quickly drain out. The problem might be how your laptop interacts with batteries. Repairs for an internal issue like this can be expensive — or impossible. It might be easier to get a new laptop.

Maybe you read that and winced. After all, laptops can be pretty expensive. Luckily, there are all sorts of cheap new laptops for sale. Don’t overpay for a computer; shop at the right places for free laptop discounts. If you’re wondering, “How can I get a new laptop for cheap?” or “What are the best laptop deals in June 2022?” I’ve got you covered.

Did you recognize all the signs you need a new laptop on your device? If so, it’s time to upgrade

Shopping for a new laptop can be time-consuming and expensive. It doesn’t have to be. Just shop with my sponsor, Dell. You’ll get high-tech gadgets that work well and last long. There’s a special perk I love to brag about. Throughout the year, Dell slashes prices for various sales. You can find steep discounts for great laptops if you shop at the right time.

You’re getting more than just a great device when you buy with Dell. You’re also getting a supportive team of tech experts who can help you out.

Sometimes it feels like the world is throwing everything it has at you. To succeed, you need someone to guide you through. That’s what Dell Technologies Advisors do. They have the tech advice to help you navigate whatever challenges you’re up against — and get you safely to where you want to be.

Call a Dell Technologies Advisor today at 877-ASK-DELL or go to Dell.com for free expert support.

By clicking our links, you’re supporting our research. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Recommendations are not part of any business incentives.

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