Notebook Best Practices for Care and Use

Summary: Refer to the information that can be used to help you have a better experience with your notebook.

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For information about Dell desktops, see the Dell knowledge base article Best Practices for Product Use and Handling for Dell Desktops.



One of the best features of the notebooks is the fact that it is portable. It enables you to take your work and information wherever you go. The following list includes several best practices in caring for your notebook.

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Preventive Care

  • Cords, cables, and removable storage devices must be inserted carefully into the notebook.
  • Use a surge protector when possible, as a single power surge can damage your computer within a matter of seconds, hindering your computer’s functionality.
  • Avoid using your notebook on soft surfaces such as a sofa, bed, carpeting, comforters, or pillows. Vents located on the bottom of your laptop will be blocked, and airflow will be reduced.
  • When in use, do not lean on top of the notebook or place anything near or on the notebook that could put pressure on the screen. Any pressure applied could possibly push the LCD screen into the keyboard and may eventually damage your computer’s screen.
  • Do not rotate or open the LCD screen beyond its design limit. Portable computers have a design limit as to how far the LCD screen can be rotated open. If the LCD is rotated beyond this limit, damage to the LCD, hinges, or computer will occur. Avoid forcing the LCD screen beyond this limit once resistance is felt.
  • Avoid touching the screen with sharp or pointed objects (ex. Pencils).
  • Do not insert items (especially metal objects) into the openings of the notebook that are not intended for those ports.
  • Avoid having food or drink around the computer.
  • Do not place anything on the keyboard before closing the lid, such as pens, pencils, folders, papers, etc.
  • Close the notebook carefully - from the center top front edge of the screen - avoid excessive force when closing.
  • When storing a computer, do not place other items on top that could put pressure on the computer, such as books. If storing multiple computers, avoid stacking the computers on top of each other.
  • Keep the notebook dry - Protect it from rain, snow, and any liquid.
  • Do not leave your computer in a car (including your trunk) or any location that would expose the notebook to extreme temperature or direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Large temperature swings could damage a computer, and a notebook (or notebook bag) is also an inviting target for a thief.

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Power (Cables and Batteries)

  • Be mindful of where the power cord is plugged in, as the cord may be a tripping hazard.
  • When inserting or removing the power cable into the computer, ensure the connector is lined up with the computer’s port.
    • Be careful not to pull or twist around your notebook when any cables are attached.
  • When unplugging the power cord from the wall socket, pull directly on the plug. Otherwise, the cord could break off from the plug.
  • If you unplug the AC Adapter (if possible) once the battery is fully charged and have your computer run on battery power (plugging the AC Adapter back in once the battery charge falls below 50%), you can extend the useful life of your battery.
  • Notebooks should be shut down when not in use to conserve battery life.

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Carrying/Transporting the Notebook

Caution: It is recommended that the notebook is asleep or shut down completely before carrying or transporting the computer.
  • Before carrying or transporting your computer, remove any devices plugged in, such as thumb drives or the AC Adapter. If hit, any remaining devices could cause damage to the computer ports or the devices themselves.
  • Do not pick up the notebook by the screen or corner of the palmrest, as this could put unnecessary pressure on the LCD or palmrest/touchpad.
  • It is best to close the notebook’s lid before carrying or transporting it from one location to another. If your computer is a 360 2-in-1, ensure it is not in tablet mode with the screen exposed.
  • Consider purchasing a protective notebook case for the highest level of protection (ex. Gumdrop case).
  • It is recommended to use a notebook sleeve, notebook carrying case, or a backpack (with notebook padding) when transporting your computer.
  • Place the computer gently (vs. dropping it) into the notebook carrying case or backpack (with notebook padding) to avoid damage to the chassis or LCD.
  • Do not place anything in the carrying case that could press directly against the computer. This includes allowing too many items, which could put pressure on the computer.

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Cleaning the Notebook

Caution: You need to shut down your computer before cleaning.
  • Clean your laptop often. Taking a few minutes to clean your computer of dust, grime, residue, and so on will make a massive difference in your laptop’s lifespan. Focus on the following: Screen/LCD, keyboard/chassis, and vents:
    • LCD/Screen Cleaning – Gently wipe the screen with a clean, soft, or micro-fiber cloth.  Do not use window cleaner or any type of household cleaner on the LCD. Use a cleaner designed specifically for an LCD.
    • Keyboard/Chassis Cleaning – Wipe surfaces lightly with a clean, soft, or micro-fiber cloth.
    • Vent Cleaning – Use a can of compressed air to clear out any possible dust or debris.
  • For more information regarding how to clean your computer, refer to Dell Knowledge Base Guidance for Keeping Your Dell Technologies Equipment Clean.

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Additional Information

Out of Warranty support Out of warranty? No problem. Visit the website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.

NOTE: Currently, offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, and France PC customers. Server and Storage not applicable.

For information about Dell desktops, see the Dell knowledge base article Best Practices for Product Use and Handling for Dell Desktops.

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Last Published Date

25 Mar 2021



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