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Dell Laptop Best Practices for Care, Use, and Handling

Summary: This article provides information about best practices for care, use, and handling Dell laptops. Find information about preventive care, how to carry or transport a Dell laptop,See more

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Article Content


Symptoms

Cause

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

Resolution

Overview

Properly caring for and maintaining your Dell laptop will ensure peak performance, longevity, and ideal physical condition. Consistent care is necessary for optimal performance.

The following list includes several best practices in caring for your laptop.

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Preventive Care

  • Cables and removable storage devices must be inserted carefully into the laptop.
  • Use a surge protector when possible, as a single power surge can damage your laptop within a matter of seconds, hindering your laptop’s functionality.
  • Avoid using your laptop on soft surfaces such as a sofa, bed, carpeting, comforters, or pillows. Air vents on the bottom or the sides of your laptop will be blocked, and airflow will be reduced.
  • When in use, do not lean on top of the laptop or place anything near or on the laptop that could put pressure on the screen. Unnecessary pressure can push the LCD screen into the keyboard and may eventually damage your laptop’s screen.
  • Do not rotate or open the LCD screen beyond its design limit. Laptops have a design limit as to how far the LCD screen can be tilted open. If the LCD is tilted beyond this limit, damage to the LCD, hinges, or laptop will occur. Avoid forcing the LCD screen beyond this limit once resistance is felt.
  • Avoid touching the screen with sharp or pointed objects such as pencils, pens, and so on.
  • Do not insert items (especially metal objects) into the openings of the laptop that are not intended for those ports.
  • Avoid having food or beverages around the laptop.
  • Do not place anything on the keyboard before closing the laptop LCD screen, such as pens, pencils, folders, papers, and so on.
  • Close the laptop carefully - from the center top front edge of the screen. Avoid excessive force when closing the LCD screen.
  • The LCD screen and touch screen on Dell monitors, all-in-ones, and laptops are made of polarized glass. This glass could break if the device is dropped or receives a significant impact.
  • When storing a laptop, do not place other items on top that could put unnecessary pressure on the laptop, such as books. When storing multiple laptops, avoid stacking the laptops on top of each other.
  • Keep the laptop dry - protect it from rain, snow, and any liquid.
  • Do not leave your laptop in a car (including the trunk) or any location that would expose the laptop to extreme temperature or direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Large temperature swings could damage a laptop, and a laptop (or laptop bag) is also an inviting target for a thief.
    WARNING: When taking the product through temperature extremes, from low-temperature conditions into a warmer environment or from high-temperature conditions into a cooler environment, allow the product to acclimate to ambient use temperature and for any condensation that may have formed to evaporate before turning on power to avoid damage to the product.
  • For more information regarding general maintenance, including guidance regarding the security of your data, see Dell knowledge base article General Maintenance Guidelines For a Dell Computer.

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Cleaning the Laptop

CAUTION: Dell recommends powering off the laptop and disconnecting the power cables and other devices before cleaning.
  • Clean your laptop often. Taking a few minutes to clean your laptop of dust, grime, residue, and so on, will make a massive difference in your laptop’s lifespan. Focus on cleaning the LCD screen, keyboard, chassis, and air vents:
    • LCD screen cleaning – Gently wipe the screen with a clean and soft microfiber cloth. Do not use window cleaner or any type of household cleaner on the LCD screen. Use a cleaner that is designed for an LCD screen.
    • Keyboard or chassis cleaning – Wipe the surface gently with a clean and soft microfiber cloth.
    • Air vent cleaning – Use a can of compressed air to clear out any possible dust or debris.
  • For more information regarding how to clean your laptop, see Dell knowledge base article Guidance for Keeping Your Dell Technologies Equipment Clean.

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Power (AC adapter, Cables, and Batteries)

  • Reminder: To help protect your laptop from sudden, transient increases and decreases in electrical power, use a surge suppressor, line conditioner, or uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
  • Use only the Dell-provided AC adapter that is approved for use with your Dell laptop or docking station.
  • Avoid covering the AC adapter with paper or other items, which will reduce cooling. Also, do not use the AC adapter inside a carrying case.
  • Be mindful of where the power cable is plugged in, as the cable may be a tripping hazard.
  • When inserting or removing the power cable of the laptop, ensure that the connector is lined up with the laptop’s power port.
    • Be careful not to pull or twist the laptop when any cables are attached.
  • Ensure all the cables are securely connected at both ends.
  • When unplugging the power cable from the wall socket, pull directly on the plug. Otherwise, the cable could break off from the plug.
  • Unplug the AC Adapter (if possible) after the battery is fully charged and have your laptop run on battery power. Plug the AC adapter back in after the battery charge falls below 50 percent. This helps extend the life of the battery.
  • Laptops must be shut down when not in use to conserve battery life.

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Carrying or Transporting the Laptop

CAUTION: Dell recommends powering off the laptop completely before carrying or transporting the laptop.
  • Before carrying or transporting your laptop, remove any devices that are plugged in, such as USB drives or the AC adapter. If hit, any remaining devices can cause damage to the laptop ports or the devices themselves.
  • Do not pick up the laptop by holding the screen or the corner of the palmrest. This can put unnecessary pressure on the LCD, palmrest, or touchpad.
  • It is best to close the laptop LCD screen before carrying or transporting it from one location to another. If your Dell laptop is a 2-in-1 convertible, ensure that it is not in tablet mode with the screen exposed.
  • Consider purchasing a protective laptop case for the highest level of protection, such as a gum drop case.
  • Dell recommends using a laptop sleeve, laptop carrying case, or a backpack (with laptop padding) when transporting your laptop.
  • Power down (turn off) the laptop and then gently placing it (versus dropping it) into the laptop carrying case or backpack (with laptop padding) to avoid damage to the chassis or LCD screen.
  • Do not place anything in the carrying case that could press directly against the laptop. This includes putting too many items in the carrying case or backpack, which can put unnecessary pressure on the laptop.

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Additional Information

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

NOTE: Offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and China personal computer customers. Server and Storage not applicable.

Article Properties


Affected Product

G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models, Mobile Workstations

Last Published Date

17 Jun 2021

Version

13

Article Type

Solution