How Long Do Laptops Last?

You can normally expect your laptop to last between 3 to 5 years in general. But the exact lifespan will depend on factors like the quality of the laptop, how you treat it, and what it is primarily used for on a day-to-day basis.

I am a longtime laptop user, and have used it for everything from running intensive programs, to using word processors, to simply browsing the internet. Something that I, as well as other laptop owners, often wonder about is how long our laptops will last before needing to be replaced.

This guide is going to take a closer look at just how many years you can expect out of your laptop, what factors into how long they will last, and how you can help them last as long as possible.

Key Takeaways

  • The brand, build, and hardware quality of your laptop plays a major role in how long it will last.
  • Treating your laptop well, caring for it, and keeping it clean will increase its lifespan.
  • Laptops that are used for simple and general tasks will often last longer than ones that were used for intensive and complex purposes.
  • There are things you can do to improve the lifespan of your laptop, such as repairing or repasting parts.

How Long Will My Laptop Last?

In many cases, a laptop will last from 3 to 5 years, give or take a couple of years. You will often experience a gradual decline in performance or battery, and may find it doesn’t handle tasks, programs, or apps like it once could.

However, when it comes to the exact amount of time that a laptop will last, it depends on a number of different factors. In some cases, laptops may only last a few years, while others will be able to remain functional for a decade or longer.

Factors That Influence How Long a Laptop Will Last

There are many different factors that can have an impact on how well a laptop ages, and we’re going to take a closer look at them here.

Brand, Build, and Hardware Quality

The hardware inside your laptop is a very important factor in how long your computer will last. The better your processor, RAM, storage, and graphics, the longer your laptop will work well before it becomes obsolete and can no longer handle the tasks you need it to.

If you’re not sure about the hardware in your laptop, there are some places you can check. If you have a Windows PC, go to Settings > About, and you can get a look at the processor and RAM. Going to Settings > Storage can give you a look at how much storage space you have.

For Apple laptops, you can click on the Apple Menu, and then click on About This Mac for information about the specs and hardware of your computer.

The build quality of your laptop is also important to think about. Laptops made from durable and quality materials (inside and out), will often stand up better to wear and tear than cheaper options.

Even the brand can dictate how long a laptop will last. Many brands are well-known for being reliable including HP, Dell, Samsung, and Toshiba. Of course, other laptops like the Apple MacBook, the Asus ZenBook, and the Lenovo ThinkBook are also very highly regarded.

It is important to note that each brand normally has several different laptops, so the budget version from these brands will likely not last as long as the high-end offering from the same company.

How Well the Laptop is Treated

Another factor that will determine whether a laptop only lasts a few years, or a decade, is how well you treat the machine. If you throw your laptop around in your bag recklessly or drop it often, don’t be surprised when it doesn’t last very long.

Also, take some time to keep the laptop clean. If you allow dust, dirt, and debris to damage the laptop, it could become damaged or the performance will suffer. Always be careful with the computer, and ensure it’s always safe when transporting and using it.

What The Laptop is Used for

The tasks you generally use your laptop for will also dictate how soon it will need to be replaced. If you simply need a computer to browse the internet or use word processors, your laptop should be able to handle these tasks for many years, potentially even a decade or longer.

On the other hand, if you use your laptop for intensive tasks like editing, programming, or graphic design, it will become obsolete much quicker. Technology advances quickly, and your old laptop with outdated specs simply won’t be able to keep up, unless you make upgrades.


Here are a few common questions you might be wondering about how long your laptop will last.

How Long Do Gaming Laptops Last?

Gaming laptops will generally become outdated after a couple of years, as there are always new graphics cards and CPUs coming out, and games become more and more complex and intensive for your computer to run well.

The computer will physically be able to play games for many years, but the performance will suffer unless you are making frequent upgrades to keep it current.

How Can I Tell When My Laptop is Nearing the End of its Life?

If the performance of your laptop is beginning to get worse, it can often be a sign the computer is on its last legs. This could be the battery, the page loading speed, the computer taking longer to start up, and various other issues coming to the surface.

Also, if the keyboard or touchpad becomes stuck, damaged, or simply isn’t as responsive, it’s not a good sign. Some of these things can be replaced, but at some point, it makes more sense to simply buy a new laptop than to spend hundreds on keeping yours alive.

How Long Do Desktops Last?

In general, a desktop will last a couple of years longer than a laptop. This is because they are not as delicate as laptops, not moved around as often, and generally treated with more care. Desktops often have better power regulation, and normally have better ventilation, too.

What are Things I Can Do to Help My Laptop Last Longer?

One great way to keep your laptop functional for longer is to swap out the battery every few years. Replacement batteries are cheap, and can provide a much better experience. You can also change out the hard drive, keep it secure, and ensure the laptop stays cool.

Also, try to keep the laptop clean and in pristine shape. This includes removing dust from the ventilation, keeping the keys clean, and wiping down the screen.

Final Thoughts

The lifespan of your laptop will depend on its quality, how well you treat it, what it is used for, and the things you do to help it last longer. We hope this guide helps you understand not only how long many laptops will last, but also how you can help yours last as long as possible.

How long has your current laptop lasted? Do you have any tips or tricks for a longer-lasting laptop that we forgot to mention? If so, we’d love to hear from you in a comment below.

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