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Protecting Your Laptop from Winter Conditions

Maybe you’re one of those lucky people who live and work in an area where 65 degrees is considered an arctic chill, but for most of us the cold hand of winter is now upon us. Freezing temps and nasty winter weather can do damage on more than your tires. It can also affect your laptop, and if you’re like me that thought is nothing short of devastating. Here are four tips to help keep your mobile computer safe from Old Man Winter.

It’s in the bag – If cold temperatures and winter elements are a factor where you are, consider purchasing an insulated laptop bag. Yes, they can be pricey but having a case that will protect your computer from cold and keep out the rain, sleet and snow is worth the investment. Look at it this way – it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than having to replace your laptop.

Keep it with you – It may be tempting to just leave your laptop in the backseat of your car when you get home after a long day, but frigid temps can mean disaster for your computer. Not only can it damage the battery and reduce the lifespan of your unit, but there is even a risk that your monitor could literally freeze and crack. Suck it up and lug it in with you.

Keep warmers away – If you like to use pocket warmers or other small hand warmers to keep your digits toasty, be sure you don’t store them anywhere near your laptop. The heat they throw off can melt your computer’s internal components.

Let it warm up – If you did happen to disregard my warning about never leaving your laptop in the car, or your computer was exposed to freezing temperatures for a half hour or more, it’s a must that you give it sufficient time to warm up before you start it. Give it about 20-30 minutes, or until it reaches room temperature.

If you do find yourself with a laptop that’s frozen solid, don’t panic. It may still be revivable. Slowly bring it to a warmer temperature before attempting to open it (this may take a few days). Once it’s sufficiently thawed, give it a go. You may get lucky and end up with just a few missing pixels. If it’s more damaged, bring it to your local computer repair shop to have it examined.

Winter weather can suck, plain and simple. Unfortunately for many of us, it’s something we just have to muddle through until spring arrives. These tips should help you manage through the cold and elements so you and your laptop can emerge unscathed on the other side.

posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 9:33 AM