Even if you've had your laptop for a couple of years, the chances are it can be still used for another few. We tend to replace our devices way too often while we could easily improve their performance and prolong their life expectancy with just a bunch of fixes. Let's take a look at five things you could do to improve your old laptop's performance, or that you could stick to if you have just bought a new device.

Clean your hardware components regularly

Clean your hardware components regularly

You may believe it or not, but very often potential hardware failures are caused by the users who forget to keep their computers' parts squeaky clean. Every now and then you should clean the components of your computer with dedicated tools to remove the dust from the fan. Clean the keyboard (they can be dirtier than toilet seats!) and the mouse, if you use it. You should also remember to clean the LCD display. Remember to not to use dripping wet utensils and never dismantle your laptop if you know you won't know how to put it together again. It's better to spend a couple of dollars on professional cleaning in a hardware service than make your computer no longer usable, isn't it?

Be careful with your computer

I belive it isn't something you should be reminded of, but just in case your forgot: computers are really easily breakable. You can break your screen if you aren't careful, and failed hard drives are not unheard of, either. Just remember to replace the old, worn-out components with new ones, and you may save yourself a lot of money (not to mention trouble).

Regular updates are a must

Windows Update isn't there to waste your time but to improve your computer's performance. With each update some bugs are fixed and issues solved, so keep in mind that up-to-date software really helps.

Remember to update your software regularly

Regular updates not only ensure that your software is working correctly, but they also minimize the risk of catching a virus infection.

Make sure your system is not overloaded

A majority of computers slow down not because they get older (age has a minimal impact on a PC performance) but because you pack it with unneeded (or necessary) software. Remember to only keep the programs and files you need on your laptop, and consider moving your music, movie or picture collection to a cloud service, such as Google Drive, SkyDrive or Dropbox. Disable any unneeded startup applications - they are the number one culprit when it comes to slowing down your PC. You can do this (and more) using CCleaner. A fit system moves faster than a chubby one.

Purchase better components

Some people may be terrified by the idea of buying extra hardware to their laptops, but it's possible, and often incredibly beneficial. Add some RAM, buy a better hard drive (or, even better, an SSD). An old, worn-out battery may also cause some problems.

Windows is not always the ultimate answer

Re-install the system

If you have used your Windows system for quite a while you may want to re-install it; it always gives a fresh start. And if your PC is a couple of years old and you use it for working (writing, calculating) and browsing the Internet you should consider installing a lighweight Linux distribution, such as Xubuntu or Macpup. They will work efficiently on an old laptop, and while older versions of Windows (such as Windows XP) will soon be no longer supported Linux systems are updated all the time, not to mention they are completely free.