Caring For Your Laptop

The purchase of a laptop is a big investment; therefore it’s vital that you take appropriate steps to protect it. Laptops are very fragile and can be easily damaged.  You need to take great care in the usage, handling and transport of your laptop.  A damaged laptop can cause loss of important data or programs and it can be very time consuming and expensive to fix. Below is a list of important tips for taking care of your laptop. 

Keep it Dry and Clean

  • Do not expose your computer to liquids or moisture
  • Be very careful when eating or drinking near your laptop
  • Do not expose your laptop to dirty or dusty environments
  • Try not to touch the screen (unless it is a touch screen laptop!), or splatter liquids, etc. near the screen
  • Do not use regular window cleaners to clean your laptop screen.
    You can purchase laptop screen cleaning kits from most computer supply stores.

Handle with Care -- It can break!

  • Take care not to drop or place heavy objects on top of the laptop
  • Keep your laptop off the floor
  • Don't carry a laptop by its screen -- try to avoid touching the screen altogether
  • Do not place your laptop on uneven or unstable work area surfaces from which it could fall.

Keep It Cool and Neutral

  • Do not expose your laptop to extreme heat (122°F, 50°C) or extreme cold (below 0°C, 32°F) or direct sunlight. 
  • Keep your laptop away from strong magnetic or electrical fields.

Protect It

Try to always carry your laptop in a backpack, carry bag, etc. that has a protective pocket specifically made for laptops.  Do not carry an unprotected laptop in your backpack along with your books etc.  Laptops can be easily damaged while being carried around unprotected in a regular backpack.  If you must carry your laptop in an unprotected backpack try to wrap it with bubble wrap, foam rubber, etc.  If you don’t already have a backpack that has a protective pocket for laptops, we recommend that you purchase one.  More information on protective backpacks can be found at:

Keep it Healthy

Faculty & Staff: University managed workstations are already protected. DO NOT install additional virus protection on your work laptop or try to encrypt your hard drive without involving your IT support team. Contact your Academic Representative (Faculty) or Client Support (Staff) with any questions.

Install Virus Protection Software

Make sure you use Virus protection.  

Encrypt your Hard Drive

Some computers have built-in functionality to encrypt your hard drive. This will ensure that your personal data is safe even if your device is physically stolen. Computers running Windows 10 Pro can enable Bitlocker, and those running MacOS Lion or later can enable FileVault

NOTE: It is very important when enabling device encryption that you securely store your recovery key. Having access to your recovery key means that you'll always have access to your data in case you are locked out.

Enable Find My Device for MacOS

Find My Mac & Find My iPhone are two services that apple provides to allow users to track the GPS location of their devices. Learn how to enable both of these services here.

Consider Buying a Security Cable

Security cables are essentially bike locks for your laptop. Devices compatible with security cables allow you to physically lock your device to a desk and require a user to unlock the cable using either a key or combination. Security cables can be bought from most computer supply stores.


Students - Wharton Computing Student Support

Faculty - IT Representative

Staff - IT Representative