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Cold weather tips: how to protect your laptop in cold weather


Cold weather can have adverse effects on the way your phone, tablet and laptop perform. The cold air can lead to condensation appearing on your laptop, which can cause water damage to the screen and internal parts. Cold temperatures reduce your laptop battery’s life, and they can make it difficult to keep your laptop charged. Your laptop has an LCD screen that contains liquid, and the liquid can freeze and prevent your screen from working. While cold weather can severely damage your laptop or even cause it to stop working, CenturyLink is here to help you. Read this blog to find cold weather tips that can help you protect your laptop in cold weather.

A woman watches a show on her laptop on the couch as she drinks a warm cup of tea.

Ways to protect your laptop in cold weather

There are precautions you can take to protect your laptop in cold weather. Preparing for cold weather before you leave the house is a great way to protect your laptop. Buying special accessories can help keep your laptop at an operable temperature. However, there are other things you can do to protect your laptop even if it has been sitting in cold weather for a long time. Here’s a few cold weather tips:

1. Keep your laptop stored in a warm place

Laptop manufacturers, like Apple and HP, recommend that a laptop is stored and used in temperatures that are at least 50 degrees. It’s important to keep your laptop in warm environments during the winter season. Make sure you’re not leaving your laptop in your car when it’s cold outside. Keep your laptop in an insulated case, bag or backpack when traveling in cold weather. If you must sit in cold weather, try to avoid using your laptop while outside.

2. Give the cold laptop time to warm

If you have been sitting in cold weather for a while, give your laptop time to warm up before you use it in a warmer environment. Keep it in its case or bag for at least 30 minutes before you take it out and turn it on. Avoid using alternative heating methods, like a hair dryer, to speed up the warming process. These heating methods can cause damage to your laptop because the rapid temperature change can shock its system.

A laptop in front of a window on a cold and snowy day.

3. Properly defrost a frozen laptop

If you leave your laptop in cold weather for a long period of time, it might be okay. The next thing you need to do is make sure you defrost the laptop properly to limit any damage that occurs. If the surface of your laptop has frosted, the icy gloss can turn into condensation. Wait at least 24 hours before opening the laptop to prevent the condensation from getting on the screen, trackpad and keys. Sit your laptop on a water-absorbent surface, like a towel or micro-fiber cloth, that can soak up the condensation as your laptop defrosts.

4. Change your laptop’s power settings

Sometimes, you can’t wait 24 hours before using your laptop, and you need to use it as soon as you make it home or to work. Adjusting your laptop’s power settings can help keep it warm enough to use immediately. Go to your laptop’s battery or power settings and change the setting to a higher option. This adjusted power setting can help the internal parts generate more heat. Close the laptop while you’re out in the cold, and the power setting will still run. However, an abnormal power setting might also use more battery power, and you should keep a charger with you so you can get all your tasks done.

Other ways to protect your technology

Along with protecting your laptop in cold weather, CenturyLink wants to help you get the most out of your technology. Explore the CenturyLink blog to find ways to protect your electronics from lightning, use and enjoy your laptop, desktop, smartphone and other devices.

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