How often should you replace your laptop?

Laptops have only become more and more popular in recent years. And with their increased popularity, there have been an abundance of new models being released. Not only this, but laptops are evolving at a fast rate, with more powerful laptops being released each year.

This begs the question; just how often should you replace your laptop? How long do you have before your current laptop is obsolete, and you’d be better off opting for a new one? Well, that’s what I’m going to try and answer today so you know just how long the lifespan of your laptop is.

How often should you replace your laptop?

The correct answer is that for many people, the 4-5 year rule seems to be the sweet spot in terms of using your laptop. After 5 years, it’s often better to upgrade to a laptop with better specifications that’s going to be more powerful than your current laptop. However, if you have opted for a Macbook, then it could last quite a bit longer than this without you needing to upgrade.

The reality is that even after 4 years, you might not even want to replace your laptop. If everything is still running smoothly, then there may be no need for you to upgrade to a newer machine.

There are some telltale signs that you can look for in your laptop which will indicate that it might be time for you to purchase a new model. They’re not relevant to all devices, but they’re definitely worth considering.

How to know when it’s time to upgrade

Here are some of the ways that you can recognize it’s time for you to upgrade to a new device.

Your performance goes downhill – The main sign that it might be time that you need to upgrade is if the performance on your device starts to slow down. However, this can also just be due to having too much installed & saved on your laptop too, so make sure that you clear your laptop out before coming to this conclusion.
It takes ages to load up – Another key sign that it might be time for you to move on is when your laptop takes ages to start. If it’s taking a whole lot longer to start than when you first bought it, then it’s probably time for you to upgrade.
Your laptop shutdowns randomly – There’s not much out there more frustrating than your laptop randomly shutting down on you. This is often because the machine has overheated, so it could be time to either upgrade your device or get a new one.
Incompatibility with new software – Another signal that your laptop might be on it’s last legs is if it’s not working with new software. Some newer softwares won’t run well on older models of laptops, so you will need a new one of you want to run newer softwares.
Display quality – The final thing that I’d look for when you’re thinking whether you need a new laptop is the quality of your screen. If your laptop is starting to have dead pixels in the display, or it begins to flicker, then it might be time for you to upgrade.

Do I really need a new laptop?

If you’re still not sure whether you really need a new laptop, then you may just want to opt to upgrade it instead. Not all laptops have the ability to be upgraded – for example Macbooks don’t – but many Windows laptops do. So, you could just consider adding some RAM to your laptop and seeing if this makes a difference.

The general rule of thumb is that if a laptop is 5 years or older, then you may see better results getting a completely new laptop than just upgrading your old one. However, with a Macbook you should be able to get a longer period of use out of it than this.

Why do Mac’s last longer?

Generally, on average a Macbook will last a bit longer than a Windows laptop – it’s not too much to ask a Mac to last 7 or 8 years. This is typically because they’re made to a higher build quality than many cheaper Windows laptops.

This doesn’t mean to say that no Windows laptops will last longer than 5 years though. Some more premium models will last longer than cheaper models – for example, you can expect a longer life out of a Dell XPS laptop in comparison to say, a standard Acer laptop.


In conclusion, it’s definitely a good idea to think about upgrading your laptop every 4 or 5 years. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to upgrade, and some people will trade their laptops in earlier than they have to (this is why there’s a ton of refurbished models available, which make a great laptop choice for students).

Macbook’s do tend to have a longer shelf life than most Windows laptops out there, but Thinkpad’s and other models can last for a while too. So, make sure that you need to upgrade before you do so, because there may be no need.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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