Ultimately, a laptop is a precision piece of equipment that has many delicate parts. One would think its many electronic pieces would be the most fragile, and yet, it seems like the hinges, rudimentary mechanical pieces, tend to break the most. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to prevent your laptop hinges from breaking.
Most of these methods are simple tips, and dare we say, common sense. The most effective way to keep your hinges intact is to be careful with your computer, but we’ll talk about that in more detail down below.
- Things to Avoid
- Things to Keep in Mind
- What to Do When Your Hinges Break
Things to Avoid
Here are some of the most common mistakes people make with their laptops that cause the hinges to eventually give up.
Don’t Drop It
Yes, yes, we know. Who needs to be told not to drop their laptop? Obviously, that’s a good idea. But dropping your laptop while open is a different beast than dropping it while closed. If your laptop is open when you drop it, the hinges have a much higher chance of being damaged. We recommend keeping your laptop on a solid surface while opening and closing it.
Don’t Place Things Between the Lid and the Keyboard
The hinges of your laptop are designed to let the lid rest neatly against the keyboard. What they aren’t designed to do is close your laptop properly with something hefty between the lid and the keyboard. If you ever close your laptop and can see a bulge or separation between the two halves, you are putting undue strain on the hinges.
Papers? Fine. But anything thick enough to displace the lid when closed is not doing your hinges any favors.
Do Not Carry or Lift by the Screen!
The hinges of your laptop were designed to support the weight of the monitor, not the weight of the keyboard. Lifting or carrying your laptop by the monitor is a terrible idea that will place a lot of unnecessary strain on the hinges, since they are supporting more weight than they were meant to.
Basically, if you have to carry your laptop around, please just close the lid and carry the thing properly. Carrying laptops around while open is one of the leading causes of laptop damage.
Open and Close the Laptop Properly
If you know a thing or two about physics, you know that there are some ways of putting strain on the hinges that are less than desirable. A lot of people damage their hinges because they open or close their laptop in a bad way.
For instance, you don’t want to open or close your laptop with just one corner of the screen. That’s going to be put stress on the hinges because the strain is not being evenly distributed. If you want to open from the corners, make sure you grab both at the same time.
It’s really better to open or close your laptop from the center. The absolute best option is to actually open or close it from the bottom, near where the hinges are actually located. That reduces the strain placed on them.
All of this is doubly true for heavier laptops. The heavier the laptop, the more strain placed on the hinges if you open or close it improperly. Keep that in mind!
Invest in a Computer Bag
Your laptop hinges aren’t too likely to get damaged while it is closed. But that doesn’t mean the odds are zero. If you are going to be traveling around with your laptop a lot, we recommend getting an actual bag for it instead of holding it or just placing it haphazardly in a backpack.
Most computer bags have some degree of cushioning, and with no other objects to worry about, you don’t need to be concerned about your laptop bumping into things or people. Plus, computer bags are very convenient!
Avoid Cheap Laptops
When a laptop is cheap, it’s because it is made out of cheap parts. Obviously, that can include the hinges. Cheaper hinges, like all things, don’t last as long as more expensive hinges do. Generally speaking, a more expensive laptop is going to last longer than a cheap one in most regards.
Of course, that isn’t always the case, but one way or another, you can generally expect a cheaper laptop to get broken hinges earlier than a more expensive laptop.
Things to Keep in Mind
It’s important to understand the following aspects of your hinges. Without knowing this stuff, you may be led to believe something that’s just not true.
Everything Breaks Eventually
Even if you are very careful with your laptop and treat it right, nothing lasts forever. Have you ever looked at a keyboard online, and the product description mentions how many clicks each key is supposedly capable of before breaking?
All mechanical objects are like that. Even when treated well, they have a limited lifespan. Every time you open and close your laptop, the hinge durability is lessened, ever so slightly. Take the best care of them that you can, but one day they are going to break regardless.
Hinges are Pretty Cheap
When the day comes and you break a hinge, or maybe even both hinges, don’t fret about it too much. Of all the different things that could break on your computer, the hinges are some of the cheapest. You can easily buy replacements online for just a few dollars.
Of course, just because they are cheap doesn’t mean you want to spend money you don’t have to, so you should still take care of your hinges and try to make them last as long as possible. But if they did break, it would hardly be the end of the world. On that note…
Hinges Usually Aren’t Hard to Replace
Lots of people own computers nowadays, but most of them don’t know too much about the inner workings of their devices and how everything fits together. Lots of people would be anxious if something in their laptop broke, because chances are, they don’t know how to fix it.
There are some things in a laptop that would best be left to a professional if it needed replacing, but the hinges are actually pretty simple. They are usually very easy to reach and don’t require the computer to be stripped down too far. On top of that, removing and replacing them usually just takes a screwdriver.
All things being equal, you are almost guaranteed to find a video online showing you how to replace the hinges on your laptop, so give it a try yourself before paying anyone else to do it.
What to Do When Your Hinges Break
When your hinges eventually break, there’s a few things you can do. It all depends on just how broken they are, of course, but one way or another, you’ll want your laptop to be operable.
Well, this one is simple and obvious, right? If your hinges break, you can always buy new ones for cheap online, find an easy video on YouTube showing you how to do things right, and replace them yourself with little more than a screwdriver. Just make sure you get the right parts for your laptop model. Hinges are not universally interchangeable!
Do a DIY Fix
Say you can’t get hinges or can’t replace the broken ones for some reason. If you are a bit of a handyman, you can do a DIY fix. Depending on how broken your hinge is and where it is broken, you may be able to repair it with something like glue or soldering. We wouldn’t recommend this if you didn’t have to do it, however.
You could also drill into the rear of your computer and add screws to a new place on the hinge, but that’s pretty risky, and it would also look super ugly. But hey, if you have to!
Maybe you can order new hinges online, but you aren’t going to get them for a few days and you really need your laptop. What can you do with it if the hinges are broken?
Well, if you just need your laptop to be temporarily operable, you can get a little… redneck with it, if you will. Sometimes, a solution looks kind of dumb, but it’s better than nothing. Depending on what type of damage your hinges suffered, there are a few things you can do to hold the laptop together until you can replace them.
You can try to use a tape to hold things together, or even rubber bands. If your hinge has snapped in two, as they often do, you can use something like a clothespin or similar clamp object to hold the computer together until a replacement is available. It’ll look ridiculous, but it might just work!
Ultimately, you’d like to avoid that situation though. That said, be sure to always open and close your laptop properly, and never hold it by the screen. And of course, try not to drop the thing if you can help it! Keep all of that in mind, and hopefully, your hinges will last for a while.