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How to maintain your UCOP devices and equipment

Over the past few years, the IT Service Desk has seen an increase in overheated batteries and other hardware issues. To maintain a healthy device, here are some guidelines we have found to be useful when working from the office or from home.


A dirty laptop fan: So gross!

Your laptop has a fan that keeps it cool. When dust and other particulates are pulled into your laptop by the fan, the buildup reduces effectiveness, causing the laptop to overheat. This higher operating temperature contributes to poor performance, excessive fan noise and premature aging of the laptop battery. It can also cause your laptop to shut down unexpectedly. Common causes of fan failure include:

  • Pet hair. We love our pets, and they love the warmth of our laptops. Please ensure your pet has a dedicated space to relax that is not on top of the keyboard or directly behind the laptop.
  • Leaving your laptop on a soft surface like a pillow or quilt. When a laptop sinks into a soft surface, the fan can’t do its job. This can cause the battery to overheat. Overheated batteries have become the No. 1 hardware support issue since we started working from home and in a hybrid environment.
  • Leaving the laptop on all the time. It’s a good idea to shut off your system at least once a week.

To maintain a cleaner fan, periodically use compressed air to blow out the dust through the openings you see on the bottom of the laptop.

If you like to snack while at your laptop, clean your keyboard periodically by turning it upside down and giving it a couple of good shakes. You will be surprised at the volume of dust and crumbs that will fall out!


Like laptops, your work cellphone must be properly maintained and reserved for UCOP business. Here are some helpful rules of thumb:

  • Don’t remove your screen protector and case – they’re needed to protect your phone from damage.
  • Don’t switch out SIM cards. Use only the SIM card provided by UCOP.
  • Remove apps that are not used for UCOP business.
  • Don’t forward your UCOP phone calls to a personal or other business phone.

Device refresh guidelines

IT hardware is more durable than it used to be and many devices can perform well beyond our former three- to five-year replacement cycle. Here are some factors that influence equipment replacement:

  • Proper care: Following the guidelines above can greatly extend your equipment’s lifespan.
  • Travel: A laptop that travels frequently to and from the office is likely to require replacement before one that remains in the same location.
  • Hardware damage, slow performance and compatibility with current software and firmware: Even if you take care of your devices, accidents happen and some technology becomes obsolete.

If you suspect that your laptop needs to be replaced, contact the IT Service Desk. We’ll perform a series of diagnostics to determine the best course of action.

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