6 ways to care for your laptop charger and power cord to extend its life

Laptop power cord
Protecting your your laptop power cord from damage will save you money and stress.

  • Maintaining the integrity of your laptop charger will help ensure you can safely charge your laptop with it for longer.
  • Tightly wrapping your laptop power cord is among several reasons it breaks down faster.
  • Avoiding contact with table edges, exposure to liquids and more can help prevent wearing down the rubber protecting the wires inside your cord.
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A laptop charger is essential to have on hand, and replacing one is a pain (and can be expensive.) There are a few simple tips to follow when it comes to extending your laptop charger’s life. 

Laptop chargers have two parts: a transformer and a power cord. The transformer is the brick that converts the current from your power outlet from AC to DC, and the power cord connects the charger to the outlet. 

Over time, transformers can overheat, which can cause internal damage. Simultaneously, any section of your power cord can wear away and expose the wires inside.

How to care for your laptop charger and power cord

Macbook charger
Laptop charger health can save you money and unexpected stress.

Maintaining your laptop charger’s integrity will help ensure you can safely charge your laptop with it. Here are six ways to do it. 

Avoid tightly wrapping your laptop power cord

Wrapped laptop power cord
Wrapping your charger tightly can damage the wires.

While it may be tempting to wrap your laptop power cord in a tight pattern to keep it organized, doing so can shorten the life of your charger. This practice puts repetitive stress on the thin copper conductors inside power cords and can cause them to break. 

To avoid this, loop your laptop power cord loosely to avoid crimping the wires and if you can wrap it a different way each time to avoid repetitive stress on the same section.

Use a power strip

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Consider a power strip to avoid any electrical damage to your laptop’s power cord.

But not just any power strip––make sure it has a built-in surge protector. In addition to offering convenience (allowing you to plug in multiple devices with only one outlet), power strips with surge protectors can protect your laptop, phone, and other electronic devices from power surges that can damage your device.

Ensure the transformer has room to breathe

Laptop charger transformer
Your transformer can get overheated and damage your charger wires.

The transformer can get hot during the charging process. To avoid overheating while your laptop is charging, make sure it’s placed somewhere with plenty of airflows (e.g., not wedged in a couch cushion), especially if you know you’ll be plugged in for an extended period.

Avoid contact with sharp edges

Power cord on table edge
Resting power cords on the edges of desks and tables can wear them down.

Exposed wires are a big no-no, and extended contact with sharp surfaces like table edges can wear away the rubber protecting the wires in your laptop power cord. 

Whether you often move your power cord from one place to another or have a designated charging hub, ensure your setup doesn’t expose these delicate wires to sharp edges.

Keep your power cord away from water

Glass of water next to computer
Try and keep your cord and your computer away from liquids.

Water and electronic devices don’t mix, so it’s essential to avoid situations where your laptop power cord could be accidentally exposed to water as this can cause electrocution, damage to your laptop, or both. This means not charging your laptop in or near your kitchen or bathroom. 

If your laptop charger comes into contact with water, disconnect it from the outlet at once and move it away. Thoroughly dry the charger and make sure it is completely dry before deciding whether to use it again.

Use different cords to avoid overuse during transport or storage

Device cords
Keeping multiple cords for all your devices can help you avoid charging hiccups.

Of course, this means you’ll have a backup when one breaks down. But opting to have two in your possession is about more than being proactive. It can help reduce the wear and tear of both — and will likely improve their life span.

Reserve a cord specifically for travel, and leave your other charger in your living room or bedroom. Only use the travel cord while you’re on-the-go and the living or bedroom cord while you’re working in the house and in those rooms.

This will help you avoid pulling, stretching, and wrapping your cords as frequently. 

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