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If you own a laptop, you will undoubtedly enjoy the convenience of being able to take the computer with you wherever you go. However, it is also possible to use the machine at home or in the office for extended periods of time. If so, you are faced with the dilemma of whether or not to disconnect the device from time to time.

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TigerDirect.com, a supplier of computers and parts, indicates that leaving the laptop plugged in for extended periods of time won’t damage the machine, as most manufacturers designing their products with the idea will fit most of the time. Laptops equipped with Li-ion batteries will not be adversely affected by leaving the machine plugged in, as this will not create significant additional drain on the battery. The process of constantly plugging and unplugging could also shorten the life expectancy of a battery.

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While keeping your laptop plugged in will not adversely affect the machine, keeping it running for long periods can cause damage. While a laptop is running, internal components accumulate heat, which leads to their deterioration over time. Or if you don’t choose to leave the machine plugged in, a good practice is to turn it off when you’re done using it. Perform a complete shutdown instead of selecting Standby or Hibernation mode.

new purchase

According to the computer technology education website Hope, it is advisable to keep a newly purchased laptop connected for a minimum of 24 hours. The machine may have been sitting on the store shelf for a long time without being plugged in, so this ensures that the battery will be fully charged. After the initial 24 hour charge, unplug the laptop and let the battery degrade completely before plugging in again. This process can also offer long-term benefits, like it can extend battery life.

Variations of the manufacturer

Some manufacturers offer their own recommendations for how long to keep their laptops connected, so it’s important to consult your owner’s manual for product-specific guidelines. For example, Apple suggests intermittent buffering and unplugging of its machines to get maximum battery performance. Apple offers the example of a commuter who unplugs his laptop while on the way to work or on the road and then plugs it back into when he reaches his destination.

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Laptops are designed to be more comfortable to carry and use than desktop computers. Unfortunately, their compact all-in-one can make it much harder to work on when you have to try to upgrade or repair them. When trying to replace a keyboard on a Gateway laptop, you may find the frustration of having to repair a laptop yourself; Thankfully, these repairs are generally much easier to actually perform than they may seem at first glance. Replacing a Gateway laptop keyboard should only take a few minutes, which means your laptop can be fully functional again in no flat time.


1 Visit the Gateway support document site and locate the “User’s Guide” ads for the laptop model. You should be able to locate either a “parts replacement manual”, or a document focusing specifically on replacing the keyboard for that model (as different keyboard models have slightly different methods of removing the keyboard.) FAQ in model support documents, as they may also contain information on replacing the keyboard.

2 Turn off the Gateway laptop and remove the battery. This is not only to ensure that you don’t accidentally damage your laptop by powering it up while you work on its components, but it may also be necessary to reach for the mounting screws for your laptop keyboard. Press the power button once after the battery is removed to discharge any remaining electricity the laptop can store.

3 Review the support documents for your Gateway laptop model and find out where the keyboard mounting screws are. There will most likely be between two and five screws, depending on the specific model of laptop you have. You may need to remove the keyboard bezel (the plastic strip that extends along the top of the keyboard) to reach some or all of the screws; This can be done either by sliding the bezel to the right of the laptop or by simply lifting it up once loosened (although you may need to use a coin or flat head screwdriver to detach clips or force the bezel from its resting position.)

4 Remove the screws that secure the keyboard in place. The screws will be placed on the bottom of the laptop (under the space the battery occupies), or under the keyboard bezel. Put the screws in a safe place where they will not be lost, as you need to use them to secure the new keyboard.

5 Lift the keyboard from the bottom, detaching the keyboard connector and pulling the keyboard free from the Gateway laptop, then setting aside. You may need to once again use a coin or flat head screwdriver to depress clips that may be holding the keyboard in place.)

6 Plug the new keyboard into the keyboard connector, then carefully reposition it in the space previously occupied by your old keyboard. If the keyboard was designed to be held in place by clips, press down with enough pressure to snap the keyboard into place.

7 Replace the screws that you previously removed from the Gateway laptop. Make sure the screws are firmly in place both to ensure that the keyboard is secure and also to eliminate any problems with replacing the faceplate or the battery.

8 Reattach the faceplate (if it was removed) and the laptop battery, making sure that all components have been reattached and are securely. Once the battery is in place, press the power button to turn on the Gateway laptop and give your operating system a chance to recognize the newly installed keyboard.

Advice and warnings

  • Due to different style considerations, some Gateway laptops may require add-ons such as the monitor to be removed to remove the bevel or replace the keyboard. Be sure to read the proper support document in order to know exactly what your laptop will need before you start.When ordering or purchasing a new keyboard for a Gateway laptop, make sure that the keyboard you purchase it is designed for the specific model of laptop before buying.
  • Make sure you stay in contact with a grounded metal object, or otherwise discharge static electricity when working on a laptop to avoid the damage that electrostatic charges can cause to computer components.


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