Laptop Video Tutorials and FAQs


Video links to illustrate how to connect equipment, and FAQ on laptop use.


Setting Up Your Laptop, Dock, and Monitors

We have created a video to illustrate how you might configure your new laptop, dock, and monitors.  The video will also explain how to reorient the screens to provide the displays in contiguous order. Videos will also illustrate proper power connectors, monitor connections, wireless keyboard/mouse connectors. There are additional installation guides that come with the dock and monitors, for additional information.  

Video - Connecting Dell Laptop to a Dock and Monitors

Video - Connecting a MacBook to a Dock and Monitors

FAQ on Laptop Use

Power/Battery Recommendations

  • When powering off your laptop, make sure you observe the power indicator lights turn completely off - BEFORE closing your laptop lid.  Sometimes the device will not actually power off and will instead go into sleep mode and unintentionally drain your battery power.
  • ITS recommends that users should power cycle their systems every so often. 
    • If you're in the habit of leaving your system turned on and simply locking the workstation, and letting it go to sleep, that's okay to do for the most part. However, with various browser and application memory leaks (which can add up over time), you will improve your system performance if you reboot and/or power cycle by turning off your device occasionally.  You can do this daily or weekly. It's not advised to leave it on and never reboot for more than a week at a time.
    • Updates will often need you to reboot to finish their installation.  Please allow this to happen when prompted, as it fits your schedule.
  • Consider powering down your device when traveling.  This will help prevent completely discharging your battery, should you forget that it's still turned on.

Laptop Charging

  • You do not need to use the Dell laptop power adapter while the dock is plugged into the laptop. The dock's power supply will charge the laptop.
    • Leaving your laptop powered on, connected to power all the time, can also shorten the battery life.
    • For the health of the battery, it is important to not keep it plugged in 24x7x365 (via power adapter or via dock).  It is recommended to periodically run the laptop using only battery power from time to time; to allow it to dissipate and then to fully recharge when you plug it back in to power.
  • It is recommended to plug the Mac power adapter into the USB-C HooToo adapter, to both charge the MacBook and other peripherals.

Wired vs Wireless?

  • ITS is recommending that laptop users switch to 100% wireless connectivity to improve their network performance and stability.  This means not using Ethernet cabling in the dock. 
    • ITS has observed random network and Internet connectivity issues or delays with devices switching between wireless and Ethernet. Problems tend to go away when only using wireless. 
    • Systems don't always gracefully detect Ethernet when resuming operations, and will attempt connecting to wireless and then get confused as to which connection point to use. 
    • If your system doesn't appear to connect properly, power cycle the laptop without the dock being plugged in.
  • If you have a dock, please disconnect the Ethernet cord from it - only having power and monitor cables (or keyboard/mouse cables) plugged in.
  • Desktops should continue to use the wired Ethernet connections.
  • If you do experience wireless connectivity issues, please be sure to report them to the ITS Support Center in a timely basis providing specific details on time and locations.


Use External Monitors Only With Laptop Lid Closed

  • You can operate the laptop with the lid closed and have only the external monitors display your desktop; and you can use the Dock Power Button to turn on the laptop when it does go to sleep after a period of inactivity.
    • In Windows, Open Control Panel, then Select Power Options
      • In the left hand pane, Select "Choose what closing the lid does"
        • Under the option, When I close the lid...
          • On Battery - set to Sleep
          • Plugged In - set to Do nothing

Prevent Overheating

  • It is normal for the laptop system fan to come on periodically when the system is in high use (such as video conferencing), or when performing updates and virus scans. If it's periodic and lasts 3 hours or less, that's normal. If it's 24x7, ensure ventilation slots are not blocked and contact ITS, if concerned. Prop up the back of the unit approximately 1/8" to 1/4" to provide additional airflow.
  • Do not operate or place a laptop on surfaces that do not allow the fans to remove heat from the system board.  Smothering the vents will cause the laptop to overheat and ultimately fail.  Avoid placing the laptop on pillows, bed coverings, blankets.  Instead, use hard surface to provide pathways for air to circulate on the bottom and sides of the laptop.
    • If you need to set the laptop down to go do something and don't have proper furnishings to allow proper airflow and you do not want to turn it off, keep the lid open and set the laptop on its side.  This will help ensure airflow on the bottom of the unit and help prevent it from overheating.

Protect the Screen From Damage

  • Do not put pencils, pens, paperclips or other objects on top of the keyboard.  People have done this and closed the lid, breaking their screens.

Secure Access When Not Actively Using The Laptop

  • Lock the system when not in use, to protect against unauthorized access, which aids in securing your files, data, and configurations. 
    • You can use a quick key combination of   Windows key + L  to lock the device and require a password to resume. Or, shut down the system.





Article ID: 131121
Thu 4/1/21 10:30 AM
Tue 6/4/24 4:16 PM