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How To Carry A Laptop In Backpack (7 Proven Steps For Protection)

Whether you’re using your laptop at work, college or you just wish to have it with you, safely carrying your computer is a real concern. There is an array of different laptop backpacks you can purchase to keep it safe.  

If you don't have the money to spend on a proper laptop case or bag, then what exactly are your options? Don't fret! In this guide, we'll discuss some things you can do to keep your computer safe and give you tips on how to carry laptop in backpack.  

Ways A Laptop Can Be Damaged In A Backpack 

It doesn’t take much to damage your laptop on the go. You could simply knock your bag the wrong way, or if you were to drop it unexpectedly, the damage could be substantial. Below are some different ways damage can occur in a backpack: 

  • Drops 
    It’s not surprising that your laptop can take damage when you drop it, and using a backpack will make no difference to this. It can lead to scuffs, breaks, ports damage, or battery damage.  
  • Bumps Or Bangs 
    Your backpack is equipped to deal with bumping into walls or knocking past people, but a laptop isn’t designed to take bumps. Smacking your bag into a wall accidentally can cause any form of damage as listed above. 
  • Shakes 
    If you have a hard drive, then the shaking around in your bag as you walk can cause loss of your data. Hard drives are made of magnetic discs placed at certain positions, which can be moved about and lead to permanent damage.  
  • Food/Drink Damage 
    Storing your laptop next to your water bottle is a very bad idea – bottles can break, and that will leak onto your computer. Water damage is no joke and can cause permanent damage. Food can also find its way into your laptop, causing significant damage as well.  
  • Overheating 
    Leaving your laptop switched on in your bag will release the heat into your bag with no way of escaping. In some cases, your laptop could overheat.  
  • Weather Damage 
    Not all backpacks are waterproof, so a heavy rain shower can cause water damage to an unprotected laptop. There are some waterproof backpacks available, which offer protection against the elements. Scorching temperatures can also lead to your computer overheating in your backpack. 
  • Cracked Screen 
    In some unfortunate cases, if your bag is knocked around repeatedly or there's too much pressure on the screen, this will cause a cracked screen or shatter it completely.  
  • Pressure Damage 
    Placing anything heavy on your laptop is always a bad idea, and storing heavier items in a backpack can have the same effect after being squashed or pushed down in your bag. 
backpack with a laptop inside

How To Carry Laptop In Backpack (7 Steps To Avoid Damage) 

To avoid any of the damage above, follow these steps to safely carry your laptop in a backpack.   

1. Shut Down 

This feels obvious, but simply putting your laptop on standby isn't enough. Make sure the laptop is completely shut down before going any further to avoid any overheating problems later. If you can't completely shut your laptop down, use sleep or hibernate mode.  

2. Unplug Cords & Close 

Make sure no external devices are plugged in – hard drives, mice, keyboards, or USB sticks can become damaged while you're moving about. Remember that you'll need to shut the laptop fully before you put it in your backpack.  

3. Don’t Overpack 

Make sure your laptop has breathing room – don’t force it into your bag if there’s too much in there. You may need to pack a few less items in your bag to avoid any damage incurred by pressure.  

4. Use a Protective Case 

You can purchase a protective case or laptop sleeve fairly cheap; this will provide additional protection. A padded case will absorb any bumps or shock damage, and a hard protective case can avoid physical damage to your laptop.  

5. Secure In Backpack 

This doesn’t necessarily mean with straps or locks – simply make sure that your laptop is in a good position and that it won’t move around too much. Make sure it fits comfortably into your backpack without any food or drink near it.  

6. Handle With Care 

Laptops are fragile and will break with continuous damage. A simple knock into a wall could damage your screen. Be gentle with your bag as you walk around and place it on surfaces. Make sure it's stable before putting it down anywhere. 

7. Don’t Forget To Zip!

Don't forget to properly zip up your backpack to avoid any accidents later on. Make sure you have the zips closed correctly and preferably leave them somewhere hidden so that someone can't get into it. Consider investing in a lock for your backpack.  

backpack, macbook, and camera gear

How To Carry Your Laptop While On-The-Go (Air Traveling Tips)

Wi-Fi on airplanes has become commonplace, and more and more people use their electronics on planes. Follow these tips to avoid any substantial damage to your computer. 

  • Only In Carry-Ons 
    Don’t put your laptop into checked items. Baggage handlers will throw the bags around, leading to damage. Always carry with you on the plane. Backpacks count as carry-on bags, so you should have no problem bringing it on the plane. 
  • Security 
    During the security checks, make sure your laptop is off and place it into the screening bin last. If you're using multiple trays, put it in the last bin. Stay with your laptop until you pass through the metal detector.  
  • Under Seat 
    Do not place it in an overhead locker – it can fall out or be crushed by other people's bags. Instead, place it under your seat or in your lap while not in use. Do not use until it's cleared to use electronics. Invest in a screen privacy vinyl sticker for your laptop and use headphones when watching TV/Movies.  

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is it safe to store the laptop vertically? 

Yes! Make sure nothing is plugged into the ports and that nothing is loose. Make sure the air vents aren't blocked to allow your laptop to breathe, and make sure it is stable to prevent it from toppling over.  

Can laptops be X-rayed? 

The security x-ray won't cause any damage to your laptop. You should keep an eye on your computer just in case of theft or accidental damage. Do not take it through the metal detector.  

Do laptops count as carry-on luggage? 

A laptop is a carry-on, as it’s light and small in size. Carry-ons must fit underneath your seat or in the overhead locker, so you should have no problem taking your computer on a plane. 

How big of a laptop can you bring on a plane? 

You can bring any size laptop through security – so you shouldn't have an issue if your laptop is 17 inches or below.  


Our laptops are a lifeline for us – we conduct our business, use them for school, college, and leisure. Making sure our lifeline is safe doesn't have to be difficult. Taking all the necessary steps to avoid damage will keep our machines in our lives for much longer. Secure, seal and zip your computer safely.  

  • January 12, 2022