Being organized helps improve every aspect of your life. No one wants to walk into their bedroom with clothes on the floor, bed sheets, and the wrong coffee mug cluttering the place. Likewise, when your computer is messy or dirty, it can be another stressor you have to deal with during the day.
Learning how to clean your laptop is an important skill that involves a certain amount of finesse because you’re dealing with delicate hardware that can easily dislodge or break. And while you’re cleaning the outside of your computer, remember that it’s possible to clean your laptop internally, too. You should also keep your virtual spaces tidy and organized, especially if you find yourself running out of disk space.
Let’s take a look at the different ways you can clean up your computer, from wiping down your display to deleting unnecessary apps.
How can I clean my laptop internally?
While you can’t literally sweep the inside of your computer, you can take steps to free up space by getting rid of applications you no longer use and compressing large files so they take up less space on your hard drive.
How to clean your hard drive
If your laptop is running slower than usual, it’s a good idea to do some troubleshooting. The first action item on your list is to check how much free space you have on your hard drive. To do this using a Windows operating system, you’ll want to open the “This PC” application from the Start menu.
From this location, navigate to the silver box labelled (C:), this is your hard drive storage which will show you how much space is occupied vs. how much is free.
When you decide to clean up your hard drive, you can simply navigate to Disk Cleanup. Using this application, you can delete temporary files as well as files and programs that you no longer want To save space without deleting apps, you also have the option to simply compress files
Should I compress the file?
The caveat with a compressed file is that it makes your computer’s processor work harder, but because it’s a smaller file, it takes up less space on your hard drive. As a result, your PC has the ability to read files faster. If you have a powerful CPU but lack hard drive space, file compression can increase your overall system performance.
Another way to free up some hard drive space is to delete apps. However, with this method, it’s important to pay close attention to what you’re actually deleting to ensure you don’t permanently delete something you need.
The process of deleting apps usually doesn’t delete them in a permanent sense. First, they are sent to the recycling bin. Then, you can choose whether you want to permanently delete those files or not.
A note to remember about deleting items is that if you send installed programs to the Recycle Bin, it will uninstall them from your computer, and if you change your mind, you’ll have to reinstall them.
How to clean your laptop fan
A dust fan can create some seriously distracting noise pollution while you work. If you’re ready to take matters into your own hands, you have a few options for properly cleaning the fan.
The easiest way to clean your fan is to use a can of compressed air to blow dust out of its crevices. If you don’t have compressed air handy, you can also clean your fan without it.
Here are the steps:
Power down your device and unplug it from the outlet, Remove the bottom panel of your laptop, in most cases, this will require a screwdriver. If you’re not sure what you need to remove from the bottom panel, read your laptop manual or search for a copy of the manual online.
Keep the fan from spinning while you try to clean it by holding it down with a finger. Do not completely remove the fan from your laptop as it has many intricate parts that can be difficult to put together. Wipe the fan with a cloth and be careful to constantly use the clean end of the cloth to avoid sending large clumps of dust into the fan.
Wipe all the vents inside and outside the laptop. Blow gently through the fan to encourage any remaining dust to blow out.
How can I clean my laptop externally?
To properly clean the exterior of your device, it’s important to make sure you only use cleaning products suitable for delicate hardware. If you are unsure of what is safe for your product, refer to your manual for your specific device.
How to clean your laptop display
A dirty computer screen can be a serious distraction when you’re trying to watch a movie, play a game, or send an email. The problem with cleaning your screen with any common household cleaner is that you’re dealing with a sensitive, fragile material. For example, some cleaners may be too harsh for your display and will damage it.
An important tip to remember when you clean your laptop is to avoid spraying a liquid cleaner on your device. You don’t want to accidentally ruin your internal hardware with a spray cleaner that might drip onto your laptop.
If you don’t have an LCD screen, you can try using a small amount of rubbing alcohol to remove stubborn dirt or smudges – but only enough to remove some dirt. But if you have an LCD screen, don’t use rubbing alcohol as it will damage your screen. And of course, if you’re unsure, err on the side of caution and avoid rubbing alcohol altogether.
To clean your laptop screen, follow the steps below:
First, you’ll want to get a microfiber towel and computer-safe cleaning products.
Prepare your microfiber cloth with a suitable cleaning solution. Remember to avoid applying cleaning solutions directly to your screen.
Spray a small amount of cleaning product on the cloth.
Starting from the centre of your monitor, gently wipe the display in circular motions.
Continue wiping the screen until the entire surface is free of any remaining dirt or dust.
How to Clean Your Laptop Keyboard
Your laptop keyboard can easily get dirty. You use your keyboard every day, sometimes with dirty hands. It collects germs, oil, dirt, pet hair, food and dead skin cells from its heavy use. Yak! Here are the steps to properly clean your laptop keyboard
Power down your laptop and unplug it from all power sources
Turn your laptop upside down and carefully tap it to remove any dust or other debris. You may consider placing a paper towel underneath to catch anything that falls to facilitate a quick cleanup.
Use a can of compressed air to clean and clear the spaces between the keys. This is easier to do if you tilt the keyboard to one side and remove all the dust in short, sweeping motions. Remember to use the straw that is usually included with a can of compressed air to direct the concentrated stream of air where it needs to go.
Wipe the keys with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Make sure it’s not too wet because you don’t want liquid dripping onto the internals of your PC.
You may want to follow the last step by wiping down the keys with a sanitizing wipe to kill any germs.
Note: On some laptop models, you may be able to move the keys to get a deeper clean under each key. However, you’ll want to research your specific model before doing this. It is also important to take a picture of your original orientation before starting to remove it. You may think you remember the order but it’s easy to get confused when you start moving them.
How often should I clean my laptop?
Frequency of internal cleaning, To ensure your PC is running at peak performance, make a habit of checking how much space is left on your hard drive on a monthly basis. It’s also a good idea to opt-in to automatic updates to help keep your system running smoothly
Frequency of external cleaning
To keep your computer sanitary and germ-free, follow a proper maintenance and cleaning schedule every three to six months. If you notice a lot of dust after cleaning, you may want to increase the frequency to reduce dust and debris buildup.
Tidy up your digital life
Cleaning your PC, inside and out, is an important practice that can prolong the life of your computer and make your computing tasks more enjoyable. By taking the time to properly sanitize your laptop’s exterior and keep your hard drive organized and free of unnecessary files, your digital life will be optimized so you can focus on the task at hand without dust and dirt compromising your visuals.