When we think of computer health it’s easy to think only of software updates and antivirus scans. But, your computer is not only the software it runs but the hardware it is built from. It’s important to take care of your computer inside and out to keep it running well.
About once a month, more if you live a dusty climate, you need to dust your the exterior of your computer. This is an easy chore and one you shouldn’t neglect. Keeping dust away from the outside of your computer will prevent it from getting inside your computer and damaging the hardware.
For a desktop, power the computer down. Use short bursts of canned air to remove dust from the inside of your case, keyboard and mouse. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down your monitor, screen and the rest of your case
For a laptop, turn it off and unplug it. If you are able to, remove the battery. Use canned air or a computer cleaning putty to pull dust out from around the keys and in the ports. You need to be careful to not blow dust INSIDE the computer. Use a microfiber cloth to clean the case and the screen.
Keep Food and Drink Away
Food is full of crumbs and grease — both things you do not want on your computer. Drinks are well, liquid, which can be fatal to your computer if it spills. Since you spend a lot of time at the computer we understand how hard it is to keep food and drink away, but it’s important to keeping your computer healthy and kicking for as long as possible. One slip and your computer is toast. If you do need to eat or drink near your computer, keep it off to side where a stray hand is unlikely to cause a spill and use a lot of napkins. If you do find yourself in the midst of a liquid emergency, here are a few tips to keep the damage to a minimum.
Use a Protective Case
This rule only applies to laptops, but it’s an important one. If you are toting your laptop with you from work to home or out to coffee shops it needs to be protected. Use a backpack with a laptop sleeve inside to keep it away from all the other items you are carrying, or use a padded laptop sleeve to cover it before putting it in your bag. The most ideal solution is to use a separate computer bag all together to prevent accidental damage from books, foods, liquids or cords.
So you’ve developed the habit of dusting the outside of your computer regularly, now it’s time to dive a bit deeper. About every six months, open up your desktop and clean out all the dust. No matter how clean you keep the outside, dust is going to sneak in and harm your computer’s performance. This can be more complicated and working with a professional team like us is often the smart way to go.
If you decide to do it yourself, unplug every cable, accessory and add on devices from your computer. Open the computer up and use a microfiber cloth to wipe down all exposed surfaces. Use canned air to tackle the motherboard, GPU and fan blades. Use alcohol wipes to clean off grime on any stubborn spots.
Do a Monthly Cleanse
No matter how well you care for the hardware of the computer the software still needs some regular love. Once a month you need to do a cleanse. Sort through your files and remove anything old or outdated. Move them to an external hard drive or the cloud for safe keeping if you don’t want to delete them. Run a scan on your antivirus and anti-malware programs to see if anything nasty is lurking on your computer. Then, run any legitimate OS or software updates and you’re good to go!
Taking care of your computer, outside and in, will help it live a long and productive life. If you need a professional to clean the inside of your computer, run updates or wipe viruses, we’re here for you, stop by today!