Like every gadget or appliance you use, your computer also requires periodic cleanup and maintenance. It is, after all, a device and some amount of manual intervention is required to ensure it functions as desired! This is applicable for desktops, laptops and even all-in-one PCs. Cleaning the hardware components and tweaking the software and OS is part of such cleanup missions. It is not a big deal actually but you will have to be methodical and careful while cleaning up the computer. A cleaned up PC not only looks good, it also performs optimally and risk of malfunction and crashes are reduced greatly.
Cleaning up the Hardware
A lot of PC users seldom find the time to clean the desktop and laptop, leading to accumulation of dust and dirt. The majority of dust accumulates on keyboards and PC ports also gather dust over time. Even the LCD or LED screen gets coated by layers of dust and cleaning them up is necessary.
- The keyboard: This is the PC hardware that possibly attracts the maximum amount of dust and dirt. Most people leave their desktop keyboards without cover and dust and dirt gather between the keys. Even laptop keyboards are not immune to this menace. Use a small vacuum cleaner and fit a brush nozzle to clean up keyboards. Use the low speed setting to prevent damage to the keyboard.
- LCD display– Most PCs nowadays have LCD screens and dust gathers on the screen and corners. Use a soft brush to eradicate dust from the corners of the screen. You will get specially formulated LCD screen cleaners. Buy such sprays and use them with a soft cloth to clean up the screen of the computer. Be gentle so that the screen does not get scratched while cleaning.
- Ports and vents– The cooling vents in laptops and various ports that lay exposed, such as USB and audio ports, can gather dust over time. This can lead to system overheating. Use a soft brush to eliminate dust from such ports.
- Using covers– A good way to reduce the dust accumulation on keyboards and other hardware is using a cover. You can buy covers for both monitors and keyboards. They may not be able to keep the PC dust free, but the amount of dust gathering on those components will be less.
While performing the aforesaid cleaning operations, do not switch on the PC. Doing so may lead to risk of hardware damage.
Cleaning up the software and OS
Just like hardware parts, the software installed on your PC, including the OS also needs sprucing up from time to time. You may resort to the following methods to clean up the OS and software installed on your laptop or desktop.
- Defragmenting the HDD- Check the fragmentation status of your HDD. If you find the fragmentation rate is above 10 percent or so per partition, run the defragmentation utility. Some people also prefer using third party utilities, but Windows default utility works as fine.
- Cleaning up junk data- It is necessary to clean up junk files generated by web pages, software and daily usage. They take up disk space and ultimately slow down your PC. Again, you may your OS’s or any third party cleanup utility.
- Checking for malware- You may have an antivirus installed on your PC, but malware makers have become more innovative and cunning over time. They devise newer ways of exploiting OS, software and even antivirus software loopholes. So, it is time you use another layer of protection. On the web, you can find software that checks for hidden malware in your PC without causing conflict with the existing antivirus. Some, such apps will not cost you anything as well.
- Getting rid of unnecessary apps– A lot of PC users often find, the PC is laden with plenty of unnecessary apps. This happens more in instances when a PC is used by more than one user, both in workplaces and households. Look for such apps and uninstall them one by one. This will help improve the speed and boot time of the PC. If necessary, you may use a third party uninstaller tool to get rid of such unnecessary apps.
How do you clean your PC? Please comment below!