The maintenance of the hardware and software of a computer is also part of the security-conscious use of computers. Depending on the environmental factors, annual or monthly cleaning is advisable to avoid high repair bills.
Why should you clean your computer?
Taking care of your computer’s hardware and software is important for many reasons.
Clean hardware can help your computer run smoother and last longer, saving you time and money in the long run. Regular cleaning protects your technology investment – but above all your data. By wiping the screen and removing crumbs from the keyboard, you help optimize device performance and reduce the risk of hardware failure.
Dust and other dirt particles can accumulate in the hardware of the PC and clog it. This is why you should dust the air vents and the case regularly so that the system does not overheat, which can permanently damage the internal parts of the computer.
How often do I have to lend a hand? If you want to prevent excessive stress and heat from affecting your PC’s performance and lifespan, you should clean it thoroughly at least every six to twelve months.
The average user’s computer will last for several years. Regular maintenance of your PC’s hardware and software can save you a few more years.
Clean software helps protect your data. Antivirus software and regular program updates also help keep viruses , malware and cybercriminals out of your system.
By making backup copies of your files, deleting unused programs, and performing maintenance tasks like defragmenting the hard drive, you can help ensure that your computer can save files without accidentally damaging them.
You probably like it when your home is tidy. A clean computer is just as important. For example, the use of an external hard drive or cloud-based storage can „clear out” your computer and at the same time help ensure that valuable data is stored safely and securely.
How to Clean Your Computer – Step 1: Hardware
To keep your computer hardware in pristine condition, you should get used to a few basic cleaning routines – after you’ve turned it off and unplugged it.
Wipe your computer
Wipe the outside of the computer with a soft, dry cloth at least once a week to dust it. Remove any fingerprints on the screen. If you want to use a cleaning agent, look for a solution that is especially suitable for your monitor type in your specialist retailer.
Commercially available household cleaners can damage the screen, causing the coating to peel off over time.
Instead, gently wipe the screen with a soft cloth. A microfiber cloth is ideal for this purpose.
You can dampen the cloth with distilled or filtered water to remove stubborn dirt. Tap water usually does the same thing, but filtered or distilled water can help prevent welts.
To remove more stubborn stains, dampen the cloth with a 1: 1 solution of distilled water and distilled white vinegar and gently rub the screen clean.
To clean your laptop case, soak a clean sponge in mild soapy water and water and wring it out before gently wiping the front and back of the case.
Make sure the computer is dry before turning it on again.
Clean the keyboard
Lift up the keyboard, turn it over, and gently pat the back to loosen crumbs, stray hairs, and other small particles of dirt. Soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol or one of the cleaning tinctures described above to remove stubborn dirt.
By carefully cleaning the buttons on all sides, you can prevent them from sticking together or from snapping in place. If your keyboard goes crazy, you may need to open it up and „deep clean” it. Refer to the manual that came with your computer or keyboard for instructions on how to safely open and clean this assembly.
Use compressed air to free the ventilation slots, fans and accessories of the computer from accumulated dust
It is advisable to unscrew the case of your computer with a screwdriver every three to six months. Use a compressed air cleaner (commercially available) to remove any accumulated dust from the fan and housing. Put the case back together and use a cotton swab to remove any remaining dirt from the ventilation slots or other narrow case openings.
To clean and safely remove the case of a laptop, refer to the instructions in the operation manual.
You can also remove dust from the keyboard and mouse with a few short bursts of compressed air.
Run the „Check Disk” tool
The Microsoft Windows „Check Disk” tool can help you identify hard drive problems before they lead to further problems. The tool scans the computer for file system errors, bad sectors and similar problems and fixes them. If you haven’t already, run a full scan for automatic repairs. The process can take a few hours.
Check the surge protector
Current spikes can cause overvoltage, which is harmful to your computer. In some cases, the power supply and other components can be damaged. Did you know that surge protection can lose its protective effect after just one power surge? Even if it is still displayed as „switched on”, it may no longer offer the necessary protection. This is why you should check it from time to time – especially after a strong power surge.
Provide good PC ventilation
It is important to maintain adequate air circulation – both inside and outside the PC. Leave at least 4 inches of space on either side of the calculator that is not occupied by obstructions such as other computers, piles of paper, and walls. The room should also be large enough or well ventilated to ensure good air circulation.
The fan and fan blades of the CPU are another component that you should check regularly. If the processor keeps overheating and shuts down the PC, you may need to upgrade the CPU fan.
How To Clean Your Computer – Step 2: Software
Next, we’ll look at maintaining the programs you use to create and store important data. Here’s how to keep the „mind” of your computer as pure as its „body” in order to maximize its life.
Back up your hard drives
Data backups – especially the backup of important files – are essential. A laptop or tablet is interchangeable, but the data on it is sometimes irreplaceable.
There are basically two options for backing up data: You can save backup copies in a physical location such as an external hard drive or USB stick, or in a secure location in the „cloud” – i.e. online .
Whichever method you choose, you should back up your computer at least once a week – or more often if you’re working on a project or want to get recently saved images.
Install antivirus software to protect against malware
Antivirus software helps prevent viruses and malware from infiltrating your device and tampering with your data or stealing information that could be used to commit identity theft. There are paid and free antivirus programs, and most of them run automatically in the background.
Update your software and programs
Be sure to update your software . This is especially true for frequently used programs. Outdated software can be vulnerable to malware, as most updates are designed to ward off new threats. Not only do they protect your PC when you download and install the latest program versions, but they also enable sustained high computing power.
Clear out your software programs
In the course of the updates, check which programs are really used in your system. Programs and files that are no longer used can be disposed of. This can prevent your computer from being overloaded with unnecessary data. It also reduces the number of programs that malware can hijack and use as a gateway into your system.
Clean up your Windows registry
In Windows, another step is recommended: cleaning up the registry. Note, however, that this does not necessarily result in more efficient operation. The PC may start up faster afterwards, but this is not guaranteed.
Your Windows registry is a huge database that contains information about various activities on your PC. It pays to keep this database clean. Be careful, however. If you should make a mistake while cleaning the registry, you would have to reinstall the operating system. You are on the safe side with a backup of the registration database.
How to clean your computer – computer cleaning tools
There are several computer cleaning tools available in the market. These „cleaners”, which have to be installed separately on the computer, help you to keep your PC software clean. As with any program you install, before you buy, download, and install any software, be sure to do a thorough research of which reputable company offers the best solution for your needs.
Thorough research can also provide you with information about which type of cleaning best meets the specific needs of your computer.