A-Z of Computing – C is for Cleaning

Just like everything else in your office or home, your computer needs cleaning – both inside and out. This will help to prolong its life and keep it running smoothly. You wouldn’t believe the state of some computers I’ve seen!

shutterstock_387349576I don’t recommend that you open up your PC or laptop to physically clean inside it, that’s best left to the experts. Instead, you should regularly clean your system of temporary files, cookies, and other clutter. Windows has a tool for this called Disk Clean-up, you can find it on the Start Menu under Accessories > System Tools in Windows 7, or under Windows Accessories > Administrative Tools in Windows 10. This will safely remove the rubbish from your hard drive without deleting anything important.

It’s also a good idea to delete any unwanted documents or pictures, and remove any programs that you know you won’t use again – this frees up hard drive space and system resources.

GMT Solutions: C is for CleaningIt’s also important to clean the outside of your computer (and probably a good idea for hygiene!) Never use liquids – if you want to clean your computer with anything more than a duster, you can buy specialist antibacterial computer and telephone cleaning wipes from stationery shops. Maybe give your mobile phone a wipe while you’re at it too!

If your PC is kept on the floor, I’d suggest moving it higher up, particularly if you have pets. The fan acts like a vacuum and sucks in dust, dirt and pet hair, which will reduce performance and can kill the PC. I’ve opened up old PCs to see balls of dust and fluff – and on more than one occasion, a spider! Keeping it off the floor helps to prevent some of this, but it will still need cleaning. Use a hoover to gently clean around the case, particularly the vents. One of my clients has a laptop which she uses on her desk, and within a couple of months of getting a cat, we found quite a collection of cat hair on the vents.

PCs and laptops don’t like getting hot at the best of times – if you imagine the dust and dirt inside as a blanket over all the electronic components, you can see why it would affect their performance.

If you have any questions about cleaning your PC, or queries on anything else IT related, please
contact us on [email protected] or the number below.