6 Tips To Keep Computers Clean and Extend Lifespan

May 10, 2023 | Blog
6 Tips To Keep Computers Clean and Extend Lifespan

The average lifespan of a computer is between 5 and 8 years, varying depending on the type of computer and its usage. But, as with most things, proper care and maintenance can extend the lifespan of a computer. 

A regular cleaning is one habit in particular that may add life to a computer, giving an owner the chance to truly maximize his or her investment. Before getting started, it’s helpful to understand the best practices for computer cleanings specific to hardware and software.

Here are six tips to follow, after turning off and unplugging your computer for its cleaning.

Wipe it down. Use a soft, dry cloth — microfiber is great — to wipe down the computer once a week. Remove fingerprints from the screen and make sure dust and other debris don’t build up in the cracks and on the keyboard. Don’t use household cleaners to remove stubborn marks. Instead, use a mixture of distilled water and distilled vinegar or visit a computer or office store to find a cleaning solution that is specifically designed to be used on a computer. A damp cloth is fine to use on a hard laptop case. 

Tidy the keyboard. Tip the keyboard upside down and give it a gentle tap on the back to help crumbs and other small pieces of debris fall free. If smaller articles are stuck in between keys or in tiny cracks, try using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to extract whatever remains. A shot from a can of compressed air also helps dislodge debris.

Clear vents and fans. Using that same can of compressed air, try to clear dust and debris from a computer’s vents and fans. Opening a laptop can be trickier than a desktop, which usually requires a screwdriver, so be sure to reference the computer’s instruction manual before attempting to clean any interior spaces. Cotton swabs can be used to remove any dirt or dust that lingers after using the compressed air.

Give the computer some air. Clean the space around a PC to make sure the computer has at least three inches on each side to allow for proper ventilation. PCs can overheat, so it’s important to keep the area directly around them free from clutter.

Don’t forget the software. It goes without saying that software requires a different type of “cleaning.” Remembering to get and update antivirus software, use the latest versions of programs and remove any unused programs is vital to reduce a computer’s vulnerability to malware and ransomware attacks. 

Use available tools. PCs and Macs have different cleanup tools available for users to keep computers running smoothly. From disk cleanups to full suites of tools, be sure to use the specific versions available, such as the CleanMyMac X Tool or the Windows Disk Defragmenter Tool. If questions come up during this process, reach out to an expert at My Computer Works before using any tool or process that is unfamiliar. We’re happy to help!

Contact us to learn more about how our computer experts can offer you ongoing support for any issues you’re experiencing!


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