It’s time to Spring Clean Your Computer! These instructions apply to both Mac and Windows.
What do you need to this?
- Micro fiber cloth
- Duster Can
- Screen Cleaner
- An hour or so of your time
Seven Steps to Spring Clean Your Computer
1. Turn off the computer
2. Use the duster can (you can purchase these at London Drugs, Staples and probably Costco). I recommend you take desktops outside if you can before blowing out the dust. Dust the vents outside of the computer. If you have a desktop, next, take off the side panel so you can blow out the fans on the inside. Do not use a vacuum cleaner to clean out the inside of the cleaner. Vacuum cleaners can shock the motherboard or other components. Those electric shocks can be fatal for the computer parts.
Use the duster can on the processor fan (see picture above), graphics card fan and power supply. I carefully use q-tips to loosen crud on the processor fan first and then blast it out. These fans naturally attract a lot of dust particularly if you have your desktop on the floor, in a basement office or if you have pets. You need to clean out the dust so the fans can keep your computer parts cool. Excess heat damages the components and shortens your computer life span.
3. Next clean your computer screen. Staples sells an awesome screen cleaner that is safe for monitors and laptops (and smartphones). Always spray the cleaner onto the cloth instead of the screen directly. This prevents cleaner from leaking into the screen inside.
Now we work on the operating system. Turn on the computer.
4. Next open up your email program. Go through your Sent Items and deleted old and unneeded sent emails. Next empty out your Deleted Items (if you use your Deleted Items for filing, we need to talk).
5. Uninstall unused programs.
6. Run security updates for the operating system and software.
7. For Windows, do disk cleanup. See my youtube video.
Now I always get asked by Windows users about defragmenting the hard drive. Defragmenting used to be really important until it was automated in Windows Vista and every version of Windows since then. If you’re still using Windows XP, you have bigger problems than defragmenting the computer.
If your computer is still slow after this simple cleaning, it’s time to get a professional in to do a major cleaning. Call me.