How to Clean Your Computer – Both Inside and Out

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The time has finally come – you’re ready to conquer the monumental task of cleaning your computer both externally and internally.

Overwhelmed with where to begin and filled with anxious dread? If so, we can help walk you through this process.

Exterior Cleaning

First, we’ll tackle the easy part – cleaning the exterior of your computer.

  1. Turn off and unplug your device. If you don’t, you may find that you cause serious damage to your computer.
  2. Using a soft cloth, such as a microfiber cloth, slightly dampen it with water and begin cleaning. You don’t want any liquid getting in ports so make sure the rag is only slightly damp and not dripping or saturated.
  3. To clean the screen, make sure you use a dry cloth and wipe down everything. Then dampen the cloth in water only and run it over the screen.
  4. If you have an exterior mouse, unplug it or remove any batteries. Use a clean cloth with a dab of rubbing alcohol to wipe the mouse clean, not allowing any liquid to get inside. A mechanical mouse may get dust inside, so put it on a piece of paper and roll it around and some of the dust should come off. If it needs a deeper clean, turn it over, remove the ball-cover by following the instructions on the mouse and use the same cloth to clean the ball and the interior of the mouse. Let it dry completely before reassembling.
  5. You’ll want to clean the mousepad. If it’s plastic or rubber, use a damp cloth. If it’s fabric, try the washing machine on cool water and let it air dry.
  6. Keyboards are usually full of snacks, crumbs, and dust. Use a can of compressed air to help blow out any crumbs. After all the crumbs are gone, use a clean cloth, rubbing alcohol and Q-tips. Dip the Q-tips lightly in alcohol – you don’t want them dripping wet – and then run it around every crevice on the keyboard and over the keys.

Interior Cleaning

Now that you’ve done the heavy lifting and the exterior of your computer is clean, it’s time to start cleaning the interior.

  1. Turn your computer back on.
  2. If you have a Windows machine, follow these steps to clean up your hard drive:
    1. In Windows 10, go to “Settings”
    2. Click “Storage”
    3. Identify the folders that are taking up the most space. Then decide which ones you don’t need anymore. Many computers come with pre-installed programs that you don’t use and it’s easy to get rid of them by:
      1. Clicking on “Apps & Features” in “Settings”
      2. Locate the apps you don’t frequently use and delete them.
    4. Once you’ve identified and deleted those files, you’ll need to clean up the machine.
      1. Launch “Disk Cleanup” utility
      2. Erase the temporary files and system files
  3. If you have a Mac, you can also clean up your disk space.
    1. Click on the Apple icon in the menu bar.
    2. Select “About this Mac”
    3. Click on the “Storage” tab
    4. Click on the “Manage” button
    5. Delete any unused applications or files and consider moving photos and media into the cloud and removing them from the hard drive.
    6. If you need to manually remove more files, follow these steps:
      1. Go to “Finder”
      2. Go to “All My Files” and sort by the largest files on the top of the list. You can then delete them.
      3. When you’re done, remember to empty the Trash.