When you purchase a laptop, you do so intending to use it for a long time. unlike smartphones, which are frequently updated every two years or so, some people go years without exchanging computers. And why would you? The adage goes: “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
Laptops are like automobiles in that they both require regular maintenance, moderate usage, and appropriate care to last a long time. Regular cleaning and periodic updates are important aspects of equipment maintenance that can be neglected without risking a sluggish machine.
If you want to make the most of your laptop’s lifespan, perform these seven critical maintenance actions every month.
Not only will these methods help you save money on repairs by extending the life of your computer, but they’ll work for any brand of laptop. So grab a can of compressed air and buckle up — your laptop is about to get some much-needed TLC.
Tidy up your hard drive by deleting old files
You may use the software to directly import video footage into your editing system. In addition, it can invert videos or reverse images that have already been imported.
You may also clear out files that you don’t need or want any longer. This might include old photographs you’ve already uploaded to Facebook, songs you no longer want, or obsolete installer files left to waste in your downloads folder. To safely remove these files, click or tap here.
Only after completing a thorough system cleanup should you go on an all-out deletion campaign. Check to see whether any “critical” folders contain files your computer needs to function. On Windows, the majority of these are found in the System32 folder.
Users are unlikely to tamper with files that Apple has intentionally hidden to prevent them from doing anything funny. Keep in mind that deleting important system files will cause your computer to shut down, so only remove files you’re certain you won’t need.
Here’s a tip: start with the Downloads folder. People save photos, videos, and installation files in this area that go unused. You won’t believe how much space you’ll save by compressing all of those picture-heavy emails into the Recycling Bin and selecting “empty.”
Declutter your desktop with a little help from Windows or macOS
A dirty desktop is a thing of beauty. This cannot be disputed. Cleaning up your desktop does need some expertise. Sure, you can simply click and drag the icons about until you have something approaching order, but this may consume time from your day — and there are other things to accomplish than play with a mouse for an hour.
Fortunately, both Windows and macOS have some computer-automated organization choices for their desktops.
On Windows, right-click on your desktop wallpaper with your trackpad or mouse. Then, select Sort by Name, Size, File type, or Date edited from the drop-down menu. Start by selecting Name because it alphabetizes your icons. As a result of clicking this option, your icons will be arranged in a row, making it simple to pick and remove what applications you want.
To remove an item from the Trash folder on Mac, simply right-click or command+click it and select Clean Up. This will automatically reorder your desktop icons if you click this option.
If you right-click and don’t see Clean Up, your system may have been set up to arrange icons differently. To double-check, go to the desktop and choose View from the menu bar, then Sort By and your preferred method of organizing.
For more information on customizing your cleanup, Click here for Apple’s support information on the issue can help you choose between alternatives like Stacks and resizing your icons.
Clear your browser’s cache and cookies
This is an important component of maintaining your computer (and web browser) fast and secure. Even browsing the web normally results in a large number of cookies clogging up your browser files, so taking the time to delete them can make all the difference.
There are numerous browsers available, each with its approach of cleaning out temporary files and cookies.
Because the majority of our readers use Google Chrome, it’s worth repeating the procedure for this popular browser.
Click the three-dot symbol in the upper right corner of the browser in Chrome. Then, go to Settings and scroll down to the bottom of the screen.
Then, under Advanced, click to expand the menu. Scroll down until you see Clear Browsing Data. Click this button to remove your cookies, cache, and even surfing history from your browser.
You may also choose the period over which your deletion is to be performed, in case you want to keep some key data.
Clean your screen and keyboard (with the proper tools, of course!)
Now that we’ve cleaned up the computer’s digital side, it’s time to have a look at the hardware. System failure may be caused by neglecting to clean your computer regularly. Consider how many crumbs, skin cells, and other grime particles get trapped in your keyboard due to this.
Now, consider the amount of filth that builds up over time. It’s not a pretty sight.
You may avoid the accumulation of dust and grime by investing in some safe computer cleaning solutions. These items are created to work with your system and are meant to prevent you from inadvertently damaging the delicate parts.
Pre-moistened screen wipes are the best alternative for your screen. These items include a safe amount of moisture that won’t harm your screen and can enhance its visibility.
Try the CareTouch Lens Cleaning Wipes. They’re a safe way to clean your laptop screen and are also suitable for smartphones and tablets.
Windex electronic screen washes are perfect for a streak-free shine.
When it comes to your keyboard, you should proceed with caution. It’s possible to damage the delicate mechanisms that allow the device to function by inserting anything like a paperclip in between keys.
The ideal answer is to utilize an “invisible touch” technique that removes debris without physically touching it. To accomplish this, you’ll need a can of compressed air (often known as “canned air”) or some other method of cleaning invisible dust from surfaces.
Oxygen canisters with pressurized oxygen are ideal for cleaning computers and have been trusted by IT professionals for years. Spray simply by pointing the container at a slight angle near the damaged area.
Even the tiniest spots may be cleaned using this light dustbuster. Even the tiniest spaces can be cleaned with a quick burst of air. Dust-Off is our top pick because it is a long-lasting business that has a reputation for high-quality compressed air. Make careful to follow the warnings on the container for optimum safety.
Clean your ports
After years of usage, the ports on your computer are likely to be clogged with dust and grime.
There are many different types of ports on your computer (unless you have a new Macbook, in which case it’s just USB Type C ports.) Each shape differs slightly, making removing the grime and dust difficult for those who aren’t familiar with how to do it.
If you’ve done everything up to now, you should already have compressed air on hand. Compressed air is similar to how a keyboard works; it will clean away dirt and debris without coming into direct contact with the contacts inside your ports, making it completely safe to use!
The safety of compressed air depends on how you utilize the air. This is probably covered in your can’s instructions, but it’s worth noting that compressed air exiting the can is very cold. When blasting air too near to a specific surface, a layer of frost will soon form.
This is why most compressed air systems include a straw to channel the airflow, although not all do. Simply make sure there is some distance between the port and the nozzle (or end of the straw) and gently squeeze the trigger for greater control in cleaning your ports.
Check your camera and microphone
These aren’t required on every laptop, but they’re becoming increasingly prevalent in more recent models. They’re crucial methods to keep in touch with family and friends, and they might even turn you into a YouTuber or a blogger if you have the talent.
You may clean the camera and microphone in the same way. You may use a lens cleaner to wipe gently down the camera, and a soft, dry cloth to clean the microphone. Do not use compressed air to clean the microphone; it might loosen or remove components within that allow it to receive sound.
Many of us, on the other hand, have privacy and security concerns. These worries aren’t lost on industry leaders like Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg recognizes that laptop webcams can be used for surveillance by bad actors.
There’s nothing wrong with displaying your microphone and camera, but for added peace of mind, conceal them. Purchase a sticker that is the right size to cover the entire width of the camera lens. Three-dimensional stickers are preferred since they are simple to remove if you change your mind.
Update your software and firmware
The first step in ensuring that your system is safe and secure is to get rid of the malware. This is one of the single most important things you can do for the longevity and security of your system, and it’s completely understandable — if your computer were clogged with viruses, you wouldn’t be able to use it for years.
Because hackers and cybercriminals are such tenacious, software and hardware makers continue to release upgrades to maintain their systems as secure as possible.
Though there may be a few bad patches from time to time, security updates should not be avoided.
Even older or less up-to-date operating systems are sometimes updated, so if you opt-out of “feature releases,” make time for your patches. It’s essential.
On Windows 10, you may access the Settings menu by clicking the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of the screen and then clicking Update & Security. In this menu, you’ll find what’s new and fixes for your system.
Simply open the App Store on your Mac and select Updates from the sidebar on the left. This will show you any available upgrades that your Mac is capable of downloading.
Keep your system up to date, and you’ll notice a lot less hassle with it over time. It’s one of the most effective defenses against typical security threats, and sticking to a schedule may help you avoid new threats from harming your system.
You’ve learned the procedures, so it’s up to you to put them into use. Do so and you might be surprised at how many years of using your machine can endure.
And with computers’ costs continuing to rise over time, that’s money in the bank for a long period. What could be better?
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