Learn how to clean your computer safely in five easy steps.
Are dust and grime slowing your computer down? Gunk in the air-vents and crumbs in the keyboard could be doing damage. Learn how to clean your computer safely in five easy steps.
A can of pressurised air (available at Officeworks for under $5)
Cotton buds (do not use a cotton ball)
Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol
Soft, lint-free cloth
Safety glasses (optional)
Step 1: Turn off the power
Turn off the power to your computer, remove any plugs or remove the battery if you are using a laptop. Ensure that all power sources are removed 30 minutes before you start to clean. All components should be removed from the computer and any external power sources before cleaning.
Step 2: Inside the computer
Before opening your computer check your warranty. Some computers, especially Macs, state that opening the case will void your warranty. If this is the case and you feel your computer needs cleaning then you can take it into the store to have it done professionally. If there is nothing in your warranty about opening the case then read on.
To open a desktop: opening the tower on a desktop computer depends on the age of your machine. Older computers will have four screws holding the side of the case on. Newer models may have a push button on the back of the machine. Read your user manual to find out how to open it up.
To open a laptop: turn the laptop upside down on a towel. On most laptops the vents on the underside will be grouped together on a removable panel. Undo the screws, taking note of what goes where, and remove the panel.
Once you have your computer open remember to touch as little as possible, particularly with your hands. Pick bits of fluff out with tweezers or a cotton swab, and then use your compressed air around all of the components and the bottom of the case. Try to angle the compressed air so that any dust is blown back out of an opening, rather than further into the crevices. Never get the air nozzle closer than 5cm to the machine. Remember that you are not trying to blast, but rather encourage, the dust out of your machine. Take extra care around the delicate fans, as these can break if spun too fast.
Click NEXT to find out how to clean your computer peripherals
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