How To Properly Clean Your Gross Laptop
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Like any computer, laptops are dust and grime magnets. But a dirty laptop isnt just a cosmetic nightmareit can also cause poor performance and overheating. So, how can you clean your laptop properly?
Cleaning a laptop is arguably more tedious than cleaning a desktop. You have to clean the keyboard, the internals, the screen, and the case itself. Still, you can easily give your laptop a makeover in under one hour, provided you have canned air, some 90%-100% isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs, and a microfiber cloth.
Five Free Ways To Speed Up Your Device
ByMatt Egan, Global Editorial Director| 22 Jun 2020
A PC or laptop that’s running slowly can be incredibly frustrating, particularly if you’re relying on it to stay productive.
One of the causes of a slow device can be a hard drive that’s nearly full, but it’s highly unlikely you need all of those sizeable files.
Fortunately, Windows 10 has some built-in tools to help you de-clutter. Without further ado, here are five easy ways to clean up your PC or laptop.
Clear Your Internet Cache
Much like those pesky files clogging your hard drive, there are even more hidden items taking up space through your internet cache. Clearing them out regularly can free up a couple of gig’s worth of storage, noticeably speeding up your laptop.
How to clear internet cache on most browsers
The easiest way to clear temporary files from your internet cache is to go through your individual browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge, and access the Settings tab.
Regardless of the browser, finding Clear History, Clear Data and Clear Cache will take moments. Follow the directions presented, which is usually a click or two of a button commanding the deletion of all the data. Once that is done, you’ll have freed more space through your cache, increasing your laptop’s performance.
How to delete internet cache on Safari for Mac
It’s slightly different for Safari users. With Apple’s browser, all you need to do is click on Preferences and then click the Privacy tab. Keep in mind that Apple deletes all cookie caches after you visit a website.
However, once you are on the Privacy tab, you have three options to help you maintain a clear cache:
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Away From The Household Cleaners
No matter which device youre using, your first step is the same: Read your user manual. Its the authority on cleaning your specific product.
If you havent received specific instructions from the manufacturer on how to clean your computer screen, you might think its as simple as grabbing a bottle of Windex. But thats about the worst thing you could do. While it may work wonders on household windows, glass cleaner can be very damaging to PC Windows . Ammonia , bleach, acetone, propylene glycol, and other solvents and household cleaners can erode the protective coating on your screen and cause discoloration, scratches, and smudges.
Even plain tap water can contain minerals that might leave a residue on your screen, so many experts recommend using distilled water if a dry cloth isnt sufficient. Other cleaners may be acceptable, depending on the type of screen you have .
Get Rid Of Nasty Smells
Lets say you have a particularly terrible case of gross laptop, and even after the above steps, your laptop still carries the stench of whatever youve subjected it to. Ive seen more than my share of laptops that smelled like smoke , and getting rid of that is a challenge. Cleaning the surface can help, but a lot of those smells may also be inside the computer. For that, you can turn to the worlds best natural deodorizer: charcoal.
You dont have to go digging through your grill for briquettes, though. Ms. Kerr recommends kitty litter: Because most kitty litter formulas have active charcoal in them to neutralize litter box smells, its a great odor eliminator. Seal the laptop up in a bag or closable bin with a cup or so of the litter and leave it for 24 to 48 hours. If you dont have a cat, Ive also had good luck with diaper pail deodorizers, which are neat little packets of charcoal you can throw away when youre done. The longer you leave the computer in the bin, the better.
If youre comfortable taking your computer apart, you can also open it up and clean off the board with isopropyl alcohol. But in my experience, this isnt usually necessary it just speeds up the process a little bit.
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Manual Disk Cleanup: Free Up Space
Next, its time to do some cleanup. Go back to Storage usage in your settings and then click Apps & Games. Here, you can search for an app and sort by name, size, and install date. If you select Sort by size, you will see the apps that take up the most space at the top.
If you dont need or use a particular app, click on it and select Uninstall, as we have suggested above.
After youre done removing applications, go back to the Storage usage section and inspect all other items that take up your drive space. Another area that you will want to check is Temporary Files.
Note that you will always see the previous version of the Windows section taking up space because of the Windows 10 updates. This is a large space gobbler, but delete it only if you are sure you are not going to need to remove installed patches.
After you finish with the Temporary Files, System, Apps and Games sections, you can check out any other sections that are listed as consuming a large chunk of disk space to see if there are any old files you dont want anymore.
Finally, remember to empty your Recycle Bin when youve completed your cleanup.
These tutorials should help you get to the bottom of whats taking up your disk space usage and do a thorough manual disk cleanup.
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Whether You Use A Pc Or Mac Laptop Or Monitor This Guide Will Teach You How To Safely Clean Your Computer Screen
Computer screens take a lot of abuse. Between sneezes, fingerprint smears, and plain old dust, they can get pretty filthy. Its bad enough when your screen loses its luster during Zoom calls or makes text difficult to read. But during cold and flu season, and with COVID-19 still in play, a dirty screen can also be a source of germ transmission, especially if its a touch screen. Thats why you need to know how to clean your computer screen.
You should clean your screen any time you notice a buildup of dust or dirt, says Jessica Ek, an expert at the American Cleaning Institute. But, she adds, your cleaning schedule should be more frequent if someone in the space has asthma or allergies.
Of course, the first step is understanding how to clean your computer screen the right way. While there are similarities, its not quite the same as cleaning your phone or cleaning tech gifts and other tech items.
Use Cloud Storage If Youre Running Out Of Local Space
If all the cleaning methods mentioned above arent giving you the space you need, you might consider uploading some of your larger files to a cloud service, such as OneDrive or Google Drive. While accessing files from the cloud might take a bit longer, cloud services are a good solution if youre constantly running low on hard disk space.
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Precaution: Backup Windows Before Running Windows Update
Although Windows Update helps to keep your device secure and up to date, it may cause problems sometimes. The problems range from serious ones like error messages preventing Windows from starting to less serious ones like video or audio problems.
Therefore, itâs important to backup Windows before running Windows Update. With a backup at hand, you can restore your computer to previous working condition easily. Here Iâd like to recommend the best free backup softwareâAOMEI Backupper Standard to you.
It enables you to make different types of backup including System/Disk/Partition/File Backup. You are also allowed to schedule backups to run automatically. All Windows PC operating systems like Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported. Just download this freeware and follow the intuitive wizard to perform system backup. All you need to do are a few clicks!
Fewer Errors & Crashes
Over time your registry can become cluttered with errors and broken settings which lead to crashes. Out-of-date software drivers can cause similar issues too. CCleaners patented registry cleaner clears out this clutter to make your PC more stable, and Driver Updater helps you keep on top of any unruly, out-of-date drivers.
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Clean Up Your Startup Programs To Boost Pc Startup Time And Performance
Every time you turn on your PC, it will automatically launch various applications as it boots up. Some of these startup programs are necessary, such as your antivirus tool or OneDrive for file synchronization, but a lot of them arent. You can speed up your PCs startup time by preventing some of these programs from opening right away. Lets perform a quick system cleanup to disable or even remove unwanted startup programs.
Clean Up Windows 10 Remove Junk Files
If you would not prefer performing a manual search for junk files on your computer, you can use a dedicated app to clean up your machine.
One of these apps is Ashampoo WinOptimizer that cleans up and optimizes your system for an improved performance. It is extremely easy to use the app and it has tons of features to help you thoroughly clean your computer.
- Some of the features worth mentioning here are:
- Simple and easy one-click optimization.
- Automatically find and remove junk files from the PC.
- Optimize the Windows Registry so it works faster.
- Defrag your drives with the built-in feature.
If you would like to give a try to the app, the following is how you obtain and use it on your Windows 10 computer.
Step 1 the Ashampoo WinOptimizer tool on your computer. When it launches, click on the option that says Maintain system in the left hand side and then choose Drive Cleaner from the right side.
* 100% Clean & Safe
How to Clean Up Windows 10 Step 1
Step 2 The following screen will tell you what junk files it can remove from your machine. Review the list and then click on the Delete now button to start removing those files on your computer.
How to Clean Up Windows 10 Step 2
Step 3 Once all the junk files are removed, the following message will be shown on your screen.That is how you clean up your Windows 10 PC using a nice little application.
How to Clean Up Windows 10 Step 3
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Check The Current Space On Your Pc
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
Select PC and devices, and then select Disk space.
Under Free up space on this PC, note the amount of free space and total size.
You can view the size of your Windows Store apps and choose whether to uninstall them by tapping or clicking See my app sizes.
You can also free up space by tapping or clicking Empty my Recycle Bin if you have files there.
If you don’t see Disk space, you don’t have the latest update to Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1. For more info, see Install the Windows 8.1 Update .
You can also check the current space on your PC in File Explorer by searching for This PC.
Prevent Programs From Running In The Background
RAM is a finite resource, and even computers with a lot of it still can handle only so many tasks at once. If you have a lot of programs that operate in the background when youre not actually using them theyll drain memory from more important tasks.
You can prevent programs from running in the background so that theyll only consume memory when youre actively using them. Heres how to do that in Windows 10:
Open your Settings and select Privacy.
Select Background apps from the menu on the left.
To prevent all apps from running in the background, flip the toggle next to Let apps run in the background to Off. To prevent individual apps from running in the background, flip their respective toggles to Off.
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Uninstall Apps You Dont Use
The applications youve installed on your Mac take up space, of course. And over time when your Mac becomes full of different apps, it may start running slowly. How to clean MacBook? In the first place, you need to remove the apps you no longer use or need. To do this, right-click on the app you want to remove and choose Move to Bin.
You may be surprised to find out that sending an app to the Trash will not uninstall it completely because the app leftovers still remain on your Mac taking up a lot of storage. So, if you want to be a responsible Mac user, you need to uninstall applications the right way. Heres a step-by-step guide on How to Uninstall Apps on a Mac.
Sort Out Your Personal Files
As general rule, itâs a good idea to keep your personal files separate from your work files. However in our digital world overlap happens. If youâre leaving for a new job, make sure to delete all of your personal files, emails, contacts and messages from your computer. Many employers make a copy of all the files on your computer and send them to your direct manager, ensuring that no work is lost. If youâre storing personal files such as photos, tax returns, pay stubs, bills, your resume or anything else you might not want others to have access to, delete them before you leave. If you need a copy of them, have a cloud account that you can drop them in. A USB stick you can use to transfer them to your personal computer works, as well.
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Uninstall Windows Store Apps You No Longer Need
You can also uninstall Store apps you don’t want anymore.
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
Select Search and apps, and then select App sizes to see how much space each app is taking on the local drive.
Once you locate an app you want to uninstall, select the app, and then select Uninstall.
Note: This will only uninstall Store apps from your user account.
Move Your Onedrive Files To A Removable Drive
The removable drive will need to be formatted with the NTFS file system.
To check space availability
Before you move your OneDrive files, you should make sure the removable drive has enough space to store your files. Follow these steps:
Open File Explorer by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search , entering File Explorer in the search box, and then tapping or clicking File Explorer.
Press and hold or right-click OneDrive.
Select Properties, and then look at the amount next to Size on disk.
In File Explorer, select This PC, and then see how much space is free on the removable drive.
To move your OneDrive files
First, you’ll need to create a folder on the removable drive for your OneDrive files. After you create the folder, follow these steps to move your files:
Warning: Moving your OneDrive files will cancel any pending uploads.
In File Explorer, press and hold or right-click OneDrive.
Select Properties, and then select the Location tab.
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Should You Use A Registry Cleaner
The registry is a crucial part of your Windows operating system. In many cases, it contains hundreds of thousands of entries, out of which probably thousands might be invalid or just empty. And the web is full of so-called registry cleaners and tips on how to clean up a registry to speed up PCs. Registry cleaners find these problematic entries and delete them or fix them as needed.
But 99.999% of the time, using a registry cleaner has no impact on PC performance. Sure, Windows constantly accesses the registry, but the size of that database is about 100 to 200 MB, which even a 10-year-old PC can process in a fraction of a second. Deleting a few entries from the registry does not impact speed whatsoever.
Nevertheless, cleaning the registry is a bit like hygiene, as even some Microsoft employees have said in the past. In rare instances, some missing keys might cause error messages upon startup. But unless youre experiencing these errors, theres no need to run a registry cleaner.
Our advice: Leave the database alone. Windows does a good job of taking care of it. And if you do have an error, make sure you go with a professional registry cleaning tool.
Keep Your Computer Screen Clean
Once your computer screen looks shiny and new again, youll want to take proactive steps to keep it that way. Sure, you can avoid touching the screen with your fingers. Thatll go a long way toward keeping a monitor screen clean, though youll still need to know how to clean a monitor screen of the inevitable dust buildup.
Preventing smears isnt so cut and dry when it comes to laptops. Your fingers are constantly depositing oils and dead skin cells onto the keyboard. When you close your laptop, that dirt transfers to your screen. One solution is to lay a thin microfiber cloth on top of your keyboard every time you close the screen. Yes, youll still need to know how to clean a laptop screen. And yes, youll need to clean it regularly. But you can go longer between cleanings with this simple trick.
If your computer has a touch screen, its a good practice to wash your hands before using your device. Once youve mastered how to clean a computer screen, you may be inspired to clean your TV screen, phone charging port, and other pieces of technology.
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