Notebook care. How to keep your computer clean and tidy.


Today, people are oriented towards buying devices for as long as possible. The right choice of electronics is extremely important, but in addition, you also need to remember that any device requires careful handling and care. When I asked how our readers take care of their computers, the vast majority of responses fall into two categories. The former do not care at all, the latter are cleaned of dust, and sometimes by quite aggressive methods. Few have thought about software, although it is precisely in it that most of the problems that we may encounter rest. Those tips that you will find in this text are easily applicable not only to laptops, but also to system units, the difference is only in their design. Here I have tried to collect various tricks that will help you save and extend the life cycle of your computer. For simplicity, I will break the material into small points.

Table of Contents

Turned on purity – gel, alcohol and other liquids

I am intimidated by people who do things frantically, especially when it is dictated by “common sense” and some common knowledge. Often such knowledge is refracted into very bizarre phantasmagoria. When the media began to exaggerate the topic of cleanliness, protection from viruses, bad advice on how to clean keyboards immediately appeared. The reasoning was as follows – we touch different objects, then we touch the keyboard, and it becomes a breeding ground for germs. Sounds logical?

Each person has their own biome, and it is not only unique, it is also part of our immune system. The constant removal of bacteria, the destruction of our own biome weakens our immunity, a person cannot live in sterile conditions. Don’t believe? Read the book “Not Home Alone” by Rob Dunn, it deals very thoroughly with this issue. Therefore, you do not need to protect yourself by decontaminating the keyboard – a meaningless exercise.

However, the keyboard gets dirty from time to time and needs to be cleaned. You definitely shouldn’t use water for this, water is the worst enemy of any electronics. Take an alcohol wipe for the screen, it will do just fine. If you don’t want to spend money on napkins or don’t have them at hand, find ordinary alcohol and a rag. Preferably light to see how stains remain on it. It is definitely not worth cleaning the keyboard like this often, you will erase the top layer of the keys. I usually clean my keyboard once every one and a half to two months. And very gently and simply, exactly the same as cleaning the screen.

No gels should be used. Tips to remove dirt with the help of “lipuns”, such toys, is also impossible! You can rip out the keyboard. As well as blowing the keyboard with compressed air, a vacuum cleaner, or something else is not worth it. The dust inside the keyboard, as a rule, does not affect anything, and when you work, you grind it into dust.

For a year and a half, my MacBook Pro has had scuffs on the keys, in particular, on the space bar. Considering that I type a lot of texts a day, about 50-60 thousand characters are obtained on a typical day, the wear of the keyboard is higher than that of most people. For me, this is a working tool, and I press the buttons quickly and without looking back.

Clocks and keyboards are not a couple at all! Also food and drinks

Sinful and I admit it, I love metal. I have metal bracelets on all watches, a couple of models do not count, I haven’t worn them for a long time. The problem here is that when I work on a computer, the bracelet crawls over the case, scuffs may appear. For seven years on the previous MacBook Pro, they are clearly visible to me, the edges of the metal are eaten away. And the question is not so much in the aesthetics of the case, but in the fact that sometimes it began to slightly shock. It makes me take off my watch, work at the computer without them.

One of the rules that my father taught me, when the IBM PC / AT appeared at our house in the second half of the 80s, is that you can’t drink tea or eat something at the computer. I have been following this rule for many years, and it has never let me down, no crumbs get into the case, no liquids pour on it. For those who believe that the computer will survive the ingestion of food, I have bad news – most likely it will survive, but what will happen next is unknown. The most disgusting liquid is soda, sticky and gets everywhere. In a word, accustom yourself that the computer is not a place where you need to eat food.

Fur coat for your computer, and also thermal paste

Even if you work in sterile conditions, there is still dust in the air, it somehow penetrates the case, it is not airtight. And if the fans are running, then dust accumulates inside.

If your computer is no longer under warranty, then you can remove the cover and clean it of dust (most laptops can be taken apart, you just need a screwdriver, which can be purchased in many places, for the screws that the manufacturer used). It is best to clean with a soft brush, very carefully. It is not necessary to remove individual parts, there is a possibility that you can damage something. If you are afraid to clean the computer case in this way, then contact those who know how to do it.

Depending on the computer model, you can change the thermal paste on the processor, it is a consumable item. You can do all these procedures in the service, their cost will be relatively low.

You can see various compressed air canisters that are offered for blowing dust out from under the keyboard. Here you need to clearly understand what you are doing and why. It can be harmful, and therefore I do not recommend using them. As well as using household vacuum cleaners in any of the modes (air in or out) may not be the best idea. Someone claims that he cleans his computer like this all the time and at least henna to him, someone runs into problems. Do not use household vacuum cleaners, including small handheld ones, to clean your computer. The case only happens once, and you can just get into trouble.

We clean the screen – napkins or velvet

Even if you do not have a touch screen, sooner or later it collects fingerprints, some sort of streaks and the like. Computer stores sell a variety of wipes, including wet wipes for wiping screens. And they do a good job of removing dirt. I love tissue packs that have both wet and dry ones. First remove the dirt, the second – stains from a damp cloth.

But it is also easy to clean the screen using velvet (microfiber or something similar from any optics). It is important not to make an effort, do not rub the spots on the screen, swipe it easily. Preferably in one direction, do not rub the screen to a stupor.

I turn off the computer, because the dirt is much better visible on a dark screen than when it is turned on.

Operating system updates are a must

When we talk about caring for a computer, we almost always forget about the software stuffing, but in vain. How the computer will work depends on the relevance of the operating system, installed security patches. No need to be lazy, install updates, they will help you keep your computer up to date. Most people turn a blind eye to installing updates, although this is a simple and painless process, it must be done.

The habit of parsing files – free space

Caring for your computer also means that you need to periodically sort out the rubble from your own files. I don’t consider myself a very organized person, screenshots, photos, text files accumulate on my desktop. I don’t have time to take them apart every day, I find such time once a month and put everything in order. Whether your system is Windows or MacOS, it’s best to avoid creating a world-wide dump of files and parse them from time to time. Ideally, if you make it a habit.

Another point is the free space that you leave on your computer. Many people clog memory and parse files only at the moment when there is no space at all. For the normal operation of any system (more precisely, for comfortable work), you need to have about 10% of the free space at all times. For example, if you have a 512 GB SSD, then save about 50 GB for the computer to work, you do not need to use all the space to the eyeballs, this will slow down the computer. The advice is simple, but very effective, tested on dozens of friends and acquaintances. And, of course, you need to create archives of your data, there is a complete variety of solutions, everything is in your hands – from local copies to cloud data storages.

To summarize the tips

A modern computer or laptop is a fairly durable device, it is designed for the user to work with it in completely different conditions. But often people exceed the calculations of engineers, and this is worth thinking about. For example, I have a habit developed over the years of closing the laptop lid if something like that is not happening in the background on it. Why keep it open? There is no point in collecting dust like that. Objections that I often hear: there will be a little dust, it’s okay. But little by little, problems are accumulating.

Another important point is that you do not need to leave the laptop in the sun or on the battery, overheating even when turned off is not the best thing for electronics. Try to be careful about this issue, think about where and how you throw equipment.

Another point is the transportation of the laptop. How many times have I seen situations when a laptop was shoved into a backpack, tamped tightly with other things. You can’t do this, there must be room, squeezing the laptop case is a bad idea. It is exactly as bad as putting cups on a closed laptop (I have seen this, including with hot drinks), filling up the laptop with some things.

Chargers in most laptops have become universal, but this does not mean that you should ignore what the manufacturer recommends. Choose the right chargers, and in the settings you can turn on gentle charging, then your computer will work longer.

At home, it makes sense to work from a mains charger, and not drive the battery back and forth, the fewer cycles it has, the better for you. All these are simple examples of how you can take care of your computer, there is nothing complicated and no revelations in them. For many, a computer is a work tool, and you need to keep your tools in order. And following these simple tips, you will extend the life of your computer, make working on it more pleasant and easier. A modern computer is very reliable, but it should be helped in this and not exploited to the limit. Moreover, this often happens due to the fact that we are lazy, we put off some things for later, or we just do nonsense, for example, we eat at the computer, because there is not enough time for this, and we combine two classes. You can’t do that.

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