There are quite a few “How to” tips and tricks to ensure your computer runs smoothly, as well as detecting possible issues before they cause you any problems. This is the first in a series of blog posts addressing how to prevent potential issues in order to keep your computer up to speed.
The first and foremost step to keeping your computer running smoothly is keeping it clean. While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how many people don’t put any thought in keeping their machines clean and dust free and the placement of their PC. Placement is the first and perhaps most important thing to consider since it plays a big role in how frequently the machine needs to be cleaned and how well it “breathes.”
If you happen to own a desktop PC, you might consider placing it on the floor right next to your desk. This is a convenient location and is a good way of saving space while keeping the tower out of the way. However, remember that dust and debris usually settle on the floor, so it’s important to keep the area surrounding your PC clean and free of clutter. Desktop PCs that are set on carpet usually have more dust and dirt issues than those on hardwood or tile surfaces.
Your computer must have access to free-flowing air that passes through and keeps the inside cool. This goes for both desktops and laptops. Your computer’s case should be kept free of any papers or debris that will block its airflow. Laptops should be kept elevated, as most laptops vents are located underneath the machine. Laptops that are kept on desks have fewer issues with accumulating dust but seem more prone to being exposed to crumbs or spills.
When working with a laptop, it’s a good idea to use an external keyboard when possible. This keeps your computer safe from potential drink spills, which can ruin the inside of your laptop. A good quality wireless keyboard and mouse combo pack usually runs for less than $70 and is much cheaper to replace if an accident happens.
Another good idea is to occasionally wipe your computer and keyboard down with a slightly damp cloth—although make sure your computer is turned off before you do so. Be sure to use an approved screen wipe on laptop and LCD screens to prevent streaks.