All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you purchase goods through one of these links, we may earn member commissions.
Outside of your mobile phone, your PC may be the technology you use the most. If there is no other reason, you should take care of it. Not only will it last longer, but it will also work better as you keep it. In this guide, we will share some tips on how to take care of your PC. Of course, it is impossible to cover this topic from all angles, so treat this guide as an introduction rather than anything else.
How to clean your computer and peripherals
Windows PCs, especially desktops, come in various shapes and sizes, but the techniques we will introduce here will help you clean your computer, whether you buy a pre-installed one or assemble it yourself.If you own a laptop, please check our Recent Mac Organization GuidelinesAll the steps we detailed there are applicable to Windows portable computers.
Before cleaning the inside of the computer, start with the monitor and peripherals. At this stage, you only need some distilled water in a spray bottle and a microfiber cloth.You can go to the grocery store or do it yourself. If you don’t have any microfiber cloth, Amazon will sell it Affordable 24-pack You can get about 15 dollars. After you get your hand, spray water on a clean cloth and wipe the computer’s display, then move it to the mouse and keyboard. You want to start with the screen to avoid transferring dust and residue to the panel.
It is possible to write a completely independent guide on how to clean the keyboard, but the short version is that you want to pick up one Keycap puller And use it to give you unimpeded access to any debris and garbage accumulated under the key. If there is a lot of dirt and residue on the keycaps, the best option is to soak them in warm water and then brush off the deposits with a toothbrush. Allow them enough time to dry before reinstalling them on the keyboard.
After completing these operations, turn off your PC and unplug all devices connected to it. You also need to turn off the power supply unit (PSU) by turning the toggle switch on the outside of the power supply unit (PSU) to the “O” position. Next, press the power button a few times to discharge any static electricity you may be carrying with you.
If possible, follow most of the steps we will describe outside. The last thing you have to do is to solve the trouble of cleaning the computer, and then let it suck in all the dust again.
After moving the computer, remove the side panel first. Most modern cases allow you to do this without any tools, but you need at least a screwdriver to do most of the work we will detail later. For most screws inside the computer, you only need a 4-inch Phillips screwdriver. Some components (such as your GPU) may include Torx screws, etc., but don’t worry about these now, because we won’t take them apart. If you do not have a decent set of screwdrivers and have DIY experience, then iFixit’s driver kit is your best choice.This 16, 32 and 62-bit kit Its sales are a good starting point, and they can not only be used on your computer, but they can also come in handy.
If your PC has any dust filters, remove them immediately and rinse them in the sink, then set them aside to dry. Depending on how long your computer collects dust, you may need to remove some components, such as the GPU, to make it easier to clean all parts. If you feel comfortable doing this and this is the first time you have removed any internal parts, please use your phone to take pictures of the interior. These images will help you place all the parts in their final original positions. This is important because there is an optimal way to install many components on your computer. For example, you always want to install the GPU in the fastest available PCIe lane. When removing any PCI card, first unscrew its mounting bracket, and then push the corresponding release device on the motherboard before pulling out the card.
Regardless of whether you decide to fix all the internal parts of your computer in place, you need something to remove all the dust.A can of compressed air is an option, but I like to use Joetos Rocket Blower. It is specially designed to clean the camera sensor without damaging any of your components. This is also a one-time purchase. No matter what you have, you can use it to blow away the dust that accumulates on the computer’s internal components, fans, and grille. Please pay special attention to the heat sink of the CPU, GPU, chipset and voltage regulator connected to the PC. Due to their tight fin stack, they may be the most difficult dust to remove in your system. More importantly, a particularly bad accumulation prevents them from cooling these components effectively, which in turn affects their performance.
When cleaning any exposed PCB, use an antistatic brush (Like this from OXO) Instead of microfiber cloth. You will avoid damaging any sensitive components on the board. You can use a wet microfiber cloth to wipe any non-electronic parts.
At this point, all you need to do is put everything back in place. One last tip, if there is any way to avoid leaving the desktop on the floor, then you will end up spending less time cleaning it because it won’t come close to all the dust and dander that collects there. If your desk setting or living space is not suitable for you, PC tower It is a cheap but effective way to lift your computer off the ground and help it reduce the inhaled debris.
How to organize the storage drives of a PC
If you have not reviewed all the software installed on your computer for a while, the best starting point is in the Task Manager. Here you can see how much resources your computer uses for a specific process. Since everyone has different software installed on their PCs, it is difficult to provide comprehensive advice, but using Task Manager, you can learn about applications that may slow down your computer. For most people, there are two culprits: bloatware and antivirus software.
If you buy your PC from a system integrator like Dell, it will almost certainly contain software that your computer does not need to run. Therefore, you can safely uninstall these applications to improve performance and save space.
The next tip may be controversial for some people, but I believe that as long as you avoid clicking on rough links and stay away from the dark corners of the Internet, Windows Defender is everything you need to protect your computer from most malicious software. Although there are A good antivirus program, such as Bit guard and Malware bytes, Most of the cost they provide is too high and will only slow down your computer. If you feel uncomfortable about uninstalling antivirus software, be sure to leave it on your computer.
When you are in Task Manager, you also need to click the “Startup” tab to view the programs that are starting when the computer is turned on. You can speed up the process by limiting the list to as few applications as possible. As for the actual process of removing any software you don’t need, always uninstall the program from the control panel, as this will leave the least residue after all operations are completed. If you have been using Windows for a while, you will be full of wrong files, folders, and registry entries. You can remove those manually, but doing so can be time-consuming.So we recommend using a similar procedure Iolo System Technician Either Clean my computer Complete the in-depth cleaning of the system.
If you have any mechanical drives installed in your computer, it is best to develop the habit of defragmenting them regularly. First, launch the built-in defragmentation and drive optimization application, and then click the “Optimize” button. Depending on the size of the hard drive, this process may take a while. Don’t defragment your SSDs, because you will only shorten their lifespan with almost no performance improvement.
How to organize your applications, tabs, and other windows
Say what you think of Windows 10, but the truth is that it comes with some of the best window management tools built into the operating system. You don’t need to download any other software to organize your desktop, but you can adjust some settings to take full advantage of its iconic Snap feature.
As you may already know, you can press the Windows and Tab keys at the same time to display the Task View pane. You can add other virtual desktops here. If you haven’t used virtual desktops, they are great for organizing your active windows so that you don’t have to constantly rearrange them while trying to find specific windows. You can quickly press the Windows key, Ctrl, and the left or right arrow keys to move between desktops. But to make things easier, go to the “Settings” application and enter the “Multitasking” section of the “System” menu. Under the “Virtual Desktops” heading, switch the two settings to “All Desktops”. You can now use the Alt-Tab shortcut or the taskbar to switch to any application on any desktop.
When dealing with tags, a lot depends on the browser you are using. But as a good starting point, all the most popular ones include a feature that allows you to pin tags. I use it to keep the websites I visit most often on weekdays (in my case Gmail, Trello, and Google Drive) always open at the top of my tab bar. In this way, those tags will never be lost in countless other websites that I might open for the story I’m writing. More importantly, in the case of my browser Brave, I can use some keyboard shortcuts to quickly jump to these tabs.
Finally, we want to highlight how much customization Windows 10 offers you in terms of your computer organization. As an example, you can right-click on items located on the taskbar and start menu to place the most frequently used applications and shortcuts within reach. However, if you want to really dive into all the options that Windows 10 offers in this regard, please visit the following website: Center of window have Detailed operation method This is a good starting point.