If you want your car to drive well, you’ve got to change the oil every few thousand miles. If you want your dryer to work fast, you need to clean the lint filter. And if you want your computer to run smoothly, you’ll need to be familiar with the top computer care tips.

Just like other mechanical items, computers need regular care to run efficiently. This makes sense: computers are expensive and complicated, and caring properly for yours can ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Put a lid on That Drink

If you’re like most people, you like to sit down at the computer with a nice, hot cup of coffee or a cold glass of water. Unfortunately, it only takes one wrong move to send that refreshing beverage splashing across your keyboard.

While it’s easy enough to replace a desktop keyboard, a laptop keyboard is integral to the rest of the system and sits directly atop critical components. That said, spilling liquid on it will likely require you to buy a new computer.

2. Clean Your Keyboard

Even if you follow common-sense computer care tips, like not eating at your keyboard, keys eventually accumulate a coating of oil, debris, and dust from regular use. To keep things clean and prevent sticky keys, follow these steps:

  1. Disable the keyboard. If you’re using a laptop, turn your computer off. This helps prevent damage to the system or accidental shock.
  2. Turn the computer upside down. Once the keyboard is disabled, turn it upside down and use a can of compressed air to gently dislodge anything stuck behind the keys. Once you’ve done this, tap the back of the keyboard gently to remove any other debris.
  3. Clean the base of the keyboard. To remove grease and oil, use a Q-Tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and run it between the keys of your keyboard.

3. Get rid of Smudges on the Screen

Tablet and computer screens are vulnerable to smudges. While these can be distracting, they can also put the rest of your system at risk. This is particularly the case with laptops, where the screen rests against the keys. Fortunately, keeping your screen clean is simple. Just spritz some glass cleaner on a microfiber cloth and rub the screen gently in circular motions. You can also wipe your keyboard or laptop body with this solution.

4. Clean Your Computer’s Fans

Just like a dryer vents build up with lint, your computer’s fans can get clogged with dust, which can make the system run hotter than it should.

To address a dust problem, turn the computer off, flip it over, and remove the battery. Surrounding the battery, you’ll see a series of grills and vents. Use a can of compressed air to blast dust out of these sensitive areas.

Point the airflow at the battery compartment to remove dirt there, as well. Once the area is clean, replace the battery and turn the computer back on.

If you have a Mac laptop, or you aren’t sure how to remove your battery, bring your computer to the computer repair specialists at Computer CPR for a full cleaning.

5. Install an Antivirus Program

One of the most important things you can do to care for your computer is to install antivirus software. Reputable brands include AVG and Norton. When it comes to antivirus protection, you’ll have both free and paid options. If you’re confused about the selection, contact your local IT specialist for some advice.

6. Get Rid of Defunct Programs

Most computers have some outdated software on them. In addition to taking up space on the hard disk, these outdated programs can also slow down your computer and make it more difficult to install needed programs. Every few months, look through your programs and applications and uninstall anything that isn’t relevant anymore.

Computer Care Tips to Make Your Computer Last Longer

Take it from your laptop repair specialists in Fort Worth: good computer care protects your investment and prevents computer repair problems. By doing simple things, like keeping your keyboard clean, dumping unneeded software, and keeping dust to a minimum, you can help your laptop run fast and efficiently for years to come.

To learn more about how to care for your computer, contact the team here at Computer CPR.