Tech Tuesday: Spring cleaning for your computer

11:19 AM, Mar 27, 2012   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Spring cleaning should include your electronics. Agent Derek Meister from the Geek Squad offers some easy tips which could improve the performance of your computers and extend their life.

Bust the dust
PC cases can get dusty which is a risk to the long-term, well-being of your computer. First, make sure to turn off the PC before doing any cleaning tasks. Then look at the fan on the back of your system: if it's fuzzy, use a can of compressed air to spray off the dust in a sideways direction. Dust other case surfaces with a disposable, soft dusting cloth. If there's other gunk on the case that resembles a late-night coffee stain, a slightly damp paper towel will do the trick.

Detail your printer
To prevent printer jams and other foul-ups, give a small burst of compressed air to the printer mechanism that rolls in the paper. With an inkjet printer, make sure to print at least a page once a week in order to avoid cartridge clogs. It's usually unnecessary to clean the outside of the printer case, but you may have to if the printer lives in a kitchen and experiences close encounters with flying food. A slightly damp cloth can get the job done, but don't apply water directly to the printer.

Kill keyboard crud
More goodies may lurk in your keyboard than live under your couch, as crumbs from every muffin or sandwich you've eaten at your desk wind up in between the keys. Unplug the keyboard, and then turn it upside down and shake out the cookie crumbs and edible artifacts. For a more advanced cleaning to get rid of both dirt and germs, use a can of compressed air and an antibacterial wipe to really get it squeaky clean. While you're at it, give your mouse a thorough wipe down - it, too, can collect plenty of dirt and finger grime.

Improve your view
Do you have a dirty smartphone screen, monitor, tablet or flat screen TV? Unplug it or power it down and dust it with a disposable dusting cloth. If dirty fingerprints are making it hard to read the screen, unplug it and use a slightly damp cloth with water only. Avoid using glass cleaners or household detergents because their components could damage your screen.

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