Tips for cleaning up your computer

Today is National Clean Out Your Computer Day. It’s the perfect chance for you to clean your computer both physically - and internally. This should help your computer run smoother and last longer.

We spoke with the Geek Squad Manager at Best Buy to get some easy tips and tricks for cleaning things up.

"Think of it as a doctor's visit for you,” Greenwood said. “Your computer is something that does need to be kept up. If there's something wrong with it, it usually needs to be addressed pretty quickly or it can snowball effect and other things can happen to it."

One thing you can do is get rid of programs you no longer use. On a Windows PC, you can do that by going to your Start Menu and typing “add or remove programs”.

Go through the list that comes up and uninstall any program that you don’t use anymore.

You can also get rid of your temporary files. Go to the Start Menu and type in “%temp” to bring up your temporary files. You can press Control-a” to highlight them, then right click and select “Delete” to get rid of them.

Go through your documents, photos and videos to delete files you no longer need.

Also, once you’ve deleted all of those files, empty your Trash Bin.

Geek Squad’s Derek Greenwood says he does this type of cleanup every week on his own computer, but you can do it every six months or so and still be in good shape.

You should also clean your computer itself. To do this, open the computer and use a can of compressed air to spray the dust out of the fan and power supply area.

"If you have a smoker in the house, there can be more buildup,” Greenwood said. “If you have animals, there can be more cat hair, dog hair that gets built up in there so it's good to open it up and check probably monthly just to see the condition."

Laptops need a little extra care because they have smaller components.

You can use compressed air to clean dust and crumbs out of your keyboard, too.

While you’re at it, clean up your monitor. The best way to do this is by using a soft cloth and either water or screen cleaning solution. Don’t use regular household glass cleaner, because it can damage your screen’s anti-reflective coating.

Of course, before you do any type of physical cleaning - be sure to turn off and unplug your computer.

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