The Laptop Maintenance Tasks You Should Be Doing

3. Clear your browser’s cache and cookies

This is an essential part of keeping your computer (and web browser) speedy and safe. Even browsing the internet normally will result in a large number of cookies occupying your browser files, so taking the time to remove them can work wonders.

There are many browsers — each with different methods of cleaning out temporary files and cookies.

Since the majority of our readers use Google Chrome, however, it’s worth refreshing the process for this popular browser.

In the Chrome window, click on the three-dot symbol in the upper right corner of the browser. Then, click Settings and scroll to the bottom of the page that appears. Then, click on Advanced to expand the menu. Scroll a bit further down until you see Clear Browsing Data. Click this, and you’ll be able to delete your cookies, cache, and even browsing history!

You can even set the time range you want your deletion to extend to — just in case you have some essential history items you want to hang on to.

4. Clean your screen and keyboard (with the proper tools, of course!)

Now that we’ve tidied up on the digital side of your computer, it’s time to have a look at the hardware itself. Neglecting to clean your computer on a regular basis can spell disaster to the longevity of your system. Just imagine, if you will, how many crumbs, skin cells, and pieces of dirt make their way into your keyboard.

Now, imagine all that grime adding up over years. It’s not a pretty picture…

You can prevent the buildup of dirt and grime, however, by investing in some safe computer cleaning products. These items are designed to work with your system — and are made to prevent you from accidentally damaging its sensitive components.

For your screen, the best option would be pre-moistened screen wipes. These items contain a safe amount of moisture that won’t damage your screen and can help increase the clarity of your display.

My personal recommendation is the CareTouch brand Lens Cleaning Wipes. Originally designed for eyeglasses, they’re a safe way to get your laptop’s screen sparkling. Plus, they can be safely used on smartphones and tablets.

Kim uses Windex electronics screen wipes, which are great for a streak-free shine.

As for your keyboard, you’ll want to tread cautiously. Needlessly jamming something like a paperclip in the space between keys can break the sensitive mechanisms that make the thing work. The best solution is to use an “invisible touch” that dislodges debris without physically contacting it. To do this, you’ll need a can of compressed air, or “canned air” as it’s sometimes called.

These pressurized canisters of oxygen are perfect for cleaning computers and have been trusted by IT professionals for years. Simply point the can at a slight angle near the affected area and spray.

A small but powerful blast of wind will push crumbs and dust out from even the smallest spaces. As for the best brand of canned air, we recommend Dust-Off — a long-lived brand with a trusted reputation for quality compressed air. Make sure to follow the directions on the can for maximum safety.

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