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Estherville Library News - Computer cleaning tips

March 21, 2014
By Beth Reineke - Library Staff , Estherville News

Now that spring is here, many including myself have the urge to deep clean and air out the house. One area to include on your too clean list is the computer, laptop, or electronic device. The following are some tips from the magazine PC World (April 2013) obtained on EbscoHost, a free database resource.

Keyboard and Display

To begin unplug your computer. Clean the keyboard by shaking it upside down over the trash. A bottle of compressed air can help remove the remaining items. Wipe down the keys with an antibacterial wipe or rubbing alcohol. Clean the mouse by wiping off the top buttons, around the sliding pads, and the laser sensor located underneath.

Wipe the screen with a damp towel and then with a dry lint-free cloth. Dust around the outside case, and under the computer components with a damped lint-free cloth.

Organize Files

Clean up the desktop by removing icons or folders no longer used.

Within the hard drive decide what programs you no longer need. The control panel allows you to select and uninstall programs you no longer use.

If you are looking to save space on your hard drive, there are a number of free "cloud" services you can upload your files to - stored on a password-protected website - such as Dropbox, SkyDrive, iCloud, and Google, to name a few. Typically, these services let you upload between two gigabytes (GB) and seven GB of data, per account.

Update Your Software

Software programs continue to improve and receive updates. Once a month check for any updates for the operating system, and programs such as Java or Adobe you frequently use. Keeping these up to date prevents your computer from being vulnerable.

Watch out for Malware

Finally, it's critical to have good antivirus and anti-spyware programs installed on your personal computer; many are free such as and can save you from problems from infected software or files.

April is the last month for Free Tech Help on Mondays from 10 a.m.-noon. So far this year, library staff have helped 36 individuals offering over 13 hours of technical support. If you have any questions about operating your computer including how to spring clean, the library would be happy to help!



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