I’ll admit from the start. The reason I am writing this guide on how to clean your computer is because my computer is in some condition. A country worse than a personal computer builds itself? Probably. A fan, or perhaps a fan, is starting to make the kind of grinding noise that takes away the advantage of my morning coffee. Slapping on the top of the case seemed to sort it out a bit, although that would eventually bite me in the ass, I know. I just am not able to do much of the first things when I settle for the morning meeting, and hold a large cup of coffee in my hand.
Your next device
I blame Covid-19 for this unfortunate situation. My temporary desk space means that my pride and joy, my Threadripper system, is now on a carpeted floor in what was once my dining room. I am well aware that this is a bad thing. You don’t have to get angry with my device. But there’s not much I can do about it, as my home has become my office, and I now have five computers crammed into one office. There is no space on the desk itself, and although there is a side unit I can use, it’s packed with hardware I need to test.
do not judge me. (I judge myself enough for all of us.)
So yes, the system needs a good cleaning. Spring has grown up, so it seems like a good enough time to give him a “spring clean” and give him some advice in the process. Not only does it sort the fans and general dust that attracts PC powers, but it also sorts programs as well. Use TreeSize, which is a much better tool than WinDirStats, which Jacob lovesIt might not be the case, it’s just the tool I’ve always used for this job.
Dust build-up is a permanent problem, of course, and if you are looking for more ideas, check out This guide is on how to clean your computer (From 2018, but not much has changed in all honesty) and The Wes Most Mouthful Guide to Sort Your Device Certainly worth searching, too. Basically, this is something we probably should all be doing a little more, you know, like backing up, eating greens, drinking more water, etc.
How to clean your computer
Fans, fans, and more fans
When it comes to cleaning your device well, I’m mainly talking about the fans. These rotary air pumps do a great job of keeping the tougher game consoles cool, but will collect a coat of fur if left unchecked. The solution is to blow air on them so that they regain their original fluffy shine.
The best way to do this is to turn off your pride and happiness, detach it, take it outside, or in a place where there is a lot of ventilation, and go to work with A can of compressed air. This stuff is cheap to buy, I bought a 400ml can from Amazon for $ 6 (£ 5). It’s too many, and for once you can probably check out user reviews on Amazon – it’s a can of air, how bad can it be?
If dirt is baked on the fan blades, then compressed air may not be enough. In this case, you’ll need access to the Microfiber cloth To help remove dirt. I’m not an advocate of anti-static wrist straps, but make sure you keep yourself grounded while doing this to make sure nothing gets damaged.
If you haven’t cleaned your system in a while, a partial stripping procedure might be the only option to get all the fluff out of the various angles and crevices. This should be like building your computer, but in reverse. And with a can of compressed air in your hand to help eliminate dust.
You will need a screwdriver, in order to free your graphics card and depending on how clogged the system is, also to free up the fans and possibly the motherboard if things are really bad. You don’t have to free up the coolant from the top of the CPU, but if you do, you’ll need some Isopropyl alcohol To clean old dirt between cooler and CPU top. You will also need some Thermal paste If you go that far.
If your machine has any fan filters, they are very easy to clean. Just pull it out or peel it off if it’s magnetically attached and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. Or, if that fails, some kitchen roll will work as well.
How to clean your SSD
TreeSize is your friend
The “friend” is a bit strong. It can be helpful though. If you want to quickly see where all your drive space is hiding, then Tree size It’s a great tool, and there’s also a free version, so what don’t you like?
Why should you care? Whether you’re running a modern high-speed NVMe SSD, SATA drive, or a rotating hard drive, you want space to get these devices up and running. Besides, you’ll undoubtedly want to install and play more games over the next year, so free up space now. That way, you can act on the motivation of the moment and buy loads of games at the upcoming Steam Sale, knowing you have a place for it.
Simply open TreeSize, right-click on the drives in order and select TreeSize Free from the dropdown menu and then gaze at disbelief as you see your Steam installation size.
Install the game
TreeSize is really good at highlighting those games It simply takes up too much space. Take a look at the Steam, Epic, Ubisoft, and Origin folders with TreeSize Free, and you’ll see by default where your hard drive space is headed, with the worst culprits at the top. If you play these games, that’s obviously fine, but this one that you haven’t touched in months, but that takes up close to 100GB can probably go.
If you’re on a metered connection or it’s a slow connection, backing it up somewhere locally is fine, but just leaving it on your device unpowered isn’t very smart. I haven’t played Destiny 2 on this device in years – I installed it when I migrated to Steam, but I never played it after making sure my character has moved on. This is 85 GB of space that I can easily restore. Just head over to Steam (or whatever client you use), and uninstall the game from there.
Just let it go. It’s more trouble than it’s worth. Well, this is not helpful. How about taking a look at the size of your Documents folder and assessing whether or not it’s worth sorting. If it isn’t taking up much space on your drive, that should probably be fine. I mean everything important is in the cloud these days anyway, right? right?
If you’re dead trying to sort out what has essentially become your computer’s loft space, do all the means carefully and get rid of anything you know you don’t need anymore. Get a metaphorical yard sale and get rid of anything you don’t want or need anymore. If you are going to backup anything, this clutter of folders is probably where you should start. At the very least, throw it on a USB drive and lose it in a drawer somewhere.
Screenshots and videos
My Screenshot folder is an absolute mess. Partly because of the job, but also because of my weird compulsion to capture wonderful moments in my life. One of the fun things about playing the likes of Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering Arena is that there are a lot of times when I try to capture shots of intense matches that make no sense at all moments after they are captured. The current screenshots number 521, although there are a lot of business photos there as well.
Unless your daily job involves keeping all that nonsense up, you can probably do ol ‘Ctrl + A and Delete shuffle, although if you want to take the time to relive those moments then don’t hesitate. If you enjoy a ride in the memory lane, you can leave it as it is. Screenshots generally don’t take up much space – even my upload folder is only 1.4GB. I can ignore that for a while.
The Videos folder might be a different thing though. You don’t need many examples of your internet antics to be able to quickly free up much drive space. It depends on your capture resolution and on what format it was saved in, but I sat on 19 5GB files and doing nothing for anyone. Delete it and get that space again.
Ctrl + A and delete the widget. You might want to run a quick scan first, but the Downloads folder is probably huge and full of utter junk. You really don’t need the Ubuntu ISO image that has been out there for a year, and all of your Nvidia driver downloads can be turned into a lot of default dust. Wipe everything.
Scan your desktop
I admit that this sounds a little trivial, but if you ran into trouble sorting out the rest of your machine, but left your desktop in tatters, it wouldn’t feel like you did anything at all. Go to the desktop and get rid of as much as possible. You will feel much cleaner and smoother. You’re just really kidding yourself, I know, but we need these little psychological tricks to get through the day sometimes.
Depending on how you use your computer, you might be able to get rid of everything here except for the Recycle Bin. When was the last time you launched a game, or anything for that matter, from the desktop? If this is your favorite method, it’s okay, keep it, but at least group it logically.
After you’ve done everything else, cleared all the unplayed games, and scrolled through the Downloads and Documents folders, you can steam out the Recycle Bin and enjoy all that space you’ve freed up. It’s also a good idea to run TreeSize (or WinDirStats if you prefer) and make sure there’s not a huge space eating up the behemoth that has slipped through.
you’re good. Well done work and all that. Give yourself a pat on your back, rest on your seat and play the game you were meant to turn around.