How to Clean Your PC, Inside and Out

Cleaning a PC is more than just uninstalling a few apps and wiping off the case. Here's how to defeat dust, gunk, and other unmentionable material that gets lodged inside your desktop system.

This article is not responsible if you turn your computer into a massive paperweight after trying one of the tips you're about to read. Cleaning a computer isn't rocket science, but certain techniques do carry more risk than others.

Not only will cleaning your PC help you get rid of the gunk and other crusty unknowns that lurk within devices such as your keyboard and mouse, but you'll also be able to rid your system of the dust, hair, and assorted debris that make it look as if you had been storing it in your attic the past three years. Aesthetics aside, you'll be doing a great service for the components that help your PC stay cool: Fans can keep spinning happily if they aren't coated with dust and grime, heat sinks can cool better if gunk isn't impeding their tightly packed fins, and CPUs will benefit from a fresh, even coat of thermal paste instead of, well, whatever that stuff is that's currently caked on your chip.

The next thousand words or so will change your life for the better-- or, at least, they'll add 50 friendship points to the bond you share with your desktop PC. Like bathing a cat, taking a computer from filthy to fresh can be a difficult task at best, but it's well worth the struggle, time, and messy aftereffects.

More How to Clean Your PC, Inside and Out

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.