Blow Out Your Computer Before It Blows Up

March 18, 2013

I’ll warn you, this post contains a dirty picture. No, really, it is dirty! I’m talking about the dust and dirt that can build up inside of your computer and other electronic devices. When was the last time you opened up your computer to see what was inside? If you don’t regularly clean it out, the dust can cause your computer to crash and crash often. Below is a really dirty picture of the inside of a computer. No surprise it didn’t work at all.
Really Dusty Computer
I sure hope your computer doesn’t look anything like that. One of the maintenance tasks you should be performing on a regular schedule is a good cleaning of your computer. How often should you do it? It probably depends on how much dust is in the area where you keep your computer. At the very least it should be done once a year. Most likely it would be better to do it a couple of times a year.

Don’t worry, it isn’t difficult at all. You’ll need to open up your computer case. Most cases have thumbscrews so no tool is required. Just twist them with your thumb. It is possible you’ll need a screwdriver. For those who want a good toolkit for their computer, I wrote Computer Tool Kit Is Necessary For Quick Fixes about a good all-in-one kit.

Once the computer is open, you’ll want to blow out all of the dust and dirt with a can of compressed air. I wrote a post titled Clean Your Computer With Compressed Air a couple of years ago with a link to a good supply of cans.

For those who open up a computer and find a lot of dust, I’ll be real curious to hear if your computer is working a lot better after cleaning it out. You might just find that your computer crashes a lot less frequently after a good spring cleaning.

Post Discussion


  1. stefan lindblad

    Rather brutal dirty image 🙂
    Cleaning a laptop is the tricky part. Desktop is easy to clean as you mention. People simply has to “do it”. With laptops it simply is harder. Some say use air can. Some says no to aircan. Some say use a wacum cleaner/hoover, I would say place a toilet paper roll, the core of it, on the wacum cleaner so no static destroys anything. But still. more messy.

  2. MadDog

    I think the real point here should be that setting your tower on the floor, arguably the dirtiest place in any house or office, is monumemtally stupid. I’m not up on feng shui for the company or home office, but the happy computer is a clean computer. I have never placed a rig of mine on the @#!?//! floor, not even to gain a few square feet of work surface. Given the number of fans and directional flow of most cases, they are little more than fancy vacuum cleaners.
    The simple solution is to locate your rig, or laptop, in a clean space, not lint city.

  3. Foster D. Coburn III

    Placing the computer in an area that gets minimal dust is certainly a huge help. Even when it isn’t on the floor, dust can build up over time and it is a good idea to give it a cleaning at least once a year.

    Yes, I did choose a really dirty picture. Luckily I’ve never seen one that bad or even remotely close.

  4. stefan lindblad

    Dust comes in not mysterious ways, it´s all encompassing, just look on top of a painting hanging on a wall 😉

  5. stefan lindblad

    Man, looking at that picture again Foster. Its a brutal, brutal BRUTAL treatment to that old work horse. Call it horse and Arizona Human society ( )will come and get it – and you 😉

  6. Foster D. Coburn III

    Stefan, you are correct that my computer will never get like the one shown in the photo. I found this photo in researching the topic and the computer shown did not even work because it was so dirty.


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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III built his first Web site in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013. He has used the Divi theme exclusively since 2015. Earlier in his career he was the author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences.

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