8 Tips to Spring Clean Your Mac

Time to wipe the dust off your monitor, wipe the smudge from your computer screen, and dump the crumbs that have been collecting in your keyboard since Christmas. Spring is right around the corner, so you know what that means—time for a little spring cleaning! And yes, that includes your electronics. After all, you want your Mac to look sleek and shiny in the sunlight, right?

Here are eight spring cleaning tips to get your Mac ready for a spring refresh:

1. Sanitize your mouse.

To clean your mouse, we recommend using a soft, lint-free cloth and a small amount of cleanser. If you use too much, the cleaner may get into the cracks of the mouse, which will damage it permanently. If your mouse has a track ball, turn it over and rub the track ball back and forth on a clean piece of paper. If your mouse uses a laser, be very careful and clean this area with a dry lint cloth only.

2. De-crumb your keyboard.

It is extremely important to use as little moisture as possible when cleaning a laptop keyboard, since the keys sit right on top of the computer’s hardware. Try using a soft, lint-free cloth and a gentle cleanser. If you have an external keyboard, make sure you unplug it and take the batteries out if it’s wireless.

Pro Tip: To collect crumbs out of your keyboard, slide double-stick tape down and under the keys. You may be surprised at what you find.

3. Get your screen shining.

Think of cleaning your computer screen as if you were giving it a facial. You want to be thorough and careful, but not too rough so you don’t accidentally leave any lasting damage. Once again, use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, and similar items may cause damage to the item. Disconnect your device from any external power sources, and try not to get moisture into any openings. Instead of spraying cleaners directly onto the screen, spray onto a soft cloth first and then gently wipe in a circular motion.

4. Clean your monitor.

When it comes to your monitor, you can use a soft cloth and some white vinegar. That should get the dirt, fingerprints, and other gross smudges off the screen.

5. Back it up.

Before getting started with any internal cleaning, the first thing you want to do is make sure you back up everything you need. If you just need to hold onto a few files, Dropbox (or any cloud storage service) will do the trick. Alternately, you can easily back up your data to an external hard drive. Regardless of what method you choose, make sure you run the backup before you do anything else, so you don’t run the risk of losing anything.

6. Upgrade Mac software.

When was the last time you checked your computer for the latest software upgrades? Go do that right now. Software upgrades not only protect your computer against bugs and other issues, but give you the latest and greatest version of the software you use. Additionally, if you have yet to upgrade to the latest version of Parallels Desktop, you can upgrade here.

7. Clean up your hard drive.

You can free up a lot of space and help your Mac run faster by getting rid of files and programs you no longer need or use. Some things to consider are moving larger files such as photos and videos to an external hard drive and deleting things like unused fonts, applications, iChat logs and e-mails.

8. Sell old computer parts.

Why not make a buck or two on old computer accessories you don’t need anymore? If you have a spare keyboard or mouse laying around, trying throwing it up on eBay or Craigslist to see if anyone bites. Alternatively, you can safely and sustainably recycle old computer parts without harming the environment. Check out Lifehacker’s five easy places to recycle your old gadgets and computers here.


Got any other tips for spring cleaning your Mac? Tell us yours in a comment, below, or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter!


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