How to Clean the Dust Out of Your Laptop

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If you have your laptop for a year or two, it may be full of dust. Clogs of dust fans, vents and heat sinks, preventing your PC from cooling properly. You can eliminate a good amount of dust, even if you can not open your laptop.

The accumulation of dust can prevent a PC from cooling properly, and this heat can even cause property damage. The fans on your laptop can also run at full speed and empty your battery. Your laptop can even reduce its performance to stay cool.

If you can open your laptop

Duster-Duster Gas Duster – 4 pieces

Most laptops, especially newer ones, are not designed to be open by their users. This poses a serious problem. On a desktop computer, you turn on your computer, open the case, blow with a can of compressed airand close the case. You can dust a laptop in the same way – if only there was a way to open it and get in there.

Your laptop may have a bottom panel (or lower panels) that you can unscrew to access the internal elements. Consult your notebook's manual or search online for a "maintenance manual" specific to your laptop model. Turn off the laptop, remove the battery and unscrew the panel to access the inside of it. If a service manual is available for your laptop, it will guide you through the process. Depending on your laptop, opening the panel may or may not cancel your guarantee.

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After opening, take your laptop to a place that does not bother you, such as in a garage or even outside. Use a can of compressed air to blow the internal components of your laptop. Be sure to remove dust from the laptop case and not just move it inside. For example, you could blow more towards the ventilation holes of your laptop so that the dust is expelled through the ventilation holes and out of it. Be careful when blowing into the fans of the laptop: if you spin them too fast, they could be damaged. Blow on the fans from different angles, using short breaths of air.

We recommend pressurized air – also known as canned air – for a reason. Do not use a vacuum cleanerand be particularly careful if you choose to use an air compressor instead of a can of compressed air.

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When you're done, you can screw the panel back in, plug in the battery and turn on your laptop. It will work cooler and its fans should turn less often.

If you can not open your laptop

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If you want upgrade the hardware of your laptop or just dust off, manufacturers do not want you to open most laptops. But the dust accumulates inside a laptop, whether you can open it yourself or not.

Even if you can not open your laptop, you can still try to dislodge some of this dust. First, take your laptop to a place that does not bother you with dust. You probably do not want to blow dust on your desk or bed.

Get a can of compressed air, direct it to the cooling holes of the laptop and give it a few puffs of air. Hopefully, the air jets will drop some of the dust and escape the ventilation of the laptop. You will not get all the dust out of your laptop, but at least it will stop plugging in the fans, fans, and everything else. It's not the perfect way to dust off a laptop, but maybe that's all you can do.

Use caution when doing this. If you direct a jet of compressed air directly at a fan inside a vent, you may run the fan too quickly. Do not direct the air directly at the fan and give it a long breath. Blow air in small bursts, waiting not to turn the fan too quickly.

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If your laptop has serious problems with overheated and you can not clean it yourself, you may have to contact the manufacturer for service. If the warranty is still under warranty, they should help you, hopefully.

If you have your laptop for a year or two, there is probably a lot of dust in its case. It is wise to regularly clean your laptop, but you do not need to fall asleep and do it all the time. How often you need to clean your notebook depends on it and the dust in your environment.

Image credit: nick @ on Flickr, Rick Kempel on Flickr, Although on Wikimedia Commons, Cheon Fong Liew on Flickr

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