We've all been there-a single glitch on our computer screen has us going absolutely crazy. With no idea how to fix it, we try to find some tech "expert" to help us get the results we want-our computer back in running order, right away.
The only problem is a lot of times those tech support experts end up costing a huge chunk of change, which is, of course, fine if the problem isn't an easy fix (and sometimes it really isn't-thanks tech support experts!). But more often than not, our problems are pretty simple-we just don't realize it.
Here are some basic steps to follow before heading out the door to your nearest tech expert. With just a few simple steps, you can diagnose (and fix) your own problem in no time at all!
Google (and Google Well)
Okay, so we know this seems kind of flippant-why don't you just Google it?-but in truth, a lot of our tech based issues can be solved with a simple but thorough Google search.
Now, we're not saying you should hop online, Google "Tech Help" and go with the first promising link you find. In fact, that's pretty much the last thing you should do. Ignore sponsored links and anything trying to sell you software and head straight for any forum posts or official sources.
If you happen to come across a lot of different solutions (lucky dog!), go with the ones other users have verified as having worked or those that have been confirmed by those official sources. Most major software and hardware firms now provide their customers with helpful online troubleshooting guides so dig around for those too.
Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?
We know, we know-this is the oldest trick in the book. But it's an old trick because, well, sometimes it works.
Think of it like a bolt of caffeine right to the system, a gulp of fresh air, or a seriously vigorous headshake. The reboot works in that it clears out all of the temporary (and dodgy) information from the memories of your different bits of hardware and forces them to start from scratch, whether that's connecting to wifi or loading a game. It also closes down apps or bits of code that shouldn't really be running.
Reinstall and Update
If you are having a problem with one application or program in particular, it is smart to check for updates right away. Sometimes, if an app or program is running on an older version, it can get clogged and congested and just won't work the way it should be. Run those updates frequently to ensure your applications and programs are as up to date as possible.
If that doesn't work, it's also wise to do a complete reinstall. If a program on your computer seems to be past the point of no return, uninstall it and then reinstall it. Uninstalling and reinstalling an application not only clears out any corrupt data or broken settings, it also ensures you're running the latest version of the software, complete with the latest compatibility updates and bug fixes.
Check for Spyware and Malware
As always, it's important to be on the lookout for both spyware, malware, and any viruses that are lurking on your computer. Oftentimes, these are the cause of whatever glitch your computer is running into and simply by removing them, you will find your computer back in running order.
If you have an antivirus program, now is the time to run a scan and see what comes up. If you don't have an antivirus program, go get one, ASAP, and then run that scan. Chances are, you'll find that malware and spyware have made their way onto your device and need removing.
Reinstall Your Operating System
This should truly be your last resort and something you do only if you're confident you have a handle on the comings and goings of your device.
Basically, it's like running a factory reset for your phone: Your computer will go back to being as it was when you first bought it. That means broken files, corrupt data, bad extensions and any viruses (except the most low-level and persistent ones) will be wiped away. So will all your documents, photos, emails, apps and settings too, so make sure you have everything safely backed-up.
Okay, so say you've done all of this and you still seem to be having trouble with your computer-this is when you want to hit up one of those tech experts. While a lot of the glitches on our devices do turn out to be simple fixes, other times there really is something serious going on-the sort of serious that requires a professional touch.
Do you have any quick fixes for troubleshooting your device? Let us know in the comment box below-we're always on the lookout for new handy tips and tricks!