4 simple computer fixes you can do yourself

Sometimes a computer needs an expert, but you can save time and money by doing some things yourself. Here are just four computer fixes that you can do on your own.

4 simple computer fixes you can do yourself

1. Shave time off the computer repair guy’s clock

  • Here's a little-known secret among techies: the first thing a computer repair person does when he arrives on-site is to make sure your operating system is updated.
  • You can and should update it yourself, before the $95-an-hour IT expert arrives.
  • If a plug-in, such as a digital camera, tablet or printer isn't working, it could be because your drivers are out of date. An update can take care of this.
  • If you're lucky, updating might even solve the problem you called about.

2. Kick-start a failed Internet connection

If your Internet fails to work after a power loss or computer crash, it could be that your devices powered up in the wrong order. Save yourself some time and hassle by trying the following:

  • Shut down the computer. Turn off or unplug your modem. If you have one, turn off or unplug your router, the device that connects the modem and your home network.
  • Wait at least 30 seconds. Now turn on your modem, router and computer in that order.

If this doesn't work, the problem probably has something to do with your Internet service provider. At that point, it's time to make a phone call.

3. Boost your computer’s speed without calling a pro

  • When you buy a new computer, it probably won't be running at top speed because of software programs that are constantly searching for updates of themselves.
  • You can free up space and resources by removing all the programs you don't use.
  • Just deleting the icon on your desktop won't remove the programs — you've got to uninstall them.
  • When looking for programs to delete, use this rule of thumb: if you haven't used a program in a year, you can delete it without worry.

4. Drain, then recharge your laptop batteries

  • A second laptop battery is bulky and almost never worth the money.
  • Since batteries drain as they get older. After only a few years, a battery may only reach 95 percent of its original charge.
  • The best way to keep it healthy is to only charge it after it has been fully drained.
  • Leaving your laptop plugged into the wall all the time will actually make it weaker.
  • Before a big trip, when you'll need as much battery power as possible, drain the laptop battery completely. Then recharge it completely.

When your computer breaks down, sometimes the answer is easier than the experts will let on. Try these solutions before calling for repairs. It could save you a lot of time and money.

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