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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How to Fix Common Computer and Technology Issues

Computers and related technology devices have become more reliable over the years, but you're bound to come across the occasional glitch or technology failure. Most of you probably panic thinking that you've lost all of your data or your device is hopelessly lost, but this isn't always the case. There are a number of issues that you can likely handle on your own that will not only solve the problem but might make you feel like you conquered the universe. To help with troubleshooting your device, I've put together a list of common technology issues as well as solutions to help you fix them.

The one fix for all computer problems. Make sure all of your computers, laptops, phones, and tablets have some sort of automatic backup system in place. There are a lot of computers and technology issues that can't be fixed. What if you drop your phone in a toilet or you roll over it with your car. The same can be said of your computer. A ransomware attack can destroy all of your files. If you have Windows and Macintosh, you can rely on Carbonite Online backup to ensure your devices are always backed up. If you have Android smartphones and tablets, use Google Drive and Photos to automatically backup your devices. If you have an Apple smartphone and tablet you can rely on iCloud Backup to back up all of your stuff.

Always restart your devices before you panic. Sometimes unexplained things can happen to your tech devices. A software update might cause issues. Your devices may be overheating. It could be gremlins just picked your device to wreak havoc. Whatever the case, a simple restart of your devices can fix most issues. Just think of it as a drink from the Holy Grail for your gadgets.

Check the warranty status of your devices. All new technology devices come with a 1-year warranty. If you have a general failure with your devices, you can call the manufacturer and they will replace the faulty device. I say this only because we have countless people call the offices of Integral with failed products that are still under warranty. Keep in mind that the warranty doesn't cover issues you have with software or apps on your devices or if you flush your phone down the toilet.

My computer is running slowly. If your Windows or Macintosh computer is running slow, the hard disk drive is failing. Forget that old school of thought that it's full and needs to be 'cleaned' Older computers have hard disk drives with spinning platters and other parts that fail after continuous use. Newer solid-state drives have no moving parts and can make your computer run faster than when you purchased it. The good news with upgrading to a solid-state hard drive is you can clone the information from your old hard drive to the new hard drive and have a faster computer, without losing your information.

My smartphone or tablet is running slow. Contrary to popular belief with phones and tablets, a full device with pictures and other stuff isn't going to slow your device down. The storage in the device could be failing, but just to make sure, reset your phone or tablet back to factory defaults. If this works, great. If it doesn't, it's time for a new device.

My printer is not printing. Printers either work or they don't work and the cost of repair isn't worth spending too much time on these devices. If you've done general troubleshooting such as running a test to unclog inkjets and turning it on and off with no success, then just toss the old printer and buy a new one. Most brands of ink-jet printers are designed to be disposable. Laser printers are built to last a long while. If you have a laser printer experiencing issues, you just need to call out a printer tech to fix the issues you are having. If you have a wireless printer that is not printing, then you need to make sure the device you're printing from (your computer, tablet, phone) is on the same wireless network as your printer. If they are, then it means the wireless adapter in the printer has failed. Again, it's time for a new printer.

I think my computer (or phone or tablet has a virus). That message that popped on your devices saying you've been hacked, compromised, or at risk is a bogus virus message designed to make you give up your valuable information or empty your pockets into the hands of criminals. All of your devices are safe from viruses, hackers, and just general scum (well 99% of them). If you get a pop-up on your device saying you're infected, just reboot your device to get rid of it. If you're a Windows user, Microsoft has a built-in messaging system that will sometimes show alerts from your browser making you think you have an infection. You can turn these messages off.

My computer will not start, or it shut down without warning. It is possible that your computer ran out of battery? Make sure your computer is plugged in and charging. You should see a light near the charging port on your computer – this confirms that your computer is charging. Wait a few minutes, and try turning your computer on again (keep your computer plugged in until it is fully charged.

My software or app will not work. If you're trying to install an app or a program, make sure it's designed to work with the operating system on your phone, tablet, or computer. If you have an app or a software application that worked one day and not the next, then simply uninstall the program and reinstall it. Doing so will NOT cause you to lose files, but always back up your files just in case.

My computer/phone is frozen, or a program is not responding. If you're a Windows user, Push the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys at the same time. Then, start the Task Manager, highlight

the program name, and hit End Task. If you're a Macintosh computer user, use the Force Quit option which is Option, Command, and Esc. Then close the program which isn't responding. If your keyboard and mouse don't respond and if you're experiencing the same issues on your smartphone or tablet, hold down the power button to turn off your devices.

My keyboard or mouse is not working. Make sure your keyword/mouse is connected to the computer. If it is wireless, change the batteries. If a key is stuck on your keyboard, turn off your computer, and clean the keys with a damp (not wet) cloth, then restart your computer. If none of this works, replace the mouse and keyboard.

My computer, smartphone, or tablet will not connect to the WiFi. Verify you're in range of your wifi connection. If you are, simply disconnect and reconnect to wifi to see if this will fix the problem. If this doesn't work, try unplugging and plugging back in your router. If this doesn't work, check to see if other devices in your home or office can connect to wifi. If you find other devices are able to connect, but your device isn't, then it means your device as a faulty wifi connection. For smartphones and tablets, this will mean you need to get a new device. For Windows and Macintosh computers, you can purchase a USB WiFi connector to re-establish a wireless connection.

My sound is not working. Always check your volume controls on your device. If you still don't have sound, check out the volume controls within whatever app you're using that requires audio. Also, make sure you haven't accidentally muted your volume. Finally, make sure your speaker and headphones are plugged in. If you're using Bluetooth headphones, make sure those are charged.

My computer, smartphone, and tablet will not turn on, even though I am pressing the power button. If you have a laptop, try to remove the battery and place it back in to see if this will fix the problem. On all devices, make sure your devices have a charge or are plugged in. If your devices won't come on, then it's time for new devices.

This article should help you solve some of the most common issues you might experience. Keep track of the steps you took to repair your devices as it will help give the IT Support team a baseline of the issue and potentially skip the solutions that you have already tried. If your computer problems are too complex to solve on your own, you will need to call in the services of your favorite IT company or individual.

Looking for More Useful Tech Tips? Our Tuesday Tech Tips Blog is released every Tuesday. If you like video tips, we LIVE STREAM new episodes of 'Computer and Tech Tips for Non-Tech People' every Wednesday at 1:00 pm CST on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Technology product reviews are posted every Thursday. You can view previous episodes on our YouTube channel.

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Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone.

Need computer or technology help? If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. Our team of friendly tech experts organization can help you with any IT needs you might have. Reach out to us a or phone at 888.256.0829.

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