Top 5 Fixes for Common Computer Problems

20130714-164031.jpgI’ve worked in computer repair for seven years. Out of all the computer problems I’ve faced, ~60% were fixed with these 5 simple solutions. Enjoy.

1. Restart your computer

This works with nearly any computer problem, even if it appears to be totally unrelated. When you restart your computer it closes all programs, clears temporary memory, and resets hardware.

Often Solves: anything.

2. Reset your router

Resetting your router fixes most networking problems. The router is one of two pieces of hardware your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gave you when they came to install your Internet. It broadcasts your Internet wirelessly through the house with a technology known as WIFI. The router is a rectangular box. It’s probably sitting upright near your TV, or horizontal on a desk near a cable or phone jack. To reset the router, you must unplug your router’s power and wait 60 seconds. Next, plug the router back in and wait one to five minutes for it to reboot. When you reset your router it reacquires an Internet address from your ISP, clears the temporary memory, and resets the WIFI connection with your devices

Often Solves: trouble accessing the internet; iTunes, App stores, and other secure websites reporting they can’t reach the server; and not being able to print with the wireless printer.

3. Physically clean out your computer

Cleaning out your computer will fix many computer problems relating to speed. All you need here is a vacuum or a can of compressed air. Before you start, make sure to unplug the computer. If you have a desktop, see if you can figure out how to open the side panel. It’s often held by a latch or some thumb screws. Now have fun “taking out” those dust bunnies! Cleaning out your computer allows it to keep the temperature down and operate efficiently.

Often Solves: the computer constantly running slow or freezing, fans whirling or buzzing, or the underside of the laptop becoming too hot.

4. Unplug external devices

Unplugging your external devices fixes problems that seem to effect your entire computer, not just one program. This is accomplished by unplugging all the devices connected to your computer, restarting, then plugging everything back in. Unplugging the devices allows them to reset and allows the computer to reset the connection.

Often Solves: the computer freezing or failing to start up, the mouse or keyboard acting erratic, or devices not behaving as normal.

5. Scan computer for viruses

This works with PC’s only. If your built in anti-virus software isn’t working, I would recommend downloading the free version of Malwarebytes anti-malware. It isn’t a permanent fix, but it’s an excellent program for getting rid a virus already on your computer. If you can’t access the Internet on the infected computer, try downloading the program on another computer to a flash drive. The program is self explanatory. When you’re finished you can easily uninstall it. Removing viruses removes stress on your system and makes sure nobody is spying on you.

Often Solves: the computer freezing or running slow, constant popup ads, and programs not opening.