You could quite literally save hundreds of dollars, and an equally valuable amount of frustration, by following some of the really easy things below.
Restart Your Computer
It’s a long running joke that the only thing tech support folks know how to do is tell people to restart their computers.
I have had the displeasure of working with a few “professionals” that might have inspired that joke, but please don’t overlook this extraordinarily simple step.
More times than you would believe, I would visit a customer’s home or business, listen to a long story about an issue, and then simply restart the computer to fix the problem.
Clear Your Browser’s Cache
Yet another joke, albeit a more recent one, is that clearing your browser’s cache, the collection of recently visited pages that’s saved to your computer’s hard drive, is the fix for all possible Internet problems.
That’s certainly an exaggeration – clearing cache won’t fix every broken website or Internet related problem – but it is often helpful.
Clearing the cache is very easy to do. Every browser has a straightforward method for doing so, even if it is hidden a few layers deep in a menu.
Scan for Viruses & Other Malware
No doubt scanning for a virus infection was the first thing that came to mind if a virus or other malicious program (collectively called malware) made itself obvious.
Unfortunately, most problems caused by malware don’t always clearly point to an infection. It’s great if your antivirus program warns you of a problem, but it won’t always.
Often times, virus-caused problems appear as general computer sluggishness, random error messages, frozen windows, and things like that.
Reinstall the Program That’s Causing Trouble
A lot of computer problems are software-specific, meaning that they only happen when starting, using, or stopping a particular program that’s installed.
These sorts of problems can make it seem like your whole computer is falling part, especially if you use the offending program a lot, but the solution is often very simple: reinstall the program.
Delete Your Browser’s Cookies
No, there aren’t real cookies in your computer (wouldn’t that be nice?) but there are tiny files called cookies which are sometimes the cause of problems browsing the web. Like the cached files mentioned in #2 above, the browser stores these files to make surfing the web easier.