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Become your own tech support

’Just turn it off and turn it on again’. That’s the extent of the majority of people’s computer troubleshooting knowledge. In fairness, it does work more often than you would think.

And then there are the problems that require a lot more work, which is what the supremely talented computer repair workers across the country are excellent at.

But what about the problems in the middle? Before you panic and go ringing the IT professionals, you might want to try these tips from David Nield at Field Guide, which could save you a lot of down-time and make you look like an IT guru in front of your colleagues.

* Just ?Google it – When you Google your problem, be as specific as possible to find the correct results. Someone out there has probably had the same issue, and there is likely a guide on the Internet.

* Reboot – Turn off everything you’re having a problem with. Wait for a few minutes, then turn it back on. This clears temporary data and closes programs that aren’t necessary.

* Reinstall Programmes – If you have one program in particular that’s causing a problem, uninstalling it and reinstalling it will have the same effect as a reboot. It clears data that shouldn’t be there and fixes corrupt settings.

* Update Antivirus Software – When your system keeps crashing or is running slowly, you may need to run an update antivirus scan. Update your software to the latest version to catch all spyware or malware programs.

* ‘Do a Columbo’ – Some simple detective work can do wonders for finding solutions to PC problems. It’s not always possible, but if you’re having trouble with one bit of hardware, try replacing it with another. If it works, you’ve identified the source of the issue and can take appropriate action (like buying a new keyboard).

Read David’s advice in full at