Computer Hacks
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Simple Fixes for Your Computer

Computer Hacks

Want to know the basics to maintaining your computer or to trouble shoot some fixes without having to outsource or get frustrated with google trying to find out what to do.

We’ll help you save money and your time with these great tips on how to trouble shoot those simple fixes and some great tips to better use your computer and feel more comfortable navigating your way around different programs.

We are going to cover just a few basic issues that people have and a couple of things you should do to keep your computer operating smoothly.

A quick note that these tips are not for Apple products.  Apple is different to windows base operating systems.

 

Changing Font Size (emails/screen)

Changing the font size on your computer so you can easily see everything on your home screen or your emails is really important. You do not want to be straining to see what’s on there. No good for your eyes or your enjoyment of using your computer.

This is an easy fix:

  1. Go into settings
  2. Select systems

Where to Change Font Sizing

 

This is where you change the font/icon size. Normally this is the size most fonts and icons are at. But if you want them to be slightly larger then reduce the numbers down not up. Reducing down will enlarge the font size. Making the fonts smaller increase the numbers.

 

Change settings (Brightness of the screen)

  1. Go into Settings
  2. Systems

How to Fix screen Brightness

Slide the bar up and down the line to decrease or increase the brightness of the screen. In some cases, the line does not exist anymore which is slightly annoying but all you do is put the night light on and this will decrease the screen light for you.

 

Clearing Cache

Delete the browser cache on a computer

When you browse through the internet and visit different sites, your browser saves different content and data in temporary storage.

This temporary storage is called “cache”. To get rid of the fluff you should clear the cache from time to time. These extra files can slow down your computer and, in some cases, cause issues with different programs running. It also helps to prevent you from using old forms. Protects your personal information. As you can see it’s really important to clear this every now again to keep things running smoothly.

Follow step by step guides:

  1. Clear browser data with keyboard shortcut.
  2. Press the keys CTRL, Shift and Delete
  3. A new Window opens. Select the option “temporary services and files”.
  4. Confirm your selection by clicking on the “delete” button.
  5. Delete the browser cache through the menu.
  6. Click on the “Hub” symbol in the main menu.
  7. Then browse to the “History”.
  8. Now you can click on “Delete the whole History”.
  9. Check the option “temporary services and files” and confirm the selection with a click on the “Delete” Button.

 

Resetting Internet Explorer

You can reset Internet Explorer settings to what they were when Internet Explorer was first installed on your computer.

This is useful for troubleshooting problems that may be caused by settings that were changed after installation.

Note: that this process isn’t reversible, and all previous Internet Explorer settings are lost after reset.

  1. Close all open windows and programs.
  2. Open Internet Explorer, select Tools> Internet options.
  3. Select the Advanced
  4. In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, select Reset.
  5. In the box, are you sure you want to reset all Internet Explorer settings? select Reset.
  6. When Internet Explorer finishes applying default settings, select Close, and then select OK. Restart your computer to apply changes.

Another issue you may experience is where Internet Explorer won’t open, or pages won’t load…

If Internet Explorer won’t open, or if pages aren’t loading, there may be an add-on that is interfering with the process. To tell whether this issue is with an add-on or not, you can try the following:

  1. Find your processor speed.
    • Select Start
    • Settings
    • System
    • About.
    • Under Device specifications, see System type.
  2. Under Device specifications, see System type.

Change Internet Explorer settings

There are many changes you can make to customize your browsing experience in Internet Explorer. To view all settings and options,

  1. open Internet Explorer on the desktop,
  2. select Tools
  3. Internet options.

 

How to connect Bluetooth

Sometimes the simplest things can often be the most difficult. One of these is connecting you different devices through Bluetooth, like phones, speakers, and a whole lot more.

To do this, your computer will need to have Bluetooth, which most new devices should have, some of your older systems will not have Bluetooth settings.

Some computers, such as laptops and tablets, have Bluetooth built in. If your computer doesn’t, you can plug a USB Bluetooth adapter into the USB port on your computer to get it.

To get started with using Bluetooth, you’ll need to pair your Bluetooth device with your computer.

 

To connect a Bluetooth headset, speaker, or other audio device

  1. Turn on your Bluetooth audio device and make it discoverable.

The way you make it discoverable depends on the device. Check the device or visit the manufacturer’s website to learn how.

  1. Turn on Bluetooth on your computer if it’s not on already. To do this,
    • select the Start button
    • then select Settings
    • Devices
    • Bluetooth & other devices
    • and turn on Bluetooth.
  2. You can also use action center to turn on Bluetooth. To do this, on the taskbar, select action center  > Bluetooth.

Note: if Bluetooth is not available in the action centre:

  • Select the start button
  • Select settings
  • Systems
  • Notifications & actions
  • Under Quick actions, select add or remove quick questions
  • Then turn on Bluetooth.
  1. In action center, select Connect and then select your device.

Follow any more instructions that might appear. Otherwise, you’re done and connected.

Your Bluetooth device and computer will usually automatically connect anytime the two devices are in range of each other with Bluetooth turned on..

To connect a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, or other device

  1. Turn on your device and make it discoverable.
  2. Turn on Bluetooth on your computer if it’s not on already. To do this,
    • select the Start button
    • then select Settings
    • Devices
    •  Bluetooth & other devices  
    • and turn on Bluetooth.
  1. Select Add Bluetooth or other device > Bluetooth. Choose the device and follow additional instructions if they appear, then select Done.

 

To connect a Bluetooth printer or scanner

  1. Turn on your Bluetooth printer or scanner and make it discoverable.

Turn on Bluetooth on your computer if it’s not on already. To do this, select the Start  button,

  1. then select Settings
  2. Devices
  3. Bluetooth & other devices and turn on Bluetooth.
  4. Select Printers & scanners
  5. Add a printer or scanner. Wait for it to find nearby printers, then choose the one you want to use
  6. and select Add device.

 

To connect a Bluetooth device using Swift Pair

Swift Pair in Windows 10 lets you quickly pair a supported Bluetooth device with your computer. If the Bluetooth device supports Swift Pair, you’ll receive a notification when it’s nearby and you put it into pairing mode to make it discoverable.

  1. Turn on a Bluetooth device that supports Swift Pair and make it discoverable.
    The way you make it discoverable depends on the device. Check the device or visit the manufacturer’s website to learn more.
  2. If this is your first time using Swift Pair, select Yes when asked if you want get notifications and use Swift Pair.
  3. When a notification appears that a new Bluetooth device was found, select Connect.
  4. After it’s connected, select Close.

 

Defragement Hard Drive

Optimising your drives can help your computer run smoother and boot up faster. It is best to do this when you first purchase your computer. But can be done later especially if you are having issues with your computer. To optimise them:

  1. Select the search bar on the taskbar and enter defrag.
  2. Select Defragment and Optimise Drives.
  3. Select the disk drive you want to optimize.
  4. Select the Optimize

Where to Find Directions on Defragment your hard drive

How to Defragment Your Computer Hard Drive

  1. Choose Start→Control Panel→System and Security. The Administrative Tools window appears.
  2. Click Defragment Your Hard Drive. The Disk Defragmenter dialog box appears.
  3. Click the Analyze Disk button. …
  4. When the analysis is complete, click the Defragment Disk button. …
  5. Click Close.

 

To keep your computer running its best, you should defragment, or consolidate files, on your hard drive. Defragmenting your hard drive improves your computer’s performance and is something you should be doing regularly.

Computer tips on Defragmenting

 

  1. Click the Analyse Disk button.

This step checks whether your disk requires defragmenting. A drive with 10 percent or more fragmentation should be defragmented. (If you’ve been using your computer for a while, the drive may show 50 percent fragmentation

When the analysis is complete, click the Defragment Disk button.

When the defragmenting process is complete, the Disk Defragmenter dialog box shows that your drive no longer requires defragmenting.

Defragmentation Completion

 

 

Click Close.

The Disk Defragment dialog box and the Control Panel close.

 

Disc Cleaning

The Disk Cleanup tool cleans unwanted programs and virus-infected files which are decreasing your computer’s reliability. It helps to maximise your drive’s memory.

The advantage of cleaning up your disk is the maximisation of your computer’s storage space, increased speed, and improvement of functionality

 

  • To delete temporary files:
    1. In the search box on the taskbar, type disk clean-up, and select Disk Clean-up from the list of results.
    2. Select the drive you want to clean up, and then select OK.
    3. Under Files to delete, select the file types to get rid of. To get a description of the file type, select it.
    4. Select OK.

 

  • If you need to free up more space, you can also delete system files:
    1. In Disk Clean-up, select Clean up system files.
    2. Select the file types to get rid of. To get a description of the file type, select it.
    3. Select OK.

 

Start up in save mode

Sometimes your computer want start up for you or goes to start up but them shuts down. There is a safe way to start your computer, even when it seems impossible.

When you can’t open Settings to get into safe mode, restart your device from the Windows sign-in screen.

  1. On the Windows sign-in screen, press and hold the Shift key while you select the Power
  2. Restart .
  3. After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot
  4. Advanced options
  5. Startup Settings
  6. Restart.

Where to Locate Save Mode Functions

 

Computer Tips - Safe-mode Step 2

Computer Tips - Safe-mode Step 3

Computer Tips - Safe-mode Step 4

 

After your computer restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Select 4 or F4 to start your computer in safe mode.

Or if you’ll need to use the Internet, select 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

What happens if your screen stays black or completely blank? Don’t panic and throw out your computer you can restart in safe mode and get things happening again.

Before you enter safe mode, you need to enter the Windows Recovery Environment (winRE). To do this, you will repeatedly turn your device off, then on:

  1. Hold down the power button for 10 seconds to turn off your device.
  2. Press the power button again to turn on your device.
  3. On the first sign that Windows has started (for example, some devices show the manufacturer’s logo when restarting) hold down the power button for 10 seconds to turn off your device.
  4. Press the power button again to turn on your device.
  5. When Windows restarts, hold down the power button for 10 seconds to turn off your device.
  6. Press the power button again to turn on your device.
  7. Allow your device to fully restart. You will enter winRE.

Now that you are in winRE, you will follow these steps to take you to safe mode:

  1. On the Choose an option screen
  2. Select Troubleshoot
  3. Advanced options
  4. Startup Settings
  5. Restart.

Computer Tips - Safe-mode Step 5 Blank Screen

Computer Tips - Safe-mode Step 6 Blank Screen

 

Computer Tips - Safe-mode Step 7 Blank Screen

 

Computer Tips - Safe-mode Step 8 Blank Screen

After your device restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Select option 5 from the list or press F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

Note: If you need to exit safe mode, simply restart your device, or:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + R.
  2. Type msconfig in the Open box and then select OK.
  3. Select the Boot tab.
  4. Under Boot options, clear the Safe boot checkbox.

 

How to back up to a restore point

A system restore point is an image of the system configuration and settings in the windows registry. That helps in restoring the system to an earlier date when the system was running perfectly

There are several ways to back up your computer.

  1. Select the Start button, then select Control Panel
    •  System and Maintenance
    • Backup and Restore.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you’ve never used Windows Backup before, or recently upgraded your version of Windows, select Set up backup, and then follow the steps in the wizard.
    • If you’ve created a backup before, you can wait for your regularly scheduled backup to occur, or you can manually create a new backup by selecting Back up now.
    • If you’ve created a backup before, but want to make a new, full backup rather than updating the old one, select Create new, full backup, and then follow the steps in the wizard.

Note:  Do not back up files to the same hard disk that Windows is installed on. For example, do not back up files to a recovery partition.

You can use a restore point to restore your computer’s system files to an earlier point in time. Restore points are automatically created each week by System Restore and when your computer detects change, like when you install an app or driver.

Here’s how to create a restore point.

  1. Right-click the Start button,
  2. then select Control Panel
  3. System and Maintenance
  4. System.
  5. In the left pane, select System protection.
  6. Select the System Protection tab, and then select Create.
  7. In the System Protection dialog box, type a description, and then select Create.

Restore

  1. Right-click the Start button,
    • then select Control Panel
    • System and Maintenance
    • Backup and Restore.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To restore your files, choose Restore my files.
    • To restore the files of all users, choose Restore all users’ files.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To look through the contents of the backup, select Browse for files or Browse for folders. When you’re browsing for folders, you won’t be able to see the individual files in a folder. To view individual files, use the Browse for files option.
    • To search the contents of the backup, select Search, type all or part of a file name,

To find restored files:

  1. Select the Start button, then select Computer.
  2. Double-click the icon of the drive that the files are saved on, for example C:\.
  3. Double-click the Users folder. You will see a folder for each user account.
  4. Double-click the folder for the user name that was used to create the backup. The restored files will be in the various folders based on where they were located originally.

 

And that’s it for now, this is not a entire list of how to fix things with you computer but it is certainly some of the most common issues that we all have.

If you have any issues and would like some help to work it through then leave a comment below or email us at homebasics101@gmail.com. I am more than happy to work you through the tips to help you.

We also have a great printable of easy shortcuts to help you enjoy your experience with your computer and maybe show those kids a few tricks or two.

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For tips to keep your family save on line check out our post on Security Software, it steps you through how to upload and maintain your security software to keep you save.

 

 

 

 

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