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Become your own tech support

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Computer glitches can be extremely frustrating, but there are ways to troubleshoot your system on your own before calling in a professional, writes David Nield for Field Guide. While not every problem is this simple, here are some basic steps you can do yourself.

•  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 programs. 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.

— Adapted from “How to Fix Most Any Computer Glitch By Yourself,” David Nield, Field Guide.

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