How to Get Tech Support, Including for Gifts During the


However, nothing beats in-person help, so perhaps you could tempt a tech-savvy relative or neighbor with a fresh batch of cookies or a bottle of holiday cheer — fair trade, if you will — and ask nicely for a visit. If they’re unable and you need computer help, the next best thing to being there is having a trusted friend or family member log into your laptop or desktop remotely to fix the problem for you. This will eliminate a potentially frustrating exchange over the phone: “Dad, Dad, Dad, I said to left-click on the file!”

By letting someone access your computer while it’s right in front of you, you’ll see what they’re doing to troubleshoot and fix the issue. You can watch your cursor magically move around the screen as your helper fixes the problem. Take notes so you can attempt to do it yourself should the problem arise again.

Your personal expert can choose from several remote desktop software solutions, including GoToMyPC, LogMeIn and my favorite, the free Splashtop Personal. Because you’re ceding control of your computer, at least for a few minutes, be sure that you’re consulting with someone you know and trust.

Go to YouTube

Want to try to fix the issue yourself? It could be something simple.

First, search for information about your glitch. Be as specific as you can on the exact model name of your device and the problem you’re facing. Chances are you’ll find someone with the same issue and potentially a clear solution, too.

For example, instead of writing “no sound on Samsung TV,” type in “no sound Samsung The Frame LS03A,” and you’ll get better results. Sometimes you’ll find a short answer in the search engine, but you can always click or tap on a website for a deeper dive into web pages such as a tech support forum.

If you’re a visual learner, go to YouTube and search for your problem by keywords to watch someone who successfully fixed their tech before you attempt to fix yours. This works well for me. Once I see it, I get it.

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