Slow internet? Bluetooth blues? These tips can fix 99% of your tech problems

If you’ve been bothered by any of these headaches — or similarly bombarded with questions as the family’s official IT person — there’s good news: With patience, you can fix most problems yourself.

Most technical problems have simple solutions. No connection? Turn wireless settings off and on again. Do not sync? Log out and then log back in to your account. Slow performance? Restart device or clear browser cookies. Here are the settings and tools you need to become your own tech troubleshooter.

Tap the source

The best place to get advice is an official support page. Visit Apple’s website for iPhones and Macs, Microsoft’s for Windows, and Google’s for Android and Chrome OS. Popular apps like Zoom and Slack also have good resources.

Don’t rely on rumours. For example, if you get your phone wet, people tell you to dip it in uncooked rice. But Apple disagrees, as the grains can get stuck in the phone. Instead, keep any open ports pointing down, tap them to remove excess liquid, and leave the device in a dry area with airflow.

If problems persist, make sure the device is running the latest firmware. Software updates often contain bug fixes. If your device is no longer supported with updates, it’s best to look at a newer model.

Find your settings

The solution to your problem probably lies in a magical place called Settings. The solution is to enable or disable a specific control, or enable and disable it. But where to find the related menu or button isn’t obvious unless you use the Settings search field.

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iPhone: After opening Settings, swipe down to reveal the search bar.

Android: Each device manufacturer has a slightly different settings interface. On Samsung, tap the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner. Other phones show the search field at the very top of the settings.

Mac: Open System Settings (formerly System Preferences). Search is top left (or top right on older MacOS versions).

Windows: Open Settings and the search box is in the top left. You can also type settings: followed by the search term from the taskbar.

End the madness of public Wi-Fi

Coffee shops, airports, hotels and other public locations have “captive” Wi-Fi networks. When you choose a network from your phone or computer, a pop-up appears asking you to pay or provide login information, such as your hotel room number. But sometimes you don’t see the popup. Fortunately, you can force him to appear.

iPhone or Mac: Type into your browser.

Android or ChromeOS: Type into your browser.

Windows: Type into your browser.

Still not working? You may need to clear your browser cache, which can also fix other inconvenient website problems. Please note that clearing cookies often requires you to log into websites again.

chrome: On a computer, click the three buttons in the top-right corner, then click More Tools, then Clear Browsing Data. From that menu, select “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files.” On mobile, tap the three dots, then tap History to find Clear Browsing Data.

Safari: On a Mac, go to the Safari menu, then Settings, then Privacy. Click Manage Website Data, select the desired website, and then click Remove or Remove All. On mobile, go to the Settings app, then Safari and tap Advanced, then Website Data. Select Delete all website data.

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Fix Bluetooth failed

Connecting Bluetooth accessories to your phone, computer or car can be tricky. This repair recipe usually works: Turn off your phone or computer’s Bluetooth setting. Turn off the accessory. Re-enable Bluetooth on your phone or computer. Turn on the accessory and put it in pairing mode. Find the name of the accessory in the list.

Still not working? Try removing the accessory from your phone or laptop’s Bluetooth menu and then reading it.

iPhone: In Settings > Bluetooth, tap the information button next to the accessory’s name, then tap “Forget this device.”

Mac: In System Settings, click Bluetooth. Hover over the device name and click the X button to remove.

Android: In Settings, go to Connected devices, then Connection preferences, then Bluetooth. Tap the device name and then tap the X button to disconnect.

Windows: In Settings, click Bluetooth and devices, then Devices. Next to the device name, select More options and then Remove device.

Bluetooth headphones can also cause problems with video conferencing, so make sure you can access the settings from your computer’s menu bar:

Mac: On MacOS Ventura, go to the Control Center at the top right. On Macs with older system software, the “Show in menu bar” option can be found in Bluetooth and sound settings.

Windows: Pin Bluetooth and audio controls to your taskbar.

Speed ​​up slow internet

Sometimes you can’t control your home Wi-Fi problems: maybe your service provider can’t give you a higher speed or you want more money for it. And sometimes the solution is to buy a new router. (We recommend a mesh network, if that’s the case.) But before you upgrade the service or hardware, try to fix the problem yourself.

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First, get near your router and go to on your phone or laptop to make sure it’s an internet problem and not a device performance issue like too many tabs open. A bad score is a download speed of less than 15 megabits per second and an upload speed of less than 5 megabits per second.

If your router is tucked away somewhere, if possible, place it in a more central, open-air location away from metal furniture and large appliances. Also, many connected devices can slow down the Wi-Fi, so turn off devices that don’t need it (such as an unused Kindle).

If you’re in trouble, connect your computer directly to your router using an Ethernet cable.

Refine your notifications

Incessant pings of notifications can drive you crazy. Turning on Do Not Disturb universally mutes distractions, even important ones.

Notifications are much messier on iOS than on Android, so we’ll just focus on iPhone users: All app notifications are accessible from the main Notifications setting – you can turn everything on or off there.

But third-party apps like Slack, WhatsApp, and Gmail also have their own notification settings. If you’re not getting the notifications you expect, check your phone settings and app settings for the culprit.

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