11/23/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Let’s face it – everyone needs tech support sooner or later. Whether you’re using your Apple Watch, computer, smartphone, TV, or smart-home device, it’s just a matter of time before issues crop up. When they do, how do you go about finding solutions to technology problems?

Many recurring problems pop up regularly, but not so often that you recall the solutions each time. These might include:

  • The printer loses its connection with the computer
  • The TV and home router stop communicating
  • Your Apple Watch face design changes on its own
  • The Bluetooth mouse stops working

While these might not be “serious” problems, they can put a serious crimp in your day. It’s especially annoying if you have encountered them in the past and can’t remember how you fixed them.

Here are a few DIY methods for quickly finding solutions to those aggravating general tech problems.

1. Keep a maintenance and repair notebook on finding solutions to technology problems.

Have one place to store reminders of household maintenance (furnace filters, vent cleanings, etc.), passwords to all those websites, and past technology issues. A simple notebook is all it takes to jog your memory that unplugging and restarting the Wi-Fi is how you got your TV up and running again after it froze during Dancing with the Stars.

2. Contact your provider for answers.

In that same notebook, maintain a list of your providers (internet service or TV providers) with their troubleshooting contact information. Include phone numbers as well as website information. Remember, if your internet is the problem, you still might be able to check a website if you have a smartphone.

Also, many service provider sites contain solutions to common problems with FAQs, live Chat, or forums where others might be discussing an issue similar to yours.

3. Call someone with tech smarts.

Many older adults have a tech-savvy son or daughter or a grandchild who was born into technology and can easily solve a tech issue. Perhaps you know a tech whiz who would be happy to help. Just be sure to enter the advice into your notebook for future reference!

4. Check with a local senior community.

Many older adults know neither how to deal with tech issues nor the how-to of finding solutions to technology problems. Fortunately, they may live in a community that understands the need for in-house tech support. Such services can help with technology problems like downloading an app, getting updates, or making the Wi-Fi network functional again.

If you live in one of these communities or know someone who does, you could get tech support for all your gadgets.

5. Consult with the internet and YouTube.

Maybe you want to solve the problem yourself. The internet is chock full of information that can help you help yourself. Go to Google or your favorite search engine and type in a description of the issue or the error message you’re getting, if applicable. Be specific in your search query, and you may receive your answer, from step-by-step instructions to a YouTube video to a helpful website.

But beware! You still want to abide by online safety guidelines:

  • Respect authority – choose reputable businesses and government sites.
  • Do not download anything from a website you’re unsure of.
  • If you want to verify a site, do an online search for the company name plus the word “scam” to see if anything suspicious comes up.
  • Be sure your computer antivirus protection is up to date
  • Don’t give out personal information, including answers to security questions, account information, etc.

6. If you need computer help, give a trusted technician access to your device.

If you’re looking for solutions to technology problems via phone or text chat, you can often grant permission for a technician to log into your PC or Mac device to fix the problem remotely. This method eliminates communication issues and allows you to see what the tech is doing to correct the problem. You merely watch and take notes as your cursor moves around the screen.

However, note the key word “trusted” – such as local technology professionals or your provider’s customer service agents! Be careful who you allow to access your devices.

Working with a technician is not the fastest way to resolve your tech issues, and it’s not the cheapest, either. But if your problem turns out to be more complex than it initially seemed, turning to a pro might be your only alternative.

Assistive technology for seniors with disabilities

Technology that older adults adopted during the pandemic – including Zoom!

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff