Do you wish you knew more about your laptop? We use them so much these days, both for work and leisure, that there really is no excuse for being a technophobe anymore. If you start to use your computer for more than just browsing the Internet and updating your social media profiles, you will get a lot more out of it, and you will find that you can get a lot sorted just by logging onto your home laptop.
So, which beginners tips are necessary to take you from a technophobe to a computer whizz? Here are 10 basic steps that can help you with this transition!
- Always Shut Down Correctly
Even though this may seem like a very obvious tip, you’d be surprised at how many people still don’t turn off their computers and laptops correctly. If you turn it off suddenly, it won’t have had the required time to close its programs and software, and might still be in the middle of various operations. This could mean that you end up losing unsaved work or progress, but it also often leads to corrupt files sticking around in your computer’s hard drive.
2) Remove USB Sticks Correctly Too
It’s also necessary to remove your USB sticks correctly too, mainly for the same reasons as above. You can correctly eject it by right clicking on the little USB symbol in your computer’s drive folder, and selecting ‘eject’. The computer will then notify you once it has successfully finished with the stick and it can be removed properly. It’s super important not to ever remove the USB in the middle of transferring files between the drive and computer, as this could lead to corrupt files.
3) Stick To The Default Settings
When you first get your computer and laptop, it will be programmed according to default settings. These will be the best settings for basic users. You should try and stick to these settings for as long as possible. If you fiddle with them, you might find that your computer doesn’t run as well as it should do. If you aren’t that clued up about IT, you won’t really know about these settings anyway, so it’s a good idea to leave them well alone.
4) Get Some Lessons
When you first start out with a brand new computer or laptop, you might not know where to start! For this reason, it’s a good idea to attend some IT lessons. There are now lots of evening classes around the country that are aimed at adult computer users who never took IT classes at school or college. These will help you with the very basics and will show you exactly what you can do with your new computer.
5) Invest In Useful Software And Programs
As well as computer lessons, there are various programs and software packages that can help you develop new IT skills. You could work on your design skills if you add on a background maker and you could also improve your photo editing skills by getting a trusted program such as PhotoShop.
6) Don’t Ignore Malware Threats
As well as helpful software and programs that will help you get the most from your laptop, you should also buy software that will protect it against harmful malware and virus threats. Forgetting to buy all of this protection could prove to be extremely problematic for you. Malware leaves your computer vulnerable to hackers who could get into your system and steal your passwords and sensitive data. Viruses could seriously damage the internal working of your computer. You may need to take your computer to a specialist to get it fixed or, in the worst-case scenario, you might end up replacing it with a new machine.
7) Always Update
Have you just had a notification saying that there are updates available for your computer or certain programs and software? If so, you should carry out these updates. Ignoring them won’t do your computer any good – after all, every update has a purpose and is necessary to improve the working of your computer. If you ignore them, your computer will only get slower and will prove to be frustrating to use.
8) It’s Important To Backup
As well as always updating, you should make sure that you always backup your computer or laptop as well. What does that mean exactly? It just means making sure that all your files and programs are saved in their current state. So, if your computer were to unexpectedly close down, you don’t have to worry about losing any work or files as they will have been backed up and saved. Ideally, you should back everything up to an external drive that won’t be affected should your computer fail or get damaged.
9) Ditch The Trial Programs
When you first get your computer, it will probably already have a few trial programs installed onto it. These may only be free to use for a limited time, after which you will be expected to buy them in full. You should remove these as soon as you start your laptop so that they don’t take up any storage space. Don’t just simply delete the desktop icon – you will need to fully uninstall each program.
10) Don’t Panic
Think something has gone wrong with your laptop or computer? Well, don’t panic! There is often a simple solution that will be able to get you out of this sticky situation. You will find a lot of YouTube tutorials that can guide you step by step through various solutions for different problems. And if all else fails, you can just take your machine to a professional computer repair shop. Professionals can help you in many situations, including many software and hardware issues.
If you follow these ten steps, you will find that you get a lot out of your computer or laptop. In fact, you will no longer be a technophobe who doesn’t have a clue about IT – you’ll have transformed into a cool computer whizz!