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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How to Fix Common Windows and Macintosh Laptop Problems That Are Driving You Crazy

If you're like most people, your laptop is probably one of the most important pieces of technology you own. Your laptop offers many options as you can use it for many functions such as work, recreation, and relaxation. Like most pieces of modern technology, your laptop should (Windows and Macintosh) should run smoothly without any problems. However, in this period of the digital age, we sometimes overwork our laptops which can cause problems as well as just getting a lemon piece of equipment off the assembly line. Many problems that occur with your laptop can be easily fixed and sometimes you'll just need to spring for a new device as the cost of repair outweighs the price of a new one. Check out this blog post that will help you troubleshoot common laptop issues and what steps you need to take as face as repairing them or replacing them.

  • Broken WebCam. In this remote work age, a working webcam is a must. When you can't access your webcam, it can cause a lot of stress in your life. If your webcam isn't working, try the following steps first.

  • Remove the cover. Many newer laptops have a built-in cover you can use to protect your privacy. If you rarely use your camera, check and verify you don't have the cover closed.

  • Close other video software. Everyone has their preference when it comes to video conference software. Like in the 1986 movie 'Highlander' "There Can Be Only One". Your webcam can only be used by one piece of video software at a time. Close any program on your laptop that could be using your webcam.

  • Check permissions. There are pieces of software like web browsers that will want you to allow permission to access your webcam. Check the settings in your favorite browser to ensure it can have access to your camera.

If you've tried all of these steps and still have no luck, you have a bad webcam. With a desktop computer, it's a simple matter of just purchasing a USB-driven camera. You could choose this option for your laptop as USB webcams are universal and will work on Windows and Macbooks. If you have to have that built-in webcam for your laptop, you're looking at a hefty investment in replacing it with a total cost of replacing one for a Windows or Macbook at between $500-$700.

Short Battery Life. One of the best things about having a laptop is the fact it's portable and you can work with the battery as the only power source. When you are out and about and you have to constantly look for a place to plug it in, it because as useful as carrying around an All in One Desktop computer with you. Most laptop batteries should last 2-4 years or 1,000 charging cycles. There's really nothing you can do to extend your life. You can do things to cut down the time between charges such as lowering the brightness of your laptop. If you find yourself in a position where you are plugging your laptop in constantly to charge the battery, it's time to replace it. In modern laptops, the battery is inside the laptop. If you've never replaced a battery in your laptop, you need to contact an IT Professional to order and replace the battery in your laptop. Most battery replacements are reasonable with repair costs between $200-$300 dollars.

Keyboard Stops Working. Unless you have a touch screen laptop, having a dead laptop keyboard can be a major inconvenience. Unlike a desktop computer, you can't simply run to your local computer store for a replacement. First, make sure there isn't any debris caught in the keyboard by using a can of compressed air to dislodge them. For a temporary fix, you can always attach a USB keyboard. Windows and Macintosh laptops are designed to detect any brand of keyboard once it's plugged in. Each model of laptop has its own style of keyboard so you will have to order it direct from the factory. As far as replacing it, you will need to call in your favorite IT Pro as some models of laptops will make you take the device completely apart to replace the keyboard.

Oops! I spilled a drink on my Laptop. If you accidentally spill a drink on your laptop, turn it off immediately. Then turn it upside down to allow the liquid to run out and let it sit for a day or two. Turn your laptop back on to see where you stand. If you accidentally spill a drink on the keyboard and the keys become sticky. Gently use a damp cloth or some rubbing alcohol and clean between them. If your laptop will not power on or acts weird after you spill water on it, it's time to replace it.

Laptop TouchPad is not working. There are many reasons why your laptop touchpad may not work. Some causes are:

  • Your laptop's operating system may be frozen.

  • Your laptop may have defective hardware.

  • The touchpad settings on your laptop may have been disabled.

If you're having issues with your touchpad or trackpad, there are several ways to get it working. First, make sure you haven't disabled the touchpad. Some Windows models of computers can have their touchpad disabled by double-tapping on it in the upper left-hand corner. Try double-tapping in the same area to turn it back on. Next, perform a simple restart to see if you can get it working again. Finally, go into MacOS or Windows settings for the touchpad to verify the touchpad hasn't been disabled there. If after all of these steps you can't activate the touchpad, it's time to replace the touchpad which in many instances is connected to your keyboard.

Black or Cracked Screen This is one of the most common laptop problems out there! If you turn on your laptop and the screen won’t turn on, either the graphics driver is corrupted or there is a problem with the LCD display backlight. If you accidentally drop your laptop or close it when there’s an item inside it, your screen may crack. This can make the screen go black, or you could see a series of colorful lines decorating your screen. Although it may still work, the lines get in the way of the content. If the screen isn’t replaced, the lines will continue to expand, and eventually, the screen will be unreadable. Screen replacement for a laptop is never cheap with repair costs going anywhere from $300-$800.

I hope you can use these tips to help you decide if you need to fix your laptop or replace it. . If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!

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