I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine. I don’t know how to fix EVERY computer problem off the top of my head! Shocking, I know. So what do I do when I come across a computer problem that I do not know how to fix? I Google it! Of course I have some other tricks I try at first before I go to Google, but for the really hard issues I definitely see what Google has to say about it. I’m going to tell you how to fix computer like a pro using Google?
What to search
1. Exact error message. First thing to try, especially if you are getting a specific error message (not just one that says it’s not responding or something to that nature). Type in eiter the entire error message, if it’s short enough, or just type in the first sentence. In addition to the the error message you can be more specific by typing in the program name as well such as “there was an error opening this document. this file cannot be found Adobe”.
2. General symptoms. If you do not have a specific error message, try searching for the general symptoms. Some great keywords are: freezing (for when things just stop working without closing or continuing), crashing (for when the program completely closes without you closing it first), hanging (for when the program freezes for a while, but then ends up responding), and unable or no longer (for when you used to be able to do something, or the program used to respond in a certain way and isn’t anymore). Be sure to include the program name and version such as “outlook 2003 immediately crashes”
What to Click
Now that you’ve obtained several search results what should you click to help you find the right answers? Under each search result will show the url that the result comes from. Look for relevant websites. For the Adobe issue I googled in this image the first result is from forum.adobe.com. You can see this is from the user forums on the Adobe’s website, so there should be some answers from actual Adobe developers. The next result is from a doman called acrobatusers.com. This should also tell you that it’s a website for hardcore Adobe users. That will also be a pretty safe bet that they’ll have your answer. Other websites that look legit could include tech help websites and computer support sites.
How to Read the Result
Many times the result will be in the form of someone like you asking the forum the question. What will follow should be several different answers to the problem. Sometimes it will even be obvious what the original asker has marked as the solution that worked for them. All computers and issues are different though, so what worked for one person, might not work for you. Try some of the other solutions until you find the right answer.
MY WORD OF CAUTION!!
DON’T and I repeat DO NOT mess around with things you are uncomfortable with, or that you don’t understand. Sometimes the answers you find can be on a very high level, and should only be attempted by IT professionals! Things that ask you to edit the registry by typing in “regedit” I would completely avoid, unless you want to turn your computer into a brick. </PSA>
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.
I am a mom who can fix your blog, your computer, or your server. I have been in the IT industry supporting small businesses for over 15 years. As a diehard PC and Android user, I can usually be found sparring with Apple fanboys, or watching movies with my family.