For the average user, a computer is nothing more than a metal box used to fill out spreadsheets and waste time on the internet. People with these skills are considered “computer literate” and may even land a nice desk job in most companies...but they’re not tech experts (obviously).

That means you can’t expect someone with only a limited knowledge of how Excel works to know how to deal with computer issues. Even if it is a common problem, things can quickly go wrong if your employees have no clue what to do.

“How was I supposed to know I wasn’t supposed to remove the System32 folder?”

So no matter how easy the IT task may seem, it doesn’t hurt to ask an expert, especially when it comes to these things:

Optimizing performance

If you’ve used a computer for many years, odds are it’s not as lightning fast as it used to be. Most of time you’re left sitting on your chair, staring blankly at the screen, hoping that your software will run and actually get some work done. But old computers aren’t as cooperative. And just to make matters worse, they tend to freeze up or crash.

The most common fix for these types of problems is to hit Ctrl + Alt + Delete and open the good ol’ Task Manager. This tool lets you forcefully close frozen programs and other unnecessary processes that could be slowing down your PC. While using Task Manager seems simple enough, wait till you actually start going through the Processes tab.

“I have no idea what half these things do.”

You may recognize some applications like chrome.exe, but most of the time, you’ll be greeted with a bevy of applications you didn’t even know ran in the background. And if you decide to end an application that’s taking up a lot of CPU power and memory, you might cause a catastrophic failure. For example, if you delete an app called “Service Host,” you could inadvertently crash your PC and end up paying a lot more for repairs.

Freeing up storage space

Freeing up space in your hard drive doesn’t sound like rocket science, but you’re probably not doing it right. You may be tempted to remove massive folders like Program Files, which is a surefire way to permanently ruin your PC.

If you’re going to delete anything, make sure you check what’s inside the folders first and don’t touch programs you don’t know. Ideally, you’ll want to meet with an expert and have them remove programs and files from your computer. Chances are, they won’t destroy offense to you.

Backing up files

Here’s a situation you never want to end up in: You click on some random email attachment, and all your files disappear. When something like this happens, you need to have backups of your files stored somewhere other than your PC. That doesn’t mean you should only save a copy of your files in a cheap USB drive.

When it comes to your work documents, don’t be afraid to shell out a few extra bucks for a secure external hard drive. You’ll also want to have backups stored in cloud servers managed and maintained by a team of professionals. This gives you more time to do more productive activities like creating a YouTube playlist of your favorite cat videos.

Replacing PC parts

The great thing about today’s computers is that it’s relatively easy to build one, provided you have all the parts and the instructions laid out in front of you. Just kidding. It’s not as easy as putting lego pieces together.

“…Um, where does this go again?”

When hardware components malfunction (like RAM, processors, and hard drives), you need to identify the cause of the issue, purchase a suitable replacement, and install it to the motherboard. Unless you’ve been trained in computer engineering, you probably shouldn’t mess with the inside of your computer by yourself. Meet with a reputable IT expert and they’ll have your PC running like brand new in no time.

While there are plenty of online tutorials that will help you with everything listed above, there’s less chance of you getting a headache when you consult with a professional like Red Key Solutions. So if you have a computer problem, don’t be cocky and think you can fix it by yourself -- just call us!

Red Key is a leading Managed IT firm that is bringing AI to companies in New York City, Westchester County, Fairfield County Connecticut, California & beyond.