5 Common Tech Mistakes, and How to Fix Them

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We have all been there. One stroke of a button, one flick of a wrist, and you are in a panic! It can really happen to anyone. Fortunately, there is usually a way to fix what you have just broken. Most of the time you need to act quickly though, so these are good tips to memorize.

Deleting a file – You are cleaning up some files in a particular folder, until you suddenly realize you’ve deleted a file that you actually need! There are a few ways to handle this situation in Windows. First, you can check your recycle bin. If you right click the file inside the recycle bin you will be able to restore the file. Often, the file was located on a network drive, and therefore will not show up in your recycle bin at all. In this situation, you can right click on the folder that contained the file and click the tab that says “previous versions”. You can restore a previous version of that folder if the functionality has been turned on for you. If neither of these options work, you can contact your managed IT support provider, and they should be able to restore the file from a backup. Backups typically occur at night or at specific intervals during the day, so you may lose data if you recently changed the file and then deleted it.

Spilling on your keyboard – Whether it’s coffee, or diet Coke, or water liquids on a keyboard is one sure way to destroy that keyboard. Even worse for you if that keyboard just happens to be part of a laptop! If it’s just a cheap wired keyboard, it’s probably not worth the effort to salvage it. Just go purchase a new one, since they won’t set you back too much. If the keyboard is wireless, and you would like to avoid spending the money on replacing it, immediately turn it off. Removing the batteries from the keyboard is the best way to make sure there is no power to the device. Unscrew everything you can find, and take the keyboard apart. Wipe it down (if it’s anything other than water, make sure to wipe it with some disinfecting wipes or water) and let it air dry. Keep it apart for about a day and then put it back together once it’s completely dry. If you spilled all over your laptop, you will follow a similar procedure. Immediately shut the laptop down, unplug it from it’s power source, and if it has a removable battery, take it out. You don’t want to risk frying any of the circuits that have gotten wet by running power through them. Do a Google search on the best way to replace the keyboard for your model of laptop and proceed to remove the keyboard. Wipe it down and let it dry for at least a day. Make sure it’s completely dry before attempting to turn it back on. Also check the keyboard before you put it back for any sticky parts if you spilled something other than water.

Dropping your phone in water – Many companies are fixing this for us by creating waterproof phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8. There are still a lot of phones that are NOT waterproof though. The day your phone goes for a swim can be extremely tragic. Much like the keyboard spill above, your first order of business is to power the phone down completely. Do not just turn the screen off, make sure you have shut it down. With a phone, you usually don’t have the luxury of being able to take it apart to dry it out. A bag full of rice will become your new best friend. Put your phone inside a Ziplock back filled with rice and seal it up. Depending on how long the swim was, should depend on how long you will need to leave it inside the bag. If it was a super quick dunk, and you get it into the rice right away, you might be safe attempting to turn it on within 2 days. If you are unsure though, leaving it inside the bag for at least 3 days will usually do the trick. During this time DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TURN THE PHONE ON. If there is any remaining liquid, you could fry the circuits and your phone will be dead.

Installing something that breaks the computer – A new gadget or just an ill-thought out click can be the difference between a working computer and a brick. If your computer won’t even get to the login screen, you might be in luck. Using the “last known good” boot up can restore your computer to right before you plugged in that new device and your computer could be completely functional again. “Last Known Good” though will only work if the computer doesn’t get to the login screen at any point. If it does get to that point, but is unable to move forward, you can try a system restore. Anything beyond either of these two options is a good time to call your managed IT support provider!

Sending an email on accident – Unfortunately, this is probably one of the most common mistakes, and there typically isn’t a great way to fix it. If you use Microsoft Exchange or Office 365 for your email hosting, you can only recall messages within your organization or company. You simply open the message from your sent folder and find the recall button (usually under the move section). Once you’ve sent a message to someone outside of your company though, it’s delivered, and there is no way to get it back. Gmail and G Suite users also have this ability, but it has to be turned on prior to sending the unwanted message. Under settings you can find “undo send” and set a time frame up to 30 seconds. If you accidentally send something you have exactly the amount of time you set to recall the message. The way it really works is it just delays actually sending your email for that amount of time. So if you have some delays with people not receiving messages right away, that could be the reason.

If any of these seem overwhelming, do not attempt them! Just contact your managed IT support provider, and they should be able to help you out of the jam you’ve created for yourself. Don’t dig yourself in further by trying to fix something you don’t really know how to fix.