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Friday, December 9, 2016
The 10 Most Infuriating Tech Problems
You updated the software on your smartphone, and now it sometimes freezes.
Photo by James Wojcik
“Typically this happens when too many apps are running, using up the phone’s memory,” says technology pro Jason R. Rich. “Because apps don’t close automatically, you could have 30 running by the end of the week.” To clear them on an iPhone, double-click the Home button, then swipe each app upward. Android instructions vary by brand and model but typically entail pressing the Recent Apps button and swiping left or right. “Some people need to do this every few days and others once a month or so to keep the phone running smoothly,” says Rich.
You can’t figure out how to uninstall the preloaded apps on your phone.
If you have an Android phone, go to Google Play and tap My Apps & Games
in the left menu, then select the app you want to remove and click Uninstall. “On Apple
devices, it used to be impossible to remove preloaded core apps, like Maps, Notes, and Contacts,” says Rich. But now, with the iOS 10 update, you can delete them the way you would any others: by holding your finger on any app icon until they all start to shake, then pressing the X on the unwanted one. Even nonremovable apps can at least be stored out of sight, in one designated folder on your home screen, says Rich. “To create the new folder, just drag one app on top of another, which automatically makes one,” he says. “You can then enter a name, like ‘Unused Apps.’” Move that folder (by dragging it with your finger to the right) to the very last home screen on your device, then press the Home button to save your changes.
Your laptop gets so hot, it leaves red splotches on your legs.
Most laptops have fans on the bottom that help circulate air through
the machine to prevent them from getting too hot, says Patricia Harris, a Geek Squad agent
and instructor in Chicago. “But if you hold a laptop directly on your skin, you may be covering the vents, which puts the brunt of the heat on you and could overheat your machine.” Instead, try using a cooling
pad or a lap desk as a buffer.
You’ve cracked the glass on your phone.
“If you have an iPhone and insurance through AppleCare+ [from $99 for
two years], you are covered for multiple repairs per year after meeting
a $50 deductible,” says Rich. “If Apple can’t fix the glass, they will replace
the phone.” Similar coverage is available for Android users, but specific terms depend on
the protection plan you buy. Don’t have insurance? Then you’re on the hook for a replacement
screen. “You’ll pay more than $100 for a new one, unless you buy a generic one from a mall
kiosk, which typically costs $70 to $100,” says Rich.
You want your tablet to stop changing
words you type!!!
There are several functions that autocorrect words, so if you want your device
to stop second-guessing you (or do it less often), you need to disable some or all of them, says
Rich. With an iPad, go to Settings, select the General menu, then choose the Keyboard option.
There, depending on your preferred level of oversight, turn off features like Auto-Capitalization,
Check Spelling, and Predictive. With an Android device, you can typically turn off auto-correct
options by selecting Languages & Input, choosing your keyboard type under Virtual Keyboard,
and disabling Auto-Correction.
A ton of pop-up ads appear whenever you
turn on your computer.
It’s an obvious first step but worth mentioning: Check to make sure your pop-up blocker
is on. (With most operating systems, the blocker is typically on by default. But it is possible
to turn off a blocker inadvertently.) You can turn on the blocker for most browsers by heading
to Settings or, in some cases, Advanced Settings or Content Settings. Choose Popups, then
select the option to turn it off. If you’ve adjusted your settings and the messages are still
appearing, it’s best to have your computer checked by a pro to rule out a virus, the accidental
installation of adware (advertising-supported software), or another software issue.
In addition to installing a pop-up blocker, make sure you have antivirus software
(for Macs and PCs), such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus (from $40, staples.com) or