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Tech tips

The greatest gift: Fix your family’s tech this holiday season

We’re well into the holiday season and you’re probably planning lots of get-togethers. Want to be the star of the party? Bring along some beautiful memories, but leave the projector behind. Tap or click here to convert old VHS tapes to digital in time for the holidays.

While you’re around the people you love, why not take the time to take care of their tech? These are the ones who call you when their computer is slow, or their phone is freezing. This will spare you the trouble of solving their problems over the phone.

Show your loved ones how much you care by doing a few things to keep their devices running smoothly.

Wi-Fi problems

Update their router. It might be time to help them get a new one if it’s ancient. Here’s a router finder that makes it easy. If it’s not too old, check where their router is. Hiding it on the floor of a closet isn’t doing their connection any favors.

Put it up high and in the central area of the house where there’s the most activity, and try to keep it away from the microwave and cordless phones because those interfere with the signal.

Tap or click here for five reasons to replace your old router.

Update everything

This tedious but necessary step goes a long way in protecting you from cybercrime. Update your loved ones’ apps, phones, computers, tablets and other devices. This ensures they have the latest software and firmware releases.

Get started below:

Update Windows 10

  • Go to Start Settings Update & Security > Windows Update and select Check for updates.
  • If updates are available, install them.

Update Windows 11

  • Go to Start > Settings Windows Update and select Check for updates.
  • If updates are available, you can install them.

Update macOS

  • Go to the Apple menu > System Settings and click General in the sidebar (you may need to scroll down).
  • Click Software Update on the right.

Update iOS and iPadOS

  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Download and Install.

Update Apple Watch

  • On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, then tap the My Watch tab. 
  • Tap General Software Update and download the update.

Update Android

  • Open your phone’s Settings app.
  • Tap System, then System update.
  • If the update is available, follow the on-screen instructions.

Phone or computer behaving oddly

An old phone may show strange symptoms, but it could also be malware, spyware, or other security issues. A good old factory reset on a phone will wipe it out, but you must back up first!

We have a post on selling your phone that contains instructions for backing up and resetting your phone. Tap or click here to check it out. Computers take a little more love. Beyond resetting them, you may need a system restore. We have all the steps for that right here.

Check for subscriptions

Most of us have a subscription or two we forgot we were paying for, which adds up. It’s easy to see on an iPhone or Android all the monthly or annual fees someone is being charged. If they haven’t checked in a while, you can bet they’ll be happy with you for saving them some money.

Tap or click here to find all your recurring subscriptions and stop paying for what you don’t need.

Setting up new devices

If you gift any tech this holiday season, the gift isn’t complete unless you help them set it up. Got your dad a new pair of earbuds? Don’t be surprised to see them on the table weeks later because he didn’t know how to connect them to his phone.

Speaking of which, did you know that Apple AirPods make for an excellent pair of hearing aids? This could indeed be the gift that keeps on giving. Tap or click here for instructions on setting up AirPods as hearing aids.

RELATED: Setting up a new PC? 5 must-do steps for seniors

Stumped? Get tech help from experts Kim trusts

What if you’re far away and can’t set their new devices up for them? We get so many requests for tech help, and of course, Kim can’t answer all those on the air. That’s why she put together

These experts can help you with just about any tech question, from spotty Wi-Fi to a printer that won’t print and even setting up new devices. They fix most issues in under 15 minutes, and if they can’t help, you don’t pay.

You may also like: Tech tip: 3 steps to make your (or a family member’s) phone safer

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