You know what’s going to happen. You get the call that your parent or grandparent needs computer help. When you get there, 800 internet browser windows are open. It’s clear they haven’t rebooted in ages. After fiddling around for a few minutes, you’re pretty sure they’ve been opening email links from Nigerian princes and of course, they don’t want a new computer that they’ll have to learn all over.
Once you’ve got it cleaned up there’s still the concern that they’ll forget how to find their documents or access other tools. While you can’t plan for every situation, there are some things you can do to minimize the time your time fixing your special senior’s computer or guiding him to his saved photos again. Here are three ways you can make his and your lives easier.
Install a Dashboard
Think about all the information you have to know about your computer that you take for granted. You navigate through Windows Explorer to find your files and photos. You use the start menu to get to the programs you want. You use the taskbar for other programs. The systray gets you to your volume and Bluetooth connections. For someone who doesn’t want to learn that, or doesn’t use the computer often enough to remember it, a dashboard like OneLaunch can be a lifesaver.
Your senior can see the latest news and weather but she’ll also easily find her files, search the internet, have quick access to the most popular websites and links to streaming services and her favorite games.
It’s difficult to get most computer users, much less the computer illiterate to reboot their computers regularly, and when’s the last time your parent did a disk scan and defragment? “Never” is probably a safe answer. When you initially set up your senior’s computer, get into the Windows Task Scheduler and set some of these actions to take place regularly. Set the computer to reboot every day or two to free up RAM and start fresh. Schedule it to do a disk scan and defragment every few months. With set tasks, you’ll know that if there’s a problem, it isn’t because the system resources have been stuck at 100% usage for the past three weeks.
Set Up Remote Access
If your computer user likes to play around and install new software, he isn’t going to be amused if you suspend his admin privileges on his own computer. You have to accept that things will occasionally go wrong. Save yourself a lot of time by setting up remote access right from the beginning. That way you can take control of the computer and work on it without having to drive across town or fly across the country to repair the issue. Try a program like Soluto that will give you an easy-to-read dashboard and makes syncing up a snap.
Of course, it’s important to consider how your senior uses the computer to determine what will work best for her, but with these three tips, you’re guaranteed to save yourself time and heartache in the battle to keep the computer running.