Top tips: fixing cameras, laptops, printers and smartphones

If you are having trouble with one of these devices, there are some things you can try on your own before you attend a Restart Party or seek professional help. These are very top line, so we provide links for more information to our Wiki.

Compact cameras

Does it switch itself off?

Old batteries may fail almost immediately, even though appearing to be fully charged. Replace the battery.

It can’t take or save pictures

The memory card might be full or faulty. Test a different one, if it works, reformat the faulty one. Try a hard reset of your settings.

Sticky lens cover

Gently push the cover open using a piece of bent wire, then carefully clean with a vacuum cleaner.

Partially or fully stuck lens

Gently pull or push the lens barrel while turning the camera on. Clean between barrel sections with a sliver of thick paper or gently tap the lens to dislodge dust.

Check out our Compact Camera Wiki page for more in-depth help.



Is it overheating?

The fan collects dust and other particles over time. Clean it with a brush or compressed air.

Has performance degraded?

Always keep at least 10% of your hard drive empty. Consider upgrading to a solid-state drive.

Does it often become unresponsive?

Increase the amount of installed RAM, it’s the cheapest way to improve performance.

Is it slow at startup?

Check settings for apps launched automatically at startup and only keep the ones you actually need.

Check out our Yes, You Can Fix Your Laptop Wiki page for more in-depth help.



Use it or lose it

The print head can dry out and become clogged, resulting in bad print quality. Print a few lines with black and all colours every two weeks.

Dealing with paper jams

Make sure no torn paper scraps are left behind. An air duster may help. Check that the rollers are clean and remove small debris from printer.

Strange software errors

Remove the driver, reboot and reinstall it. If the printer is no longer supported by your OS, search for compatible drivers for printers of the same brand.

Ink is so expensive!

When possible select draft mode and black ink only. Third-party refilled cartridges are cheaper and greener, but can cause problems so do some research.

Check out our Inkjet Printers Wiki page for more in-depth help.



Did you spill water on it?

Switch it off! If possible remove the battery and let the phone dry for 24-48 hrs before turning it back on.

Short battery life

Reduce unnecessary notifications, screen brightness, un-used apps. Consider changing the battery.

Headphones not working

Check the audio port for any dust blocking it and gently remove it with a toothpick.

Phone running slowly

Back up your data, free space on the device, reset it completely and re-install apps.

Check out our Android Tips and Tricks Wiki page, or iOS Device Repairs Wiki page for more in-depth help.