Solve Common Everyday Tech Headaches

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Retired Moderator RogersRoland
Retired Moderator


Whether it’s tangled or damaged cords, or a constantly dwindling phone battery, here are ways to combat a few of the most common techie woes.



Damaged power cords


Cellphone and laptop cords take a beating, especially the end you plug into your device. The simplest way to protect your cords from splitting, bending and fraying is to secure a pen spring around them. Over time, constant tugging and pulling creates cord fraying, creating a potential fire hazard.


  1. Disassemble a ballpoint pen by unscrewing the tip, pulling out the ink tube and removing the metal spring.
  2. Extend the coil spring and wrap it around your cord closest to the end that plugs into your device. This helps to ensure that the end of your cord is protected, and any existing minor frays, splits and bends are contained so they don’t become worse.



Dying phone battery


If you run a lot of apps or use Wi-Fi, your battery probably drains pretty quickly. When you need your device charged in a hurry, try this simple trick to turn your battery bar from zilch to full in no time.


  1. Turn on Airplane Mode (turning on this function depends on your device; for iPhone, for example, go to Settings and toggle Airplane Mode to on).
  2. Plug in your phone or tablet and charge as usual. (Make sure you turn Airplane Mode off to resume normal function on your phone once you’ve charged.)



Dirty headphones


Not only does cleaning them help your cans aesthetically, it eliminates germs and promotes a crisper sound by removing the dust that settles in the speakers.


  1. Combine a solution of warm water and soap.
  2. Lightly dampen a cloth in the suds and gently wipe the earpieces and wires clean. 3. If your headphones have removable silicone covers, gently clean those separately with a toothbrush.
  3. If your headphones are particularly dirty, try cleaning them using some rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip.


Tip: Be careful – too much soap will leave a sticky residue and too much water or rubbing alcohol is, well, bad news.



Tangled cords


If you use a laptop, you likely have a number of cords you need to quickly use and/or unplug at your workstation. The easiest way to organize them is a handy little trick using sturdy bulldog clips that can be found at most dollar stores.


  1. Clamp bulldog clips to the back of your desk or work area.
  2. String cables through the openings of the two squeezable metal tips. Your cords will easily slide through the clips’ handles without getting tangled.