Computer Tips, Tricks, and Recommendations

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As technology evolves and new features are offered, there may be times when unwanted or unexpected things happen. This page is dedicated to providing some tips, tricks, and recommendations to circumvent these undesired circumstances.

Normalize Sound Levels – Windows

Microsoft Windows 10 automatically adjusts audio levels between different applications. This can affect the level of sounds from various applications depending on what program is currently being used. This feature can be turned off using the instructions below.

  1. From the Sound Icon in your task bar, single right-click
  1. Click “Sounds
  1. Click “Communications” tab.
  1. Select the “Do nothing” radial button
  1. Click “Apply
  2. Click “OK

Adjust Microphone Settings – Windows

To ensure clear and audible audio in virtual meeting applications, such as Zoom, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Right-click the Audio icon in the system tray portion of the task bar
  1. Click “Sounds
  1. Click “Recording


Not all options may be visible.

  1. Right Click on “Microphone Array” and select “Properties
  1. Click the “Advanced” and un-check “Enable Audio Enhancements
  1. Click “Apply
  1. Click “OK

Adjust Power Options – Lenovo Laptops

Default power profiles in Windows 10 are configured to balance performance and battery life. To change these settings, please follow the steps below.

  1. Click on Start, and then click “Settings
  1. Click on “System
  1. Select “Power & Sleep
  1. To modify power settings while the laptop is plugged in or on battery power, modify the below options


Selecting higher times may result in shorter battery life

  1. For additional power settings, such as the laptop lid and power button settings, click Additional power settings


Depending on window size, this option may be located towards the bottom or on the right side of the screen.

  1. Select either “Choose what the power buttons door “Choose what closing the lid does
  1. The options below will allow modifying the effects of pressing the power button and closing the lid


Setting DO NOTHING when closing the lid can lead to drastically less battery life as well as overheating when the laptop is placed inside a bag or briefcase.


Restarting A Computer

Rebooting a device is highly encouraged as it will help keep the system running at peak performance. The benefits of a weekly reboot include:

  • Mitigate vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks by applying critical updates
  • Prevent performance degradation
  • Prevent application memory faults
  • Effectively apply system policies

To restart a device, follow the instruction below.


Make sure any open application is saved and closed before a restart is performed. This includes applications like Outlook, Word, Excel and any other applications that may be opend.

Instructions for Windows
  1. Click the Start bottom on the bottom left hand side of the task bar
  1. Click the “Powerbutton
  1. Click “Restart


Clicking “Shutdown” will not always properly apply updates or produce the desired effect. Clicking “restart” is the recomended option.

Instructions for macOS
  1. Click the “Apple” at the top left-hand side of your screen
  1. Click “Restart
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Limited Troubleshooting Support for Personal Devices

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This document outlines how the help desk should handle issues regarding supporting personal hardware.

All support tickets for personal hardware will need to be created and supported by the help desk. Limited support will be provided by completing basic troubleshooting and diagnostics.

This includes:

  • Laptops and Desktops
  • iMacs and MacBooks
  • Docking Stations, Monitors, and Peripherals
  • Mobile phones and Tablets


The help desk should communicate directly to the users that limited support can be provided for personally owned devices, the Help Desk will assist by providing the below troubleshooting steps. Escalation of the request to Computing Services can be performed. If additional support is needed Computing Services will direct the user to contact their hardware manufacturer for additional support directly if needed.

The following basic troubleshooting steps can and should be performed when any of the above hardware is having issues:

  • The device should be power cycled and/or rebooted to ensure all device resources have been refreshed.
  • If the machine or device is frozen locate and hold the power button for a minimum of 60 seconds until the device has powered down and then have the user power on the device and attempt to use the equipment.
  • The help desk can check and confirm if any updates have recently been loaded on the workstation that may be pending a machine reboot to complete the installation.

The following should not be performed on any personal machines:

  • Upgrading or downgrading of any Microsoft or Apple operating system.
  • Removing and/or reinstalling any licensed software such as but not limited to Microsoft Office, Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Project, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.
  • Other software such as antivirus, games, or manufacturer-issued diagnostic utilities.

Regarding the troubleshooting of issues related to personal docking stations, monitors, peripherals, mobile phones and tablets. The basic functions of unplugging the power cable and/or power cycling the equipment will be the acceptable troubleshooting necessary.

We do not want to perform any updates for devices operating systems such as mobile phones or tablets. The steps involved in completing these kinds of updates require a more extensive timeframe to be available to successfully be completed.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact the FDU Director of Computing Services Peter Mannarino via email p.mannarino@fdu.edu

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