Best Computer Repair Options

Learn the difference between hardware and software issues for your computer. Find the best repair options for both Windows and Apple computers.

For many, computers are an essential tool, used for both work and personal reasons. A study from 2020 showed the average home had at least two computers, with even more users reporting they used a secondary computer outside of their home, such as at work or school. With how important computers are, it can be frustrating when the computer stops working. There are a number of reasons why a computer may break down. Computer issues ultimately fall into one of two categories, hardware or software issues.

Hardware issues refers to a problem with a physical component on the computer. For example, if your power supply fails and the computer does not turn on, this is a hardware issue. Software issues refers to a program failing to work. This may only affect the program or have a greater effect on the computer, such as a corrupt Windows file preventing your computer from successfully turning on. Another consideration with computer repair is the type of system, as Windows and Apple devices both use different hardware and software, requiring different solutions to fix.

How to Repair Hardware Issues

Repairing hardware issues is typically more straightforward than addressing software problems. One of the challenges is diagnosing which component failed. In some cases, the damaged hardware is obvious, such as a component overheating and burning out. Other times, the hardware will cease to function, like a USB port rejecting all devices. 

Unfortunately, when hardware breaks down there are limited options. Repairing hardware on your own is difficult and requires specialized tools. The other option is to replace the broken part with a new component. Both options are available from computer repair stores. In many cases, it is easier and less expensive to replace the hardware.

The cost of hardware repairs is difficult to diagnose, as it largely depends on the part. Replacing a hard drive may only cost around $100, while repairing a motherboard costs several hundred. You must also consider service charges, which are anywhere between $50 to $150 based on where you are located and which store you use.

Companies for Hardware Repairs

Most computer repair businesses are smaller locations, but there are a few major chains to consider. One of the biggest repair services is the Best Buy Geek Squad. Best Buy has over 11,000 technicians, available for both in-store and at home repairs. Best Buy is a popular choice because they support both Windows and Apple computers. They also offer the widest range of services. In addition to hardware repair, they also help with installation, provide basic computer training, PC security and general troubleshooting. The service is also backed up by a 30-day guarantee. 

Another option for hardware repairs is Staples. While Staples largely advertises their services for businesses, you can also bring your computer into the store for repairs. Another retail option is Office Depot, which offers unique around-the-clock services. However, for hardware repairs you are still limited by store hours, as you must bring the computer directly to the store for repairs.

If you have an Apple computer, you can also go to an Apple Store for repairs. Apple Stores are typically more expensive than other options, but it provides the quickest repair services for Apple devices. The stores also have access to specialized equipment that other locations may not have on hand. Apple Stores are more likely to repair damaged parts instead of requiring replacements because of their training. Additionally, if you have AppleCare, which is a special warranty for Apple devices, you get discounted rates, which helps alleviate some of the higher costs associated with Apple Stores.

How to Repair Software Issues

Repairing software issues is more complicated than hardware because it involves a greater diagnostic period. Another complication with software issues is they can affect multiple programs. Software issues can range from a program running slowly or failing to launch to systemwide crashes that effectively make your computer unusable. 

There are multiple ways to repair software issues. A common solution is uninstalling and reinstalling the software, but this does not always fix the issue. With more serious issues, such as a corrupted Windows file, you may not be able to keep your computer running long enough to make changes. While there are emergency options to completely reinstall your operating system, these involve the loss of all your files.

Any tech store that repairs hardware will also be able to diagnose and solve your software problems. However, these stores may not be necessary. There are a number of online resources, both free and paid you can use to repair your software.


Restoro is an advanced repair toolkit available for Windows devices. Not only does it provide excellent diagnostic options, but it also works to optimize your system while correcting any software issues. Restoro contains a wide range of options, finding and repairing any damaged files that may be causing software issues or fixing corrupt DLLs, preventing damaged software from launching or causing compatibility issues with Windows. Restoro is partnered with Microsoft, and as part of the repair solution, will download files directly from Microsoft.

The program has a user-friendly interface and is consistently updated. In addition to computer repairs, the program also contains antivirus options. A free program is available, but you can only scan your computer for issues. In order to make repairs, you must purchase the paid version. A one-time version is available for $27.95 as of writing, while a one-year license costs $41.95.

System Mechanic Ultimate Defense

System Mechanic Ultimate Defense is another repair kit for Windows devices. In addition to repairs, it also helps to optimize your computer, with options to maximize the output of your RAM, CPU and HDD, creating a smoother user experience. There are multiple repair options available, allowing you to search for issues like outdated or corrupted drivers, registry errors or broken shortcuts, as well as general repair options. A limited free trial is available, otherwise, you must purchase the program. Unlike other services, there is only a flat one-time fee instead of an ongoing subscription plan. As of writing, it costs $63.94.