Support comes in all shapes and sizes, but it’s best when it’s free! A great number of tech communities are on-hand to assist with your Windows questions.
It’s frustrating when you’re stuck with a technical issue that you don’t know how to resolve. Thanks to the connected nature of the Internet, there’s a vast number of people out there who are willing to spend their free time assisting you.
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite support communities, but be sure to jump into the comments below if you think we’ve missed any.
Whereas in the past Microsoft haven’t been very generous in the support they hand out, that’s all changed providing you can prove you own their products. All you need to do is select the area you need help with, sign in to your Microsoft account and you can then receive help through live chat or phone.
One of the neat things is that you can actually choose who you want to chat with. Next to the answer tech’s smiling face is their rating, letting you know the overall consensus on how useful past visitors have found their support.
The live chat is available every day and every hour, while the phone support is limited to specific times. If you think the best support available is to go direct to the horse’s mouth, head on over to Microsoft’s Answer Desk.
If the official support doesn’t cut it, you can jump onto the Microsoft forums. You can first search the Wiki, containing guides written by users that help with some of the more common problems. If that doesn’t do the trick, switch to the forum view and post your own thread.
Other users can vote on questions, for example if they have the same issue, or vote on responses they found helpful. Some users have badges to signify that they’re respected members in the community, meaning they’ve had a lot of helpful answers or have been singled out as a moderator.
The Windows subreddit tackles everything about the brand, including the desktop and mobile operating systems. With over 37,000 users subscribed, this is a great place to go if you want to be surrounded by people who have an active interest in Windows.
Creating a reddit account is incredibly simple (it doesn’t even require an email – and you’ll probably find yourself lost in subreddits for days) and you’ll be able to post your question in no time. If your question is likely to be a quick one to solve then this subreddit is the place to head.
This subreddit does what it says on the tin, offering technical support for a whole host of different problems. With close to 59,000 users subscribed, you’re bound to find someone who is able to assist you.
The subreddit has a scheme called trusted techs, where contributors that have credentials in the IT world gain a badge next to their username. This way you know that the support you’re receiving is coming from someone who knows what they’re talking about (hopefully!).
On top of this, there’s also a live chat that you can join to get support around the clock. If your issue is urgent and requires immediate assistance, it’s best to pop into the chat and see if anyone is on hand with the knowledge to help.
Super User is a bit different to some of the other sites on this list. It’s a site that is run by enthusiasts and is all about question and answer. Whereas forums can sometimes get bogged down in excess discussion that isn’t helpful, only answers are beneficial here.
The most helpful answers are then voted on and raised to the top of the pile. The site’s aim is to build a repository for every single question under the sun, with the goal being that one day maybe there won’t be any more questions to be asked – they’ll all be answered!
The site is completely free and doesn’t even require registration, so if you’re looking to get your query answered by a power user then be sure to check out Super User.
Tech Support Guy has been around since 1996. It started off as a simple list of common computer questions that 14 year-old Mike Cermak was fielding from family and friends, but the site soon became popular and turned into a forum to allow anyone to jump on and help out.
Since then the membership count has exceeded three quarters of a million and continues to grow. A huge team of volunteers (of which you can become one simply by signing up) are always on hand to answer questions from around the globe.
The forum is split up into various sections, like software, hardware, and all the various Windows operating systems. Tech Support Guy is very popular, so you should never be waiting too long to get a response to your query.
While not one of the most popular help forums out there, the PC Advisor forum has a good core team of users who are keen to offer their support within the Windows forum. It’s free to sign up and post your question and you should receive a response relatively quickly.
Everything is in public view, which is great as you can perform a search of the forums and check out past questions. Quite often you’ll be able to find someone in the same sticky situation as yourself and grab a resolution from an old thread.
The Windows Club Forum will help you out with… well, the clue is in the name! If you have a problem with pretty much any aspect of Windows then the generous members of this forum will dedicate their time to your aid.
Along with supporting all modern Windows operating systems, you can also get support for aspects such as customisation, drivers, hardware and browsers. With over 175,000 members and a large number always online, this is a great resource.
Not only can you post your own question, but you can also search the forum archives – you might find that someone has had the same problem as you in the past, allowing you to get an instant resolution.
We might be biased, but we think we have a pretty awesome community here at MakeUseOf. You guys are always posting great comments on our articles and voting in our polls, but a lot of you take it one step further and assist others in our Answers section.
Although not limited to Windows questions, posting here will ensure that a friendly, knowledgeable and helpful person will pop along to try and help with your query. Quite often our own writers will help out too. If you’re looking for support amongst like-minded people, you’ve found it.
Ask And You Shall Receive
Free technical support for all your Windows is only a click away. While you might be tempted to pay a professional outlet to try and resolve your problem, you might find that someone will helpfully assist you online for the price of nothing.
Have you ever received technical support from any of these communities? Do you have any recommendations to add to the list?
Image Credits: crowd of people Via Shutterstock