At some point in our personal or professional lives, most of us have been confronted with some sort of computer issue that stops our work or leisure dead in its tracks. Few things are as frustrating, even if the task being interrupted is relatively minor.
In the workplace, the first response to even the most minor issue is to call the IT help desk. The majority of the time, the first response will be, “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” Even though it might seem ridiculous and even frustrating at first, this initial advice often solves the problem.
This is the case for Wi-Fi routers, laptops, printers, and most other technology we use every day. In general, most IT issues have some pretty basic fixes. IT professionals aren’t trying to anger their clients or coworkers; they’re just trying to help.
Let’s discuss a few simple IT troubleshooting tips that even the most tech-illiterate among us can perform ourselves.
Before attempting anything else, you really should just turn it off, wait 30 seconds to a minute, and then turn it back on again. Before carrying a laptop over to IT, just give it a try. For laptops and desktops, first try to shut down your computer the normal way, through the Windows or Apple menus. Even many mobile devices now have ways built in to shut down or restart the device through software instead of performing a hard reset. On most devices, simply hold down the power button for a second or two and the option to shut down or restart will appear.
If these methods fail, holding down the power button until the device completely shuts down will typically work as well. As an absolute last resort, power cables or batteries can be disconnected, though this could damage the device. Before attempting this, contacting support is the right approach.
If this fixes the problem, great! If not, there are still a few basic things to check before contacting support.
If you are trying to print something and the printer can’t be found on your network, there are a variety of possibilities for why. Most likely, however, is that the power cord has simply been unplugged. Whatever the problem—whether you are having trouble accessing the internet or your desk phone isn’t working—check that all cables are properly plugged in.
One of the most common IT issues users face is an app running slowly or freezing up, especially if they’ve been running for a long time. For example, when was the last time you closed that browser window with 37 tabs?
If the window will not close, opening the task manager by holding the keys ctrl+alt+delete on Windows and command+option+escape on a Mac will allow you to force the problematic application to close. Upon restarting the application, the issue may be fixed.
You never know when a similar issue could rear its head again. When you do begin troubleshooting an issue, make sure to take notes on your process. Write down each step, take note of every error message, and use the process of elimination. In general, many issues can be prevented by simply restarting your computer once a week or so.
Of course, many IT issues won’t be resolved with such simple fixes. Sometimes, professional support really is necessary. What does that support look like at your organization? If you are a leader and are not giving employees the support they need, problems are bound to arise. Reach out to Liss Technologies today, and we can provide a solution.