Basic Computer Troubleshooting Steps

So you’ve got a minor computer problem and don’t want to bother with calling a technician. Or maybe you’re just trying to be a little more computer savvy overall to help with day to day tech-related headaches.

It’s not unreasonable to want to fix smaller issues on your own, especially if it only takes a few minutes! Here are a few basic computer troubleshooting steps to try before handing it off to the pros:

1: Restart All Devices in Question

You might have heard it before: restarting a computer or other electronic device is often one of the first appropriate troubleshooting steps to take. Why? Restarting a device gives it a fresh reload of all its settings. This means that background clutter is dumped and configurations are checked and re-established – often fixing small bugs in the process.

So if you are having a problem printing, for example, it’s a good first step to restart the computer you are printing from AND the printer you are printing to. If there is no restart function on the printer then turn it off or unplug it, wait about 30 seconds, then plug it back in and turn it on.

If all computers on a network are having trouble connecting to the internet, the first thing to try is unplugging the modem/router and then plugging them back in. This refreshes all the connections and often clears freezes and other connection problems.

2: Check all plugs and cable connections

Of course it’s obvious: so obvious, in fact, even techs sometimes overlook something as simple as a cable that’s not plugged in! It’s easier and more common than you might think for a cable to get caught, tripped over, or otherwise pulled out of its connector.

Sometimes the wear and tear on cable connectors causes them to slip out of their place: even if it looks like it’s plugged in, press firmly to ensure it is properly connected. You don’t have to check every cable, of course; if you turn your computer on and your screen is blank, for example, you don’t need to worry about your keyboard wires.

3: Rule out user error

I said it: user error. It’s okay, I’m not making fun of you: sometimes we just don’t know how something works and need a little more training on it. Many challenges with computers are not an issue with the technology but rather the user’s confidence and literacy of the system involved.

It’s never a bad a idea to ask a co-worker or supervisor to take a second look at a problem you are having with technology. They might be able to point out something you overlooked! Even as a technician with engineering knowledge, it’s not uncommon for me to talk to a teammate about an issue to help me verbally process it. Two heads are certainly better than one!

4: Escalation

That’s a fancy word for handing off the problem to someone with more experience. It’s not shameful: it’s wisdom! If it takes more than a few tries stabbing at an issue with technology, or even if you are too overwhelmed to try any of the above steps, calling a professional is the best option.

My Computer Bytes serves Oklahoma City and it’s IT needs IN PERSON and in a reasonable amount of time. When you’ve tried basic computer troubleshooting steps to deal with your computer issues and found yourself in over your head, we’re glad to help! Not only fix the issue, but to help you see the big picture!

To schedule a visit from us or get a quick phone consultation, give us a call!

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