Troubleshooting tips every computer user should know

Over the years, I’ve noticed a lot of people are completely paralysed as soon as something goes wrong with their computer. Even the smallest errors can cause unnecessary calls to tech support. Here’s a handy list of things you can do when something goes wrong.


1) Turn it off and on again
You wouldn’t believe how many problems just disappear with a quick restart. This should always be your first line of defense.

2) Update the program
Updates solve all sorts of problems. If you don’t keep your software up to date, you’re much more likely to run into issues.

3) Update all of your programs
Even if you think your issue isn’t related, sometimes there are weird dependencies that a quick update can solve. Be sure to run Windows Update for this step.

4) Google search the error message
If your program gives you an error message or error code, type it into Google (or your favorite search engine) and see if someone else has already solved the problem. Nine times out of ten, someone has, and they have instructions posted on how to fix it.

5) Reinstall the program
The big brother to #1, some problems are related to which program version you originally installed. It doesn’t always make sense, but it often works.

6) Ask for help
If nothing has worked so far, you probably need some professional assistance. Unless you can do without whatever is broken, this is the step where you call IT.

7) Work around the problem and wait for a fix
When all else fails, find a workaround. Without a lot of computer knowledge, you probably can’t fix this issue yourself. If you really must have whatever program is broken, see if you can use just the functions you need. Alternatively, try using a different program with similar functions. Hopefully, your issue will get fixed in a future program update.

Please do these in order, and don’t just skip to #6 or #7. Basic troubleshooting is like filling up your car’s windshield wiper fluid. It might look daunting, but it’s actually really easy if you try.


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