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Basic Troubleshooting Tips for Everyone

Insight | January 5, 2017

Have you tried restarting it?
If you’ve ever dealt with tech support, you’ve likely been asked this question: Did you try turning it off and back on? Why? Is it some sort of IT inside joke? No. It actually works. Restarting your device is the most basic troubleshooting step you can take, and it weeds out many minor issues. This approach is effective on computers, tablets, phones, and many other devices and gadgets. The next time you run into a hung application or non-responsive desktop — or if something just seems “off” — first try a reboot.

Check for updates!
Many issues can be avoided or resolved by keeping your software up to date. If you run into an issue with an application you know gets updated regularly (Adobe, web browsers, most applications really), check the menu items for a “check for updates” option. Updates often include fixes for known issues that may apply to your situation. Operating system updates are also important for a healthy functioning computer. To ensure you’re up to date, frequently check for Windows Updates in the control center or Apple OS X updates via the App Store.

Clear your cache!
This step applies to your web browser: Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and others. These applications download and store certain items for future use, such as login sessions, site preferences, etc. While this is helpful in navigating your usual websites, there are times when it is advantageous to clear the existing data and start anew (not unlike rebooting your device). Since each browser handles this task differently, you can reference this article for steps on how to clear cache on all major browsers.

Google it!
If you run into an issue that presents any kind of error code or message, copy and paste the text into Google and see what you get. It’s possible that the appropriate fix or workaround is simple enough for anyone to perform. There are many step-by-step articles for addressing common issues that can be easily found by entering a few details of the issue you are experiencing into your search engine. Use caution and be pragmatic when attempting your own repairs. If you don’t know what you’re doing, please call a professional for assistance.

Written on January 5, 2017 by:

Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor Ryan is an IT veteran who has been with Impact for three years. He has a cat named Alex.

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