Ask Tech Effect: How Do I Solve IT Problems By Myself?
Around the world, IT problems come up on a seemingly every day basis. Computers aren’t working, software isn’t working as it should, phones are failing and most importantly, work isn’t getting done.
Technology failures are a bane to everyone who uses a computer, and people scramble to the Internet or their IT department to get it fixed.
It’s always good to have an expert solve your problems, as that will ensure that the problem is solved in a timely and effective manner.
But sometimes, you wonder if every single problem needs you to call an IT expert. Yes, you might not be hearing sound come out from your computer, but do you really have to call and pay for an expert to solve that problem?
It might sound weird coming from an IT company, but it’s in everyone’s best interests to be able to solve simple problems by themselves, and leave complicated problems to the experts.
A lot of problems can be solved with simple solutions that anyone can do. As long as you remember to do these simple solutions, you can make your life a lot more convenient, spend money when you truly need to, and satisfy experts who tackle problems that they are trained to solve.
These are solutions that aren’t just limited to Windows computers, even Macintosh computers can use these tips. Operating systems also don’t matter too much, so you’re not doomed if you’re using a Linux operating system.
Restart Your Computer
Whenever something happens to your computer that doesn’t seem to be normal, a safe bet would be to restart the computer through your power option in the task bar.
If your computer is frozen or you lose control of your computer for whatever reason, you can also manually restart/turn off your computer by pressing and holding down the power button until the computer turns off by itself.
You might have heard that turning your computer off and turning it on again is a good thing to do. It really is, and that advice isn’t being told to you sarcastically.
Sometimes the computer will be doing a lot of tasks at once, and it struggles to properly allocate resources to the tasks. You might overload your system or ask it to do several things at once. Under the strain, a computer might just freeze as it can’t handle doing too many tasks at once.
It’s usually better to restart your computer instead of just whine how nothing is working. Chances are, once the computer has had a moment to refresh itself, it will be just fine.
This also applies to phones and tablets. If performance has dropped significantly, it might be better to close things down and start your device again. It should restore things to working order.
It might seem weird, shutting down your computer early, but just as many people believe they would work better if they had a clean slate, technology would like that benefit as well.
Besides, it’s not hard to do. Simply turning your computer off has not been the most difficult task of all time. It’s also very effective, as several problems that look threatening (ie. Your screen is frozen) can easily be solved by restarting your computer.
Don’t look away from a simple solution to annoying problems. If your computer isn’t responding, don’t reach for the phone just yet. Restart your computer and see what happens.
If your computer freezes very often, it’s a problem you should check with IT support. But the occasional hiccup happens to everyone, and it’s nothing a quick rest and restart can’t fix.
Update Your Software
People often talk about how they download software, it works fine at first but then the performance begins to decline and problems start appearing.
It happens to all software programs and is tied to how we use our software, as well as the hardware you use.
In terms of hardware, I wouldn’t touch it unless it’s being done by a professional or you are a professional that knows what you are doing. But for software, updating it can fix a lot of problems that you have seen before.
As software users encounter problems and hardware becomes more powerful, technology companies aren’t sitting in their chairs thinking that they have made a perfect product. They are constantly working on the next best version to fix bugs, utilize more resources and provide better service.
That’s why software updates come out frequently. You will find that if you take the time to restart your software and let the updates run, not only will you not be inconvenienced a lot, but there will be improvements you can see.
Problems that you once encountered might be solved. Appearances that you hated are updated. Most importantly, any security holes that may have been exploited have now been patched up, and you are running a less risky piece of software.
Software updates are often done automatically, so you shouldn’t have to feel that you have to do it all the time. Just remember to turn on the notice, and you might find software working just the way it should.
Run An Anti-Virus/Malware Scan
With nasty files lurking on the Internet, and individuals who are always looking for ways to break into your system, technology users should always be on the lookout for anything that could ruin their performance.
When you access a website, they store information on your computer. These are files called cookies, and you may have seen those notices. They are not inherently bad things, as they make it easier for a website to load without having to go through long loading times.
Some of the cookies you download may have malicious code that can subtly hurt your computer.
You might even download files from the Internet that are viruses themselves, which will hurt your computer because you’ve introduced the file willingly.
In times like these, use an anti-virus/anti-malware program to do a clean-up. It’s not a bad thing to do once in a while, even if you think your computer is working fine. It never hurts to be too careful.
If a file is caught and known to be harmful to technology, you can quarantine it (which is putting the file in a folder that renders it harmless), or delete it (preferred action though not always possible).
Once harmful viruses are gone, you would be surprised at the improved performance that you see. Actions might work properly now, and tasks might be easier.
The best part is, a lot of these anti-virus programs are free, so you don’t have to spend a cent. You just have to have some patience and you can rest assured that harmful files will be caught.
It’s All In Your Hands
Not every problem has a DIY answer. As most industry professionals would say, there are times where you can do it yourself, and there are times where you should call in the experts.
If none of the tips have helped you at all, call in a professional in your IT department. They will be able to help you determine what is going on and what you can do to solve the problem (faster).
For the most part, small problems don’t need large answers. Simple, every day actions might be enough to hold your IT woes at bay.
Leave the real problems to the IT support professionals. You’re capable of fixing small problems yourself.