computer error screen

When you are working at your job, you expect your computer to run smoothly and not encounter any problems.

Unfortunately, in real life, problems come when we least expect them, and it greatly impacts our work when our computers run into problems.

There are many responses to a computer that’s not working the way it should, but to make things easier for everyone, there are some steps you can take to make computer fixes more efficient and a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.

Calm Down

Calm Water

When life doesn’t go the way you want it to, anger and frustration tends to build inside us as our expectations are suddenly betrayed.

Since anger and frustration are negative feelings that need to be released, we tend to lash our feelings on our technology and the people around us.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t help anyone or make the situation any better. You just upset people and make them less likely to want to work with you.

Your technology is also not concerned that you are angry or frustrated. As movies have accurately displayed, computers don’t have or feel emotion, so getting upset at your technology can sometimes result in broken technology and an even worse problem.

Of course, that’s not to say that you should leave your anger and frustration inside yourself.

Take a break from work and do something enjoyable, like making a cup of coffee or taking a walk outside if the weather is great. Any activity will do as long as it helps you calm down. You might need to do more than one.

Since you can’t get work done at the moment anyway, you might as well calm down so you can approach the problem rationally.

When you are calm and collected, obvious solutions that you couldn’t see before have a way of presenting themselves to you.

It also makes people more willing to help you, now that you aren’t acting aggressive or scaring people. It’s a known fact that people like working with calm individuals, and do not like aggressive or unkind words put in their face.

There’s no room in the workplace for anger or aggression, especially towards technology that doesn’t care.

So collect your feelings and cool off before coming back and trying to solve the problem.

Restart Your Computer

Many people don’t think of this as the first solution, but there are a lot of computer problems that can be solved just by restarting your computer.

Of course, if you have a lot of work opened or information/processes running in the background, it’s understandable that you don’t want to close all of that and have to re-open everything again.

However, you need to consider whether the problem you are experiencing is something you really need all that information for.

Perhaps the problem is that you have too much open at once, and you have no choice but to restart your computer.

There are even times your computer will shut itself down because it has run into an error, such as the times of Microsoft’s “blue screen of death”.

Besides, if the problem really was that harmful towards your work, you need to take more drastic steps to solve the problem. Otherwise, you would have already worked around the problem!

Restarting your computer returns your computer to a point where nothing is running and it has all its resources back. A computer using more resources than it has or running too many processes is often a big reason for computers running slow or freezes.

Problems such as your sound disappearing or even problems with software on the computer can usually be fixed by restarting the computer, so you can see how much can be solved just by waiting a few minutes.

If you can’t restart your computer from the Start Menu (which is a sign of a problem), you might have to manually restart by holding down the power button on your computer, then pressing it again when the computer has shut down.

It’s not a fun thing to do, but sometimes restarting your computer is the only thing you can and need to do.

Run A Virus Scan


If you have restarted your computer and you’re still experiencing a problem, it means your problem isn’t related to computer resources or a temporary hardware failure.

There’s a chance that your computer may have a virus which is slowing performance down or causing issues.

Contrary to the news that’s being reported, it’s extremely unlikely that you have one of the more dangerous and malicious viruses.

It’s more likely that you have a simple virus which is designed to slow down your computer’s performance or cause simple software problems.

If you are with a good managed IT services provider or have access to in-house IT, you should already have simple anti-virus software set up on your computer, protecting it from common threats.

But just as virus protection is updated every day, new viruses are being created that can slip by your anti-virus software.

There’s even a chance you unintentionally put a virus on your computer because you weren’t careful in downloading files or avoiding suspicious advertisements.

Open your anti-virus program and set a scan setting. It’s always preferable to do a full system scan, but that takes a lot of time and you may not always have the luxury of time.

A quick scan can search vital areas of your computer to find viruses or files that are hampering your system.

If you don’t have anti-virus software, there are many free options online that can help protect you. Windows Defender, AVG Anti-Virus and Malwarebytes are all examples of free anti-virus software that are known to be good at protecting computers from viruses.

If you want paid anti-virus software (which are often more effective than free versions), many free anti-virus programs have paid upgrades with more features, and software such as Norton Anti-Virus are out on the market.

Sometimes it might not be a virus hurting your system, but programs such as malware that are causing problems. Your anti-virus software will pick up on this and remove them.

You might have to restart your computer for the full virus removal process to be complete, but after all the bad files and programs are taken out of your computer, your problem might have been solved.

Look Through Software/Program FAQs

You have restarted your computer, run the anti-virus software and are still remaining calm. But the problem has yet to be resolved.

The good news is that at this point, it’s not likely to be a problem with computer performance.

The bad news is that it’s probably got to do with one of the programs/software you are running.

A problem has come up in the software and you’re not sure how to fix it. It happens very often.

Chances are there’s already a solution to the problem, and instructions on how to fix it have already been posted by the creators of the software.

The “Help” feature in every program (it might be named differently) always has a few pieces of advice that could help you fix the problem by yourself.

Alternatively, if you have Internet access, you can search online to look for a fix to the problem.

Program and software companies have created areas for support like forums and help desks where you may find answers or get help.

Sometimes seemingly complicated and scary looking problems have a surprisingly easy fix that takes you only a few minutes to bring everything back to normal.

There’s no point trying to re-invent the wheel. If there’s a fix, give it a try. If you really can’t do any work at all, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Notify Your IT Support

Professional Solutions

If restarting your computer has done nothing, anti-virus hasn’t picked up anything, and no solution to your problem can be found (or you really, really, REALLY don’t have the time to search), it’s time to bring in the experts.

If your company has in-house IT support, it’s best to notify them immediately. If your company has outsourced their IT, contact your managed IT services provider.

Explain to them your name, the problem you are having and what you have done. Detail is important here, but you don’t need to explain everything (like how you turned on the computer this morning).

But you need to be clear about the problem. If you ask IT support to retrieve a missing file, but don’t tell them anything about the file, IT support can’t find it. They solve computer problems, not make miracles.

Don’t take out your frustrations or anger on them either. It’s not their fault that your computer had a problem. It’s their job to fix the problems so you can get back to work quickly.

As anyone can tell you, if you annoy someone or make them angry, they might be less likely to want to fix your problems, and might take more time just to spite you.

It’s also helpful to check if anyone else has had the same problem, so that more than one person can be assisted.

Once IT support is working on your issue, find something else to work on, but keep in touch to see how things are progressing and if the team needs more information.

Your Problem Can Be Solved

A lot of problems can be solved with simple solutions. This fact hasn’t changed ever since computers were first made.

Even if you can’t fix the problem by yourself, your company has IT support for a reason, whether or not it’s outsourced.

Contact them to make sure that your problem is fixed as soon as possible so that you can get back to work.

After all, a working employee is a happy employee!

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