Tech Troubleshooting Tips

Opening your laptop and realizing that it won’t turn on, or that the browser you’ve been trying to load for the past 15 minutes is now frozen with the spinning circle, can be infuriating. It never seems to be caused by the same issue, either, which is why we compiled a list of some of the common errors and how to address them if/when they happen to you. 

Application Issues

If the application is running slowly, there are a few easy fixes to try. First, try shutting down the program and reopening it. If there’s an update that needs to be installed, try installing the update – sometimes, the update is fixing the exact issue that is causing the slowness you’re experiencing. 

However, sometimes applications get completely stuck and freeze entirely. When this happens, you can’t exit out of the program or restart it the easy way; instead, you have to force-quit it. To do this, simultaneously press Ctrl + Alt + Delete (if you have a PC) or Command +Option + Esc (if you’re a Mac user) to force the application to close. From there, you can restart the program.

Computer Issues

Having your entire computer malfunction is another common issue that a lot of our clients experience. The computer’s slow run time can be caused by a few different things, some of which are easy fixes. If the computer is simply being slow or not loading pages, or even closing out of apps in the middle of your sessions, there may be malware hidden somewhere in your hard drive. Run a virus scanner, which will let you know if there is anything installed on your device that could be causing slowness or other issues. Slowness is also often caused by lack of space on the computer, which is another easy fix: simply go through some old files and delete them, or move them to an external hard drive. 

Often, restarting the computer entirely can solve slowness as well. One more thing to try is clearing the flea power, which simply clears out some of the residual memory that isn’t needed. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Shut down the computer & unplug the power cable from the outlet

2. Hold down the power button on your computer for 10-15 seconds with the cable still unplugged

3. Plug the cable back in and restart the computer

If the entire computer is frozen and not responsive, it is best to first start with restarting Windows Explorer, or Finder if you’re on a Mac. However, many times the computer has frozen to the point where this is not doable. If this is the case, restarting the entire computer is your next best bet; to do this, press and hold the power button for 5-10 seconds, until the screen goes black. Wait a few seconds, then power it back on. If this still does not do the trick, or you aren’t able to power it off manually, try unplugging the cable cord from the electrical outlet – this is a LAST resort! It can be extremely risky to do this, as you can damage the computer and the files you have stored on it, so only try this if nothing else is working.

It’s All Trial & Error

Generally speaking, troubleshooting common issues tends to be a process of trial & error, since it is usually hard to immediately determine the cause of the issue. Practice these simple tricks to make troubleshooting as quick & painless as possible:

Write down your steps. This helps you keep track of the fixes you’ve tried and how you’ve gone about trying them. It also saves you time in the long run because you’re able to avoid making the same moves when trying another way of fixing your issue.

Take notes about error messages. These are often useful later if other people are experiencing the same issues, as well as for reporting them to the server, or to us!

Always check the cables. This is especially applicable if your issue has to do with the computer hardware. Check all of the physical connections to make sure they are secure!

Restart the computer. Often, a simple restart of the computer helps to clear unwanted memory and make the computer run smoothly once it’s rebooted.

If you try these fixes and they don’t work, or if the issue seems to be much more serious than a virus or slow program, don’t hesitate to call us! We’re here to help you with your technology issues, and we’re only a phone call away.

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