Basic Troubleshooting

While IT support is always on call to help you fix your issues, teaching users basic troubleshooting steps can save valuable support time that could be used elsewhere, or help provide more information to technicians when they arrive to resolve the issue. Because of this, here are some basic tips that may resolve some of the most basic and common issues.

Reboot – Depending on the program, restarting the computer can clear cached data and reset any programs or services that may be causing an issue, it is always a good, easy step that any user can perform.

Restart the problematic program – Sometimes a particular program may be giving you grief, in this case you can try simply shutting down the program after saving any work before starting it again. If the program is stuck in a state of ‘Not Responding,’ you can force it close by right-clicking on the taskbar, selecting ‘Task Manager,’ selecting the non-responsive program and clicking ‘End Task.’

Signing out and in again – Alternatively, the problem may be caused by a policy that has applied incorrectly or a credential change, so you may need to sign out then back into your program. For Microsoft programs the prompt is in the top-right, in the menu that pops down after clicking your name.

Close unneeded programs – Computers only have a limited amount of processing power and memory, like how you can’t do or remember everything at once. Closing programs that you aren’t using or don’t need can free up the computer to use more resources on the current task, this includes Chrome tabs.

Remove and re-add the device – If the issue is caused by a printer or USB device, it may be an error in the connection or protocol. These can usually be fixed by removing the device, such as a USB, from the computer before plugging it in again.

Verify it is connected to the network – Many programs now are built upon a web framework and require constant connection to a network to verify and authenticate, so it is important to check that you are not only connected to a WiFi or Ethernet network, but can also reach public web-pages such as

Read error messages – Programs usually give error messages for a reason, sometimes they can help attain the source of a problem by saying what exactly is wrong, such as a network drive may be disconnected when saving a file. Even if the error message is unhelpful to the user, it may still help to write it down, as a technician can use it to help with their diagnosis, making things quicker for everyone.

And always remember that technicians are available on-call should the problem be more severe or unsolvable through the basic troubleshooting steps.