Do you face problems with technology you use on a daily basis? You aren’t alone. Americans workers, for example, rank dead last when it comes to problem-solving skills relating to technology, and it’s a problem that spreads across age gaps of all ranges. Finding solutions for these common issues doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration with a little common knowledge and know-how, so if you’d like to broaden your tech support horizons, read on.
First things first, PC problems of all types are some of the most commonly occurred issues of which most boil down to one universal solution: Restart the offending piece of hardware. Performing a full reboot of a troublesome system is one of the cornerstones of basic troubleshooting. Of course, taking note of any error messages and ensuring the problem wasn’t a user error are important steps before a restart, but clearing out your system’s memory can solve a surprising number of issues. There are plenty of reasons as to why a reboot is the first advice given when dealing with a new problem and it’s a piece of advice that has held up since the invention of the microprocessor; Chief among them is that your computer performs tasks as instructed, but occasionally those instructions may conflict without being plainly obvious, chewing up valuable processing resources and causing unseen issues.
Some problems aren’t the type that will go away after a reboot every time, however, and may require further troubleshooting. One good example is the always-dreaded issue of USB devices not being recognized and finding a common culprit may not be as simple as pressing the power button a few times.
More specific problems can require more specific solutions, like in the case of the recent string of iPhone Error 9 cropping up around updating certain iPhones from earlier versions of iOS to iOS 9. Thankfully, problems like this have been solved mostly through software that automatically restores devices running iOS to working condition, as rooting out the source of these problems can take hours of frustrating trial and error and scouring message boards trying to find others experiencing the same issue.
It’s always wise to start with unplugging and re-plugging the offending device to ensure a solid connection has been made. If the device is removable media storage, such as an external hard drive or a memory stick, ensure the device is unmounted properly before removal to protect against data loss. If the problem persists, running the update tool for your operating system may update an offending piece of your PC, and checking the device for physical defects might reveal something that has broken.
Our interactions with computers have moved into our mobile lives as well now that cell phones are, in essence, miniature computers. Just like dealing with a computer error, sometimes restarting your phone is the easiest way to clear out an issue. Unfortunately, repairing a cracked screen isn’t that easy. Sorry to disappoint you!
On the other hand, some problems that seem to be related to physical damage might be as simple as lint in your headphone jack causing a bad connection. If you’ve ever had problems with the volume or quality of audio coming from your device’s headphones, it’s always prudent to look inside the jack and ensure it’s clean before taking it somewhere to be repaired. Sometimes a volume problem is as simple as checking to make sure your phone hasn’t been muted by accident.
When you’ve exhausted all other avenues of troubleshooting, consider running a virus and malware scan to ensure your system hasn’t been infected by a rogue program. Various issues can be caused by virus infections, and viruses have been developed for all current phone platforms, so it’s never a bad idea to check all your devices.
At the end of the day it’s important to remember that computers and phones do what they are instructed to do and finding out the cause of any issue is usually a simple process of logically eliminating options until the answer is revealed. When in doubt, restart it. When that doesn’t work, try something else!