Here are just a few of the top IT support issues we hear and their likely causes….
- My printer won’t work
Firstly, check it’s on (seriously!), has paper, ink, toner and no jams in the trays. If it’s not down to one of these obvious issues, it could be a connection problem. Depending upon the type of connection it uses, check it’s connected to your Wi-Fi connect or physically attached to your computer via a cable. IT support can help you to connect the printer to your network if you’re still experiencing issues.
- My machine is running slow. Can you speed it up?
If your computer’s suddenly started running very slowly, the first thing to do is try rebooting it. We once discovered a computer that hadn’t been rebooted for more than 200 days! Remember, computers don’t like being left on for seriously long periods of time. It’s also a good idea to check that you haven’t got a huge number of windows/tabs open on your browser, alongside 5 programs running and a YouTube upload. Your computer could also be running slowly due to system updates or virus scans. If that’s the case, however, you should probably ask your IT support to carry out updates and scans outside of office hours. That said, the slowness could also be down to a virus or malware. If you’re using a high quality anti-virus program (and you really should be) make sure your virus definitions are up to date and run a full scan of your system. If an issue flags up that can’t be resolved by the anti virus simple disconnect from any networks and contact your IT support.
- My Wi-Fi is slow / not working
If you’re having issues with your Wi-Fi it could be down to a number of reasons. If your Wi-Fi has gone off, check that your router is turned on and make sure you’re inputting the correct password when trying to connect. If your connection is slow, you can try turning the router on and off again (turn it off, wait 30 seconds and turn it back on). If this fails then it could be down to the physical location of your router as Wi-Fi strength can weaken the further away you get. Lastly, if your WiFi keeps kicking you off this could be due to an overloaded router whereby too many devices are trying to access the device at any one time. In this instance, it’s best to get in touch with your IT support and explain the problem.
- Mouse / keyboard won’t work
Before you panic, first try this simple troubleshooting process to find the problem. If your devices are USB, try unplugging them, waiting a few minutes and plugging them back in again. You can also try rebooting your computer to see if that makes a difference. Plug them into different USB ports, check the wires for damage, make sure there isn’t any dirt blocking sensors and change the batteries if they need it. If your device is wireless you can usually reset in on the bottom. If none of these methods work you may need some new kit. Never fear, however, keyboards and mice aren’t particularly expensive!
- Blue screen of death
Another very common IT support issue is the dreaded blue screen. People usually think that their computer is broken or ‘dead’ as soon as they see this screen but, in reality, a simple reboot can occasionally fix it. It’s also a good idea to read what the BSOD says as this can sometimes give you a clue as to what the issue is.
Whilst this can be the sign of a pretty major issue, it can also indicate a more minor malfunction and is often related to hardware that isn’t working properly, sometimes following an update of a piece of hardware or drivers. If the blue screen continues, it’s often easier to phone your IT support and run through what you did just before the issue occurred.
- I can’t log in
One of the most common tech support issues and usually the easiest to solve. If you’re struggling to log in there are a few simple things you can check before contacting IT. First, make sure you haven’t left caps lock on, double check you’re inputting the correct username and password combination, ask everyone who has access to the computer if they have changed the password, ensure the keyboard is working properly. If you still can’t log in, it may be that your password has expired or your account has been blocked. When in doubt, contact tech support!
- I deleted some files by accident. Can I get them back?
Before contacting IT about lost files, check your recycling bin. If the files are nowhere to be found, stop using your computing immediately and contact support Depending upon the IT company you work with and the level of service they provide (or you’ve purchased) they may have access to backup. If that’s the case they may be able to recover your deleted files.
- My computer turned off without warning / won’t boot
Whilst by no means guaranteed, this can be down to your computer overheating. Check that there isn’t a build up of dust and that your machine is in a well-ventilated area. Rather than open up the computer case yourself, f your computer turned off and won’t turn back on again we would always recommend contacting IT support for help. They will have the proper tools and facilities to resolve the issue.
- My computer is making a strange noise
If your device has started making an unusual noise it’s best to stop using it immediately and call IT support. Check the air vents and ensure they’re not being obstructed by anything. Let IT know if you’ve dropped it or spilt liquid over it.
- My computer won’t recognise my USB device
Firstly try plugging your USB device (a pen drive, mouse, keyboard etc.) into a different port on the machine, and check if a different USB device works in the original port. Try rebooting the computer and installing the latest patches and drivers. You could also check to see if the USB works in another machine if you have one. If none of these quick fixes work, you may need to contact your support for deeper troubleshooting.
- My internet is really slow
Slow internet can be caused by any number of things, from viruses or spyware to a high contention ratio on the connection or even an issue with your provider. You could run a virus check (assuming you have decent anti-virus protection – which you should!), carry out a speed test using speedtest.net and even consult with your internet provider. If you’re still experiencing issues we’d recommend you then speak to your IT support provider.
- I just closed a document without saving. Is it gone forever?
Many computers will now have auto-recover options enabled within Microsoft Office. This can mean that losing unsaved documents is a thing of the past. If for some reason you don’t have Auto-Recover you can also search for your file by finding temporary files with .tmp extension or a ~ prefix.