We get it. All you ask of your computer systems is that they work, so you can get on with your business. And yet, it sometimes seems that the one thing you can rely on computers to do is malfunction. The fact is that a computer system that always behaves perfectly doesn’t really exist. On the positive side, there are lots of things you can do to prevent IT problems. This week’s tip covers some basics that will help minimize computer-related stress.
1. We’re Not Kidding – Try Turning it Off and On Again
All computer technicians have heard jokes about this one, at their expense. But we offer this advice a lot, because it actually often solves computer issues immediately. A simple reboot can resolve a whole range of IT problems. It’s a bit like people having a refreshing nap. A reboot does something similar for your computer. It clears the data that might be bogging it down.
Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that. But you should know that when we recommend this for solving IT problems, it’s because it’s sometimes the quickest and simplest solution, and we’re not trying to bluff our way out of a corner. As a first measure, it’s always worth trying.
Silly as a simple off/on strategy sounds, there’s still a right and wrong way. You can’t just switch the monitor off and on, or logout and login again to whatever you’re doing. You need a proper restart of the computer. Remember that the way to do this is by using the Restart option (in Windows it’s in the Start menu, under the Power icon). This reboots your computer safely, so resist doing it by hitting the physical power button in frustration. Also, don’t confuse it with locking and unlocking your computer. That’s still a good thing to do if you leave your computer unattended (Press the Windows key +L), but it’s not a restart.
2. Be Patient!
Yes, it’s really annoying to sit watching your screen and waiting for a process to complete – especially if you’re in a rush to finish something. The natural temptation when nothing happens is to click on the command button again…and again…and again.
The trouble is, it’s not going to work and it might even make things worse. If your computer isn’t completing the action, there’s probably a reason for that. It’s not that your computer somehow hasn’t noticed that you told it to do something. Every repeat click just goes into the queue. Then, when it’s got past the first command it will then move onto dealing with all the additional clicks.
Whatever you want it to do, it’ll do – eventually. So, if you were opening a new file or browser tab, you’ll just end up with multiple new files or tabs. Then you have to close the extra ones. All that frustrated clicking can actually tie up your computer’s resources further, making it even slower. So, be patient and, if computer issues persist (or get worse), contact IT support.
3. Be Careful with Passwords
Everyone knows that passwords are vital for security. So be careful about how you choose and store them. This is important for everyone, but especially so in workplaces where there’s confidential information. Unique passwords for different sites and accounts are the way to go, but if you’re going to write them on a sticky note and slap it on your monitor, why bother? At worst, it’s an invitation to corporate espionage. At best it’s just pointless. If you have dozens of different passwords that are impossible to remember, use a password manager.
Remember too that many browsers and sites have their access credentials ‘remembered’ on your device. It’s convenient, but be cautious unless you know that no-one else has access to your computer. Good practice is to use the lock command (see above) so that no-one can get in if you leave your workstation unattended.
4. Call IT
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do yourself to fix IT problems, and it’s time to call for assistance. If your organization has an in-house IT team, or if you have a managed services agreement with a provider like Quikteks, make sure you communicate clearly about the problem. Are you getting a specific error message? Can you take a screenshot of the issue? The better you can describe the problem, the faster they’ll be able to resolve it. They may want to ask you further questions about the problem as they investigate it, so make sure you’re available to give them any additional information.
Does your business need help with IT problems? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Quikteks Tech Support can help your operations with IT services and solutions that will help you to stay competitive. Call us now at (973) 882-4644.