Tech goes wrong. And when it goes wrong, frustration levels can soar. Few issues frustrate people more than tech. Tech can make people crazy.
Whether it’s a Bluetooth connection that drops, a printer that won’t print, an app that crashes or a cell phone battery that drains too quickly, your tech troubles can quickly become overwhelming.
While your first inclination may be to scream, throw the tech against the wall, or cry, instead you may be able to solve the problem all by yourself. Really.
Perhaps you have a friend, relative or co-worker who is a tech expert, eager to help answer your tech questions. But maybe they’re not available when you need them or they’re stumped by the problem.
Or maybe you’re the type of person who likes to tackle troubles by yourself, without having to ask others for assistance. You’d rather be able to fix tech issues on your own, but don’t know where to start.
Wouldn’t it be great to solve your own tech problems? There’s a definite satisfaction to tackling issues then solving them, empowering you to take on the world.
Or at least get back to what you were doing before your tech broke.
You may also be able to help others who are having tech issues and don’t know where to turn. By following these steps, you could solve their problems, earning you their eternal gratitude.
These troubleshooting tips are designed to help you conquer many types of tech demons.
Check Your Cables
A loose cable can be the cause of many tech issues. Check to make sure everything is plugged in where it should be. Unplug and replug cables to be sure the connection is secure.
Even if you live alone and haven’t touched any cables lately, check them. Cables can become loose over time, even if untouched.
Also be sure that your cables aren’t broken, frayed or damaged. Replacing a cable might solve a problem and be much less expensive than getting a new device.
Search your issue on Google. See what articles have been written to solve your problem.
If your issue is with recent tech, such as a software update, be sure to filter search results for the most recent articles. Tech tips from four years ago may not solve your problem.
Check Your Connection Speed
If your streaming video is stalling, downloads are slow or a connection is lagging, be sure to check your Internet connection speed. You may think something is wrong with your device when instead your network is slow.
=> See, Do You Feel the Need for Speed? to learn how to check the speed of your connection on your computer and mobile devices.
App and Software Issues
Software and apps can be buggy. No matter how much they are tested, software and apps can have bugs, crash and have other problems.
Check for updates to make sure you have the most recent version. Developers may have squashed the bug that is causing you the problem, but if you haven’t updated you may miss the solution to your problems.
When your computer, phone or tablet is having issues, try turning it all the way off and restarting it. A software or app update that happened in the background may need your device to restart/reboot to operate properly.
If an app or software is causing issues, try deleting and reinstalling it. Be sure to back up anything you need to have saved before you delete it.
Contact the Developer
If all else fails, reach out to the developer of the app or software. If they don’t have the answer, they may appreciate you bringing the issue to their attention so they can solve it.
Reach out to the developer via email, Twitter or a contact form on their website. Explain the issue giving as much detail as possible, including the device you’re using and the problem you’re encountering.
Do NOT leave a bad review in an app store or other forums without giving the developer a chance to correct the problem.
No one knows all tech, so why not crowdsource your issue? Others may have encountered and solved your tech issue so tap into their knowledge.
Ask a Friend
If you know anyone else who has the same tech, ask them about your problem. Maybe they’ve had the same issue or are familiar enough with the tech to offer a solution.
Even non-techies can be helpful. Someone who isn’t into tech may have a different perspective that gives them the ability to see a problem more clearly than someone who is entrenched in the field.
Read online forums to see if you can find a message thread on your issue. Even better if the topic has been marked SOLVED. Even if the issue isn’t identical, you may get inspiration about how to solve your issue.
Twitter, the world’s billboard, can help you discover if others are having a problem. For example, when an update to an operating system is released, you can check Twitter to see how it’s going. Find out if others are experiencing problems before you update.
Reach out to others on Twitter. Many businesses have Twitter accounts that will respond to your tweets, especially if you ask nicely.
Apple recently launched the @applesupport account to offer tech tips and help resolve issues.
@RamirezJohnny97 We would love to help. What are you experiencing with your Apple Watch? Is it not turning on?
— Apple Support (@AppleSupport) September 29, 2016
Search #keywords, especially for issues that involve recent updates to software, hardware or apps.
Other Social Media Sites
Search on Facebook and Google Plus for groups that might be able to answer your questions. Many groups exist to discuss tech issues. If you find one that’s helpful, you may want to join the group for future tips.
The Web as a Source for Knowledge
Check the Website
The manufacturer/developer may have the solution waiting for you on its website. Check the Troubleshooting and FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sections to find the answer to your problem.
Check out reviews of the tech on Amazon, in app stores, or other sites. Search for keywords to see if others have had your issue and how they have resolved it.
Quora is a website designed for people to ask questions and get answers from experts. First, search to see whether anyone else has asked the same question. If not, ask the question yourself to see if you can get an answer from someone in the know.
=> Learn more at Quora — What Have You Always Wondered About?
No One Else Has the Issue
If your search of the web uncovers nothing you may be the first one to encounter the problem, especially if you’re an early adopter of tech.
Also consider that if no one else has had the issue, something else may be causing the problem.
If you’re having a problem with your app, close out of it to see if restarting it solves the problem.
Apps Draining Battery or Using Too Much Data
If your battery is draining too quickly, or you are using too much cellular data each month, check the settings on your phone to see which apps are using the most battery or cellular data. Turn off location services for any apps that don’t need to know where you are.
If you’re having calling problems, try ejecting your SIM card and wiping it off with a soft cloth. Reinsert it and reboot your phone.
Many tech troubles can be solved by powering off your phone and turning back on.
You can also reboot your phone.
On the iPhone 6s/6s Plus and earlier, press and hold the power and home buttons until the phone powers off and powers back on again. On the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, hold down the power and volume down buttons until the phone reboots.
On many Android phones, you can reboot the phone by holding down the power and volume down buttons at the same time.
Some Android phones have removable batteries. If yours does, and you’re having problems with your phone, try removing the battery and putting it back in to reboot your phone.
Reset Network Settings
For Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other connection issues, try Reset Network Settings. Go to Settings => General => Reset Network Settings.
Note that you may have to re-pair Bluetooth connections and log into Wi-Fi networks after you Reset Network Settings.
See, Redmond Pie, iOS Reset Settings Explained, Here’s How To Use Them The Right Way
Sometimes tech problems aren’t worth solving. Is there a different way to do something that would involve a simple solution?
For example, if an app keeps crashing you may want to look for a different app that performs the same task. Maybe there’s a new app that’s even better than the one you’re trying to fix.
Step back and think if there is another way to solve the issue, at least temporarily.
A friend who was having problems with his scanner asked me to help him. He called me, complaining that the scanner should be working, but it wasn’t. I asked him what he wanted to scan and he said he had a signed permission slip for his child’s field trip that needed to be sent to a scout leader.
Instead of trying to figure out the scanner situation over the phone, I suggested he take a photo of the permission slip and send it to the scout leader.
If your web browser is slow or having other issues, try disabling extensions. Extensions can cause problems with certain websites or updates to browsers.
In blogging, WordPress users can often solve problems by deactivating plugins, one by one, then reactivating them to see which one is causing issues.
Timing Is Everything
Take a Walk
If your frustration level is high, you’ll probably have a tough time thinking straight. Step away from the problem, take a walk, get perspective. After you’ve cleared your head, take another look at the issue.
Your head may be spinning from attending a contentious meeting or finishing an important report. Maybe something is frustrating you other than tech. A clear head can help you focus on the situation.
Time of Day
If you’re a morning person and your tech breaks at night, wait until the next day to tackle the problem. Or, if you’re not a morning person, postpone addressing the issue until later in the day.
Ask a Pro
If you have tried everything you know and are still having problems, perhaps it’s time to consult an expert. Take your device to a pro, such as the Apple Genius Bar, Geek Squad or other local shop to get help.
Time for New Tech?
If your tech is not from the 21st century, you may want to consider upgrading. Software updates may not work on older systems. Your older tech may not be powerful enough to run today’s software or apps.
You don’t need to upgrade to the latest and greatest every year, but once a decade might be a good start.
Have you ever struggled when tech went wrong? Where do you turn when you have tech troubles? Do you have any tips for troubleshooting tech?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
* Cell phone image courtesy of Redd Angelo via Unsplash and Creative Commons
** Angry Man image courtesy of brainloc via RGB Stock Photos and Creative Commons
*** Tech Hole image courtesy of Hiking Artist via Flickr and Creative Commons
Spotify has introduced Daily Mix, new playlists created for you that are updated every day with what Spotify believes is your favorite music. Daily Mix is available globally for both free and premium Spotify accounts.
Daily Mix is rolling out to Spotify on iOS and Android first, then to other platforms. You need to listed to Spotify for about two weeks for it to learn your listening habits and create your first Daily Mix.