Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Tech Tip #7 - Troubleshooting Your Technology

When I return to school each summer I often find that I suffer from "summer amnesia." Where did I put my keys? What was my login password? How did I schedule workshops last year? I always have to chuckle to myself because it is amazing how quickly I forget the simplest of things..so quickly!

Technology seems to be no different. Each year when we return to school our devices seem to suffer summer amnesia as well. After sitting idle for a few months, collecting dust, and possibly missing an update or two they might need a little assistance getting back to normal.

Below are six troubleshooting tips you should try out.

1. Clear Your Browser History

Is a webpage taking forever to load? Are you getting odd messages, such as "Sharing Unavailable at this Time?" Try clearing Chrome's browser history. This can be done by going to Chrome's History menu (History -> Show Full History) and clicking the Clear Browsing Data button. And if you're using Internet Explorer please switch to Chrome. That will probably solve the problem all by itself.

2. Restart the Program or App

If clearing Chrome's history did not work or you are using another application simply try restarting the program. That might solve the problem all by itself. Please remember that on a Mac you will need to click on the name of the application and select Quit. Closing the window does not quit the program.

3. Force Quit

Will the program not quit? Remind it who is really boss with a Force Quit. This can be done a few different ways depending on your device.

  • Apple OSX - Click on the Desktop, followed by the small black apple icon in the left corner of the screen. From the menu choose Force Quit and menu of all applications currently running will appear. Select the one you would like to quit.
  • Windows Operating System - Hold down Ctrl+Alt+Delete and choose the program you would like to stop running from the Task Manager that appears.
  • iOS - iPad/iPhone - Double-click on the Home button and swipe up on the application you would like to quit.

4. Check for Updates

Did you try clearing your browser history or restarting the program and things are still being odd? Try checking to see if your computer or program is up to date. Depending on the application you can find updates in a few different places.

  • Chrome - Navigate to the Chrome Help page (Chrome -> Preferences -> Help) and check to see if your browser is up to date. This can also be done on a Chromebook and will update the Chromebook as well.
  • Apple OSX - If you are using a Mac click on the black apple icon in the left corner and look for Software Update. This will also update other Apple programs including iMovie, Garageband, etc.
  • Windows Operating System - Navigate to the Control Panel and look for the Windows Update icon.
  • Microsoft Office Applications - In any Office program you can check for updates by clicking on Help, followed by Check for Updates. This process will check for updates across all Office applications at the same time.

5. Restart the Device

Did the first four steps not help? Try restarting the device. That is the official magical IT solution to everything and often it works!

  • Chromebook - You can restart just by holding down the power button.
  • iOS - iPad/iPhone - Restart the device by holding down the power and the home button until the silver apple logo appears.
  • Windows - Click on the Start menu and look for Shut Down or Restart.
  • Apple OSX - Click on the black apple icon and look for Shut Down or Restart.

6. Unplug & Power Down

When all else fails simply unplug the device or remove its battery (if accessible). For items like LCD projectors this may be your only option and unplugging the device will keep it from overheating and creating a fire hazard. Once safely powered down, try plugging the device back in or resetting its battery and clicking on the power button.

If these don't work for you please submit a ticket to the NCS Help Desk and we will work on getting you back up and running as soon as possible.


Photo: Wrenching by Jeremy Brooks on Flickr

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