When your car makes a weird noise, there are clues to help figure out what’s wrong—maybe you can hear where the sound is coming from or a service light might display on the dashboard. With computers, it’s not always so simple, and if you don’t have Managed IT services, calling in a professional technician will take time and money you may not be ready to give up. To help, we’ve put together seven common office technology problems you most likely can fix yourself.
Before we jump in, however, always remember to restart your computer before attempting to solve any issues or before calling for help—you’d be surprised how often that works!
1. Computer Slow to Start Up
Each time you turn on your computer, a variety of programs launch to help it run smoothly—but a lot of them are unnecessary for initial startup. The more programs that run, the longer it’ll take the computer to start up and be ready to use. There are two ways to fix this problem:
- You can download a program like Autoruns, which will track and list every program that runs upon start-up, and unclick the programs that don’t need to be running. You’re not uninstalling the programs; you’re just turning them off for the time being.
- For PCs in particular, go to Start > All Programs > Startup to tell which programs are set to run automatically. Right-click and delete any programs you know are unimportant. Be careful, however—delete certain files and you’ll face our second tech problem.
After a fatal system error or crash, you may be presented with the affectionately named Blue Screen of Death. Fortunately, this blue screen is usually accompanied by a specific STOP code telling you what went wrong. With a quick online search of the error code and your operating system, you should be able to find a variety of resources guiding you on how to get your computer back up and running.
3. Computer Running Slowly
It’s normal for computer processes to slow down over time, but if there’s been a rapid decline in your computer’s performance, it may be something more serious. After deleting any large, unused programs, use credible antivirus programs to scan your computer for malware. Remember: the more programs in use, the slower the computer!
4. Computer Disconnects From Wi-Fi
Check on other devices to see if it’s an issue with one device or a more widespread issue. If it’s affecting multiple devices, restart your modem or router. If a laptop is the only device affected by the Wi-Fi cutting in and out, it could be an issue with the drivers. Open the control panel and select “Network and Internet,” then “Network and Sharing.” Click “Manage Wireless Networks” and delete any available wireless networks. Finally, restart your computer and scan for wireless networks to reconnect to the internet.
5. Computer Keeps Restarting
If there’s one thing more annoying than Wi-Fi constantly disconnecting, it’s when a computer restarts without warning. The most common cause is an overheated processor, so make sure the processor’s fan and the surrounding area have a clear opening and are free of dust or debris. If the fan is working properly, disable the automatic restart option in Advanced System Settings; this will allow an error screen and more information to display when it happens the next time so you can determine the cause. Also perform a complete scan of your PC with antivirus software while in safe mode—some viruses can cause your computer to restart automatically.
6. Printer Paper Jams
Printers can jam for a number of reasons: wrong kind of paper, worn down printer rollers, or even dust that needs to be removed. While there are a number of different types of printers, getting rid of a paper jam has a much more “one size fits all” solution. First, shut off the printer and remove it from the power source. Then, open the printer or remove the panel from the affected section, and firmly grip the paper, making sure to pull in the same direction of the printing path. Pulling against the rollers can damage your printer.
7. Printer Runs Out of Ink Too Quickly
Because printers commonly use some of their ink to clean print heads and perform other maintenance chores, it’s important to get the most out of your printer ink. First, make sure the printer is set for plain paper, as settings for other paper types can use more ink. Next, check if your printer has any ink-saving programs or an option to print in “draft” mode. The higher the print quality, the more ink the printer will use. As always, recycle your printer cartridges when possible.
Printing at a high rate of output with a low-capacity ink tank will have you changing the ink cartridges more often than you need to, so consider getting higher-capacity ink cartridges. A better solution is to rely on an Enterprise Content Management solution (ECM) to help reduce the need for printed documents in the first place—greatly reducing printing costs while increasing productivity.
Addressing some of these issues on your own will hopefully get you back up and running more efficiently. However, if problems persist, you’ll want to call in professionals to do a thorough assessment and perform proper diagnostics, updates and any necessary service. Don’t let technology issues continue to frustrate you and your employees and hurt your business productivity. Our Managed IT can tackle the toughest problems. Contact us today for a free consultation.