Common IT support issues and how to fix them

While there’s no substitute for having an expert IT support team ready to help, in some cases issues can be fixed easily by your team. To assist you in getting up and running quickly, we’ve itemised some of the most common IT support problems experienced by users and how to resolve them. Read on to see if your issue is listed and if it isn’t, our professional engineers will have an answer for you.

Your computer won’t turn on

A machine that won’t switch on can stop workflow entirely. The first step is to check that its power cord is completely plugged into a wall socket, and that it’s switched on. If your machine is plugged into a multi-plug adaptor, ensure that it’s also turned on and fully plugged in. Some plug strips feature built-in circuit breakers that look like a black or sometimes red buttons located near to the power switch. Try resetting the breaker to see your computer comes on.

Your computer crashes

What can be more irritating than a crashed computer when you’re in the middle of a task or trying to meet a deadline finished. There are several reasons why a computer will freeze, or crash and you may be unaware which one is applicable. Try waiting for a few minutes first to see if it manages to sort itself before acting. In many cases it will resume as normal. However, if it does not, try opening the Task Manager and see which application is unresponsive. Once identified, close the app, and see if it fixes the issue. If your computer remains unusable, it’s time to restart it.

Your computer monitor is blank

Imagine this scenario, you walk away from your desktop computer and return to find your screen is completely black. Don’t fret, the most likely cause is that your machine has entered sleep mode to conserve power. Simply moving your mouse will soon see your screen reactivate. If this fails to work, click your monitor’s power button, and ensure it’s switched on. Additionally, examine the back of your monitor and see if its connections are all plugged in place.

A “No Signal Input” message appears

This notice will appear on your screen when no image is sent from your PC to the monitor. When this happens, first check your monitor is properly connected to your computer, and that no cables have come loose. To be sure, disconnect all cables plugged into the back of your monitor and reconnect them to assess if this resolves the problem.

You can’t receive or send emails

The most common reason for being able to send and receive emails is that your device isn’t connected to the internet. However, if your connection is not behind the issue, you should check that your email server is not experiencing problems. Another root cause of email transmission issues is when your emails have been set to offline mode. Fortunately, reconnecting is easy. Simply click on your Send/Receive tab and see if the Work Offline button looks shaded. If it is, just click it and your email will be back online.

You’re not receiving email attachments

When your inbox becomes full, it can stop you from receiving attachments included with emails. This can be remedied by deleting emails you might no longer need. If you haven’t received an attachment because your inbox was full, the sender will typically get a notification, so they’ll be aware that you have not received it. Other causes can be that the sender attached a file that is too large, or that your security software identified an attachment as suspicious and has stopped it entering your inbox. Look in your spam and junk folders to see if it has been quarantined.

Your printer has a paper jam

Paper jams are among the most common problem printer users encounter.

While they might look like a major issue, they are not tricky to treat. The first move you need to make is to turn your printer completely off to ensure no more printer jobs are accepted while you try and remedy the jam. Inspect the printer and if you can see the paper try and manually remove it but be careful not to rip it. Next, open the printer door and check if there is still more paper stuck within. After you have removed all the damaged paper, you can turn the printer back on and it should be fit for use again. Follow any instructions that appear on the printer display, and you’ll be up and running again.

How can you reduce the impact of hard drive failure?

When operating properly, your computer’s hard drive disk should store all your important data files, including Word and Excel documents, jpeg images and videos. However, if it fails and you have no backup in place, it can result in a serious problem.

Like most technology, your hard drive has a limited lifespan. As a result, it is essential to always back up all files that are key to your work. From shared servers to cloud-based storage systems, there are many online backup options available that can be more conveniently accessible than hardware like portable drives. Providing you have established a backup, if an error arises you should be able to restart your device and recover your data to resume working.

Your monitor is displaying a distorted screen

A skewed screen image makes it impossible to work effectively.

A common cause is a loose cable. Try disconnecting the cable at the back of your computer that plugs into your monitor and plug it back in to resolve the issue. When you disconnect the cable, examine the plug, and ensure no damage has occurred to its pins.

Look for bent or broken pins, or for any signs of burning. If any damage has been incurred, replace the cable, but if they are fine, reconnect and check for improvement.

Distorted images can also be caused by an incorrect refresh rate setting that can be adjusted in settings. However, magnetic equipment like speakers or desk fans can also cause interference impacting screen displays, and may need removal.

Your mouse is behaving erratically

If your mouse is misbehaving and the cursor starts acting weirdly on your screen or sticking, the most common issue is easy to fix.

The sensor on an optical mouse can easily get dirty and interfere with its function. Give it a thorough wipe with a sanitiser cloth and check if this fixes its behaviour. If the issue persists, a replacement is advised.

Your keyboard or mouse isn’t working at all

A non-functional keyboard or mouse is commonly resolved by checking for loose connections and ensuring equipment is plugged in properly.

If your devices run on batteries, try replacing them, and if they are wireless, make sure the dongle they work with is plugged in properly. It’s also worth checking that your drivers for accessories are up to date.

If the mouse or keyboard is very old and has worn out components, it may be time to invest in new equipment. Before buying new accessories like keyboards or a mouse, try using them plugged into different devices. If this works, the issue may lie with your machine instead.

How can you delete your browser history?

A browser with an extensive history can slow down your machine and search speed.

How to clear a browser will depend on the one you use. For Google Chrome, try clicking on ‘More’ and then ‘History’. Then, click ‘Clear Browsing Data’. If you would like to clear all history, choose the ‘Beginning of Time’ option in the drop-down.

In Internet Explorer, choose ‘Tools’ then ‘Safety’ followed by ‘Delete’, and delete as much of your browser history as you like. The Microsoft Edge browse works very similarly (‘Hub’/‘History’/‘Clear All History’).

How to clear a print queue

Print queues are lists of documents scheduled for print. If plans change and hard copies are no longer required, you’ll need to clear the queue.

On your PC, find your printer settings, and then right click on the printer with the print job you wish to clear. All documents will be listed, and you can simply right click with your mouse and then cancel the job.

If these suggestions don’t clear up your IT issues, professional assistance may be necessary. At 127 Solutions, you can count on our team for help when you select one of our specially designed support packages. Get in touch with us today to discuss what we offer.