Do you know what to do if your screen goes blank? What if you can't seem to close an application—or can't hear any sound from your speakers? Whenever you have a problem with your computer, don't panic! There are many basic troubleshooting techniques you can use to fix issues like this. In this lesson, we'll show you some simple things to try when troubleshooting, as well as how to solve common problems you may encounter.
General tips to keep in mind
There are many different things that could cause a problem with your computer. No matter what's causing the issue, troubleshooting will always be a process of trial and error—in some cases, you may need to use several different approaches before you can find a solution; other problems may be easy to fix. We recommend starting by using the following tips.
- Write down your steps: Once you start troubleshooting, you may want to write down each step you take. This way, you'll be able to remember exactly what you've done and can avoid repeating the same mistakes. If you end up asking other people for help, it will be much easier if they know exactly what you've tried already.
- Take notes about error messages: If your computer gives you an error message, be sure to write down as much information as possible. You may be able to use this information later to find out if other people are having the same error.
- Always check the cables: If you're having trouble with a specific piece of computer hardware, such as your monitor or keyboard, an easy first step is to check all related cables to make sure they're properly connected.
- Restart the computer: When all else fails, one of the best things to try is to restart the computer. This can solve a lot of basic issues you may experience with your computer.