7 Common Tech Problems (and How to Solve Them)

Audio Visual troubleshooting

Tech issues cost individuals upward of 100 hours a year, by some estimates, resulting in wasted time, frustration and a lack of confidence in the devices or software they’re struggling with.

For businesses, the cost is millions of dollars dedicated to resolving support issues and technical difficulties — many of which are undoubtedly avoidable or simple enough to solve with a little due diligence. 

For those of you running into tech troubles, feel empowered to troubleshoot these common challenges by reading on. (And if you need some troubleshooting tips, check out this blog, “How to Troubleshoot Any Audio Visual Problems.”)

1. I Can’t Connect to the WiFi

Perhaps the single greatest fear in our increasingly connected world is not having WiFi access — and for good reason. 

With WiFi, people can connect with their co-workers, friends and families, access an astounding library of information via the internet, and so much more. Being cut off from that is almost unimaginable today. Try these fixes. 

The Solution(s)

  • Make Sure WiFi Is Enabled (a.k.a., Start Simple) — A simple fix for laptops, phones and other devices is to dive into your settings and allow the device to connect to a network. If your phone, for example, is still in airplane mode from a recent trip, that would impact your ability to connect.
  • Check In With Your Router — If you continue running into challenges connecting to the WiFi or your network isn’t showing, consider restarting your router. Or even try moving closer to your router. If you’re too far away, you may struggle to maintain a strong connection or any connection. 
  • Visit Your ISP’s Website — Is there an outage in your area? Is your ISP performing planned maintenance? Check its social media accounts and its website to see if you can find updates. 

Read Next: The Remote Worker’s Guide to #WFH Essential Home Office Technology

2. My Computer Is Running Slow

On deadline for an important project? Doing some last-minute shopping? Googling literally anything? 

When your computer (phone or other device) isn’t running at the same pace you are, it’s frustrating to say the least. Try these: 

The Solution(s)

  • Restart Your Device — Computers and other devices must power down, all the way down, every so often to clear memory, update software and more.
  • Close Down Unused Apps — Some apps, games or browsers use a lot of your computer’s resources and when many run at the same time, it’s likely your computer will start to drag a bit.
  • Is It Your Network or VPN? — Perhaps it’s not your physical hardware but rather your connection. Move closer to your router, turn your VPN off (if it’s safe to do so), and dive into your settings to look for clues. 

3. My Webcam Won’t Turn On

With many remaining at home for work these days, a webcam has become an essential part of the home office. 

If your webcam isn’t turning on, there could be several reasons: 

The Solution(s)

If you suspect the webcam and software or operating system aren’t compatible, check for firmware or software updates. An upgrade here may help resolve the issues. 

But even before that, check to ensure the webcam works by trying it with another device and that it appears undamaged (cables too!). If you can verify it works, then make sure it’s plugged in fully and correctly and power is available. 

If you’ve done all of these and it still isn’t working, dive into the software’s settings to ensure it’s enabled. For example, if you plan to use it on a video call, go into the settings and select the webcam for your video input. 

Read Also: Work-from-Home Setup Guide: Home Office Essentials

4. I’m Not Getting Audio From My Speakers

You don’t have to work in TV, broadcast or production to appreciate high fidelity audio. Good audio is a thing of beauty, which makes it all the more disappointing when your speakers don’t do their job. Try these fixes. 

The Solution(s)

Bear with us here — but have you tried turning the volume up? 

You might be surprised by how simple solutions can solve seemingly complex challenges in tech. Similarly, check to ensure your cables are in good repair, plugged in fully and correctly. 

Other fixes may involve firmware or software updates or even just a hard restart (unplug them and unplug them back in). 

Home speaker systems can be tricky. Tinkering with your receiver settings may be the right route to take here if simpler fixes don’t solve your challenges. And, always be mindful of the power coming through devices to avoid injury.

Related Blog: DIY + AV HERO = A Thing of Beauty. Here’s Why…

5. The TV Won’t Turn On

Sitting down in front of the TV can be an excellent way to unwind, until a blank, inactive screen stares back at you instead of your favorite show or movie.

If your TV won’t comply with your remote’s commands, then try these: 

The Solution(s)

  • Look for the Pilot Light — Many TVs feature a pilot light to indicate that it’s being powered. If you can’t find one, the TV may be unplugged or the outlet it’s plugged into isn’t working.
  • Troubleshoot Your Remote — Try turning the TV on with the remote and then try opening the settings or inputs. The goal is to get something to display on screen to prove that it’s not the TV but rather your remote. This could lead to a pairing issue, damage or other factors. 

6. My Printer Isn’t… Printing

While physical, paper copies seem to be less common these days as more digital solutions emerge, printers still have a place in this world — even if they don’t the one time every six months you need them too. Try these: 

The Solution(s)

  • Check for Compatibility — More printers today allow for wireless printing via laptops, smartphones and tablets. While convenient, it can pose some challenges. Ensure the printer will work with the operating system or device to ensure compatibility between hardware and software.

    Further, on a computer or laptop, you may need to install a driver for the printer. For smartphones or mobile devices, it may be an app.
  • The Ink Ran Dry — Every so often, you need to replace toner or ink in your printer. As you troubleshoot your situation, consider simpler ideas like this and make a checklist: paper is in the tray, it’s plugged in and online, ink levels are adequate, and so on. 

7. I Forgot My Password (Again)

The average person has 100 passwords, according to some estimates. Trying to remember every password — especially if you’re following security best practices — is nearly impossible. 

But, with passwords required for an endless number of applications, it’s a must that you consider one of these solutions. 

The Solution(s)

  • Use a Password Manager — Your best bet is to use a password manager that can safely store all of your passwords or passphrases. Instead of remembering all of your passwords, you focus on remembering just one.
  • Consider a Passphrase — Instead of a password, a passphrase could make it easier to remember while not compromising on security.
  • Create a Tip Sheet — It’s best not to write passwords down, but using a tip sheet that gives you a clue that only you would know could help jog your memory. 

Still Stumped? Call an AV HERO

Not to worry! Tech problems are no match for an AV HERO. 

Learn how to request here.

It’s a simple process, taking only a few minutes to set up an account, confirm a few details and describe your issue. Then, queue the AV HERO bat signal and await backup. 

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