How to Troubleshoot Your Trickiest IT Problems

A Handy Guide to Help You Address Common Issues and Know When It’s Time to Bring in Extra Support from your MSP

Technology is a bigger part of professional life than ever before, and that has a big impact on the way we go about our business. When technology is working for us, it improves productivity, increases efficiency, and helps us reach goals our parents and grandparents could only dream of reaching. On the other hand, technical difficulties can bring all of those good things to a screeching halt.

Don’t let technical difficulties slow you down. Even if you don’t have a technical background, you can take a few simple steps to diagnose and fix your own IT problem– and even if you’re still stumped after following these steps, you’ll have all the information you need to help your managed IT service provider understand and address the issue.

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4:

  • Step 1: Understand the problem
  • Step 2: Figure out what it is and what it’s not
  • Step 3: Find a fix
  • Step 4: Prevent future problems

Technical difficulties can bring your team’s productivity to a standstill. The first step in resolving the situation is to really understand the issue you’re experiencing.

Step 1: Understand the technical problem you’re experiencing

If you’re experiencing a technical issue at work, your first instinct may be to panic. Don’t do that. Instead, reproduce the problem if possible and start asking yourself questions to help you get to the root of the issue you’re experiencing. It’s important to ask yourself questions like:

  • How many times did this problem happen? Quantifying the issue gives you a good idea of the scope of the problem.
  • Who does this problem affect? Is it just you, or are your coworkers experiencing similar frustrations? Once again, this is a valuable piece of information in defining the scope of the problem.
  • What exactly is happening? Where does the problem begin and end? What are you trying to do? What is the outcome you were expecting versus the outcome you got?

Paying attention to notifications, warnings, and error messages can help you troubleshoot even the trickiest IT problems.

Step 2: Define the technical problem you’re experiencing by what it is and is not

You can also take this time to eliminate possible variables. When you start delving into a technical problem, it could be anything. Careful investigation of the issue helps you figure out what you know for sure is not causing the issue.

Luckily, you don’t have to define the problem by only what it isn’t. When you experience a technical problem, chances are an error message pops up somewhere along the way, which tells you what the problem is.

What does that error say? Making note of any error codes and additional messages helps you (and if necessary, your managed IT service provider) find resources related to the specific issue you’re experiencing.

If you’re having trouble diagnosing and fixing a technical problem yourself, your managed IT service provider can step in to help.

Step 3: Find a fix for your technical problem

When it comes to technical difficulties, Google is your best friend. This is especially true if you received an error message with a specific error code on it. By sifting through documentation related to that error code, you can start to understand what’s happening and why.

Note that if there’s not a fix you feel comfortable implementing, the fix you find requires access to IT infrastructure you don’t have, or your search comes up empty, it might be time to call in some outside help. That’s where your IT service provider comes in.

Step 4: Prevent future issues

This can mean many things. If the issue was caused by user error, this step is as simple as educating yourself on the proper way to handle a technical task. If you uncovered a deeper-rooted technical issue, this can mean anything from a bug fix to an in-depth review of your company’s IT infrastructure. Your IT provider will know for sure what the best way of preventing future difficulties is.

Technical difficulties are always a headache. Follow these simple steps to help you resolve issues and get back on track faster.

IT problems can be a huge headache and stop your work in its tracks. Troubleshoot your trickiest IT problems using the steps above– if you don’t find the fix yourself, you’ll help your IT team reach the solution and get you back on track as fast as they can.


1 thought on “How to Troubleshoot Your Trickiest IT Problems”

  1. Managed Service Providers can really help when it comes to difficult and hard to understand technological information and problems. Especially because the nature of IT is ever changing and improving.


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