IT #Protip: Restart computers/devices that act up. It fixes problems so often you’d be amazed.
A friend called me today to ask me for help with his BlackBerry. He said his Text Messages icon had disappeared from his phone and the text messages themselves were nowhere to be found anywhere on his phone. At first I thought he must have hid the icon so I told him to “Show All” and he said it didn’t help so the next thing I told him was to restart (aka reboot) his phone. Minutes later my friend sent me a BBM message:
Him: Restart fixed it thanks
Me: Hah no prob
Always first step when any computer acts wonky
Me: I’m serious
He didn’t respond to my last message aside from laughing about something I was being completely serious when relating even when I said that I was being serious. No “OK,” no “I totally will next time.” And there’s the thing – I know that he will call me again when he has a tech support issue and one of the first questions I will ask will be “Did you reboot?” and he will, of course, say no and I will, naturally, get frustrated with him wasting my time (which I am giving him for free). Then, he will wonder why I am getting so annoyed with him…we’re friends after all aren’t we? Shouldn’t I want to help him? Except he won’t remember this conversation when I did help him and did give him this magic bullet solution to a lot of his technology/gadget issues.
Seriously folks, even if you work in an office that has an IT Department paid to cater to your every whim before you call them about your computer/device/phone issue, restart it.
This is not something that anyone who even has a passing understanding on how to use their electronic device should have any trouble doing. There is no secret code to do it and no hidden menus to accomplish this feat. It is simple, it is easy, and it fixes an astounding number of issues for computing devices. Even if you aren’t having any computer issues I always recommend giving your computer a restart every day if you can. Doing this clears the RAM and is just overall a good thing to do for your computer and it is amazing how many people don’t bother to do this. This also goes for iPhones, BlackBerrys. Android devices, iPads, PlayBooks, Android tablets, Macs, PCs and even the PalmPilot your dad still insists on using even though Palm stopped supporting it in 2001 because it still does everything he needs it to do and he has no reason to upgrade.
In 2009 LifeHacker.com published this awesome flowchart in the article Tech Support Cheat Sheet Reveals The Secrets Of Troubleshooting which they pulled from popular webcomic XKCD and which can be found in its original here. To quote LifeHacker when they posted the article:
‘The only thing missing is the “If you haven’t already, restart your computer and try again” entry.’
See! Even they commented on it!
I promise you if you restart your computer/device before calling IT or your friend who consider “a computer person” or “a technology person” you will immediately earn tons of respect from them when they ask “Did you reboot?” and you say “Yes, I did, but it didn’t help.” They will also be 1,000,000,000 times less likely to respond to your queries in a passive aggressive manner, get annoyed with you, or be slow to respond when you call for help the next time you need it.
Images Row of Computers & Computer Help Key via Microsoft Office.
Tech Support Cheat Sheet via XKCD .