Troubleshooting Common Computer Problems


Few things are more frustrating than having a vital tool, like your computer, act strangely, malfunction, or just stop working. If that’s happening to you, here are some things you can try that may correct the problem.

Recognize the Problem

Start by trying to figure out exactly what's going on. Some common problems are:

  • The computer runs but runs slowly
  • Apps don’t act the way you expect, or won’t even open
  • Error messages or pop-ups appear
  • The computer freezes or crashes
  • You're having trouble connecting to the Internet or other devices

If the problem is that something is physically broken, like a mouse, trackpad, or keyboard, you may need help from a repair technician. If the broken item is owned by the college, contact the service desk (see Contact IT Support below) to arrange repair or replacement.

Restart Your Device

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one! If your computer is acting up, try restarting it. This can often resolve issues like slow performance or software errors.

Check Your Connections

If you're having trouble connecting to the Internet or to other devices:

  • Double-check that everything is properly plugged in and turned on.
  • Look for cables that are loose or disconnected and tighten or reconnect them.
  • Make sure the lights on your devices are powered on or flashing.
  • Try connecting USB, display, or audio cables to other ports on your device.
  • Check volume levels and default audio device for audio troubles.

If you’re having trouble connecting to WiFi at home, or the connection seems slow, turn off your modem, count to ten, and then turn it back on. For modems that do not have on/off switches, unplug the power cord, count to ten, and then plug it back in.

Clear Your Cache

If the problem only happens when you are using a Web-based application in your browser, like Gmail or the online component of Office 365, it may help to clear your browser cache and cookies.

Contact IT Support

If you're still experiencing issues after trying these basic troubleshooting steps, contact the IT service desk. Service desk staff are here to help you!

When you contact them, be sure to provide as much information as possible about the problem you're having. Try to remember anything unusual that happened just before the problem started, such as a visit to a particular website, installation of a new app, or a drop of coffee that hit the keyboard.

Take note of any strange messages or behavior you have seen on the computer. Try to include any error messages or unusual behavior you've noticed, and feel free to include screenshots. The more information you can give, the more likely they are to resolve the issue.

The IT Service Desk can be reached at 520-206-4900 or via the service catalog at

Don't be afraid to reach out for help! Service desk staff are there to help you get back to using your computer like normal.


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Article ID: 156052
Wed 5/31/23 5:13 PM
Thu 5/23/24 10:56 AM

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