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Troubleshooting with technology

Troubleshooting is all about analyzing and solving problems you have. This guide will help you to resolve complications you might encounter; this can be quicker than waiting for help, and will build your confidence in dealing with unknown situations and technology.

Tips for troubleshooting with technology

A look at troubleshooting when technology isn't working the way you want it to. 

Types of troubleshooting

Fixing something that's not working

If restarting your device doesn't solve the issue, there are some simple steps you can take to help solve your problem. This will probably be quicker than getting help from someone else, and it will increase your confidence and competence working with technology.

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Consider what is most likely to be causing the problem
  3. Test to see if this is the case
  4. Establish a plan to resolve the problem
  5. Implement the solution

The best way to do any troubleshooting is to use a trial and error approach. Don't worry if your first solution doesn't work! It's still worth sticking with it until you figure it out.

Working out how to do something

Where do you start when you're trying to do something but aren't sure how it's done? There are a few options

Play around and see what works. Using educated guesses, see what different buttons and options do. Unless you’re working on something extremely precarious and time sensitive, this is unlikely to do much harm, and will help you learn more overall. This is also more likely to be memorable and help build your confidence in the future.

Search online for help. If it’s university supported software, search on the website first. If it isn’t, or if the university web pages don’t hold your answer, you can use a search engine, such as Google or Ecosia.

Come along to training events. We offer a range of training sessions throughout the year. These will provide handy tips and tricks in all sorts of areas. This won’t be an immediate or specific answer to your needs, but might help you out, depending on your needs.
Can’t see training for what you are interested in learning about? Get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do.

Using Google to help troubleshoot

Be specific about what you are searching for. If you have an error message, search the specific number/phrase. If you know the tool you need, but not how to use it, search for the tool name and what you’re wanting to do with it.

You might have to search through forums or large chunks of text to get to your answer. Just skim read it for what you need, or use the Ctrl + F shortcut on your keyboard to help you find what you’re looking for.

Can’t find what you need? You could try an advanced search.

Let's talk about Google...


Let's talk about Google...


We all use Google, pretty much. There's nothing wrong with it. It's a very useful and effective search engine. Let's do a search for something popular. Cat's are all over the internet: let's search for cat:

How many results would a search for cat return on Google?

Over 6 billion
Exactly 1,000
Less than 500