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Troubleshooting 101: Common Issues and How to Solve Them

January 26, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce


Technical issues and problems are an inevitable part of life in our modern, technology-driven world. As customers, we have all experienced frustrating situations where a device, app, or service isn’t working as expected. However, troubleshooting doesn’t need to be a painful process. With some fundamental knowledge of common issues and solutions, you can quickly get your tech working again.

This blog breaks down troubleshooting into simple, actionable steps anyone can follow. We’ll cover some of the most frequent errors and glitches across popular hardware and software, along with proven methods to diagnose and resolve them. By understanding the basic principles of troubleshooting, you’ll be equipped to handle many basic technical problems on your own. Read on to level up your troubleshooting skills!

Troubleshooting 101: Common Issues and How to Solve Them
Troubleshooting 101: Common Issues and How to Solve Them

Hardware Issues

Knowing your way around hardware issues is key as physical devices remain prevalent across homes and workplaces. Some common hardware problems stem from loose connections, outdated components, and general wear and tear. Thankfully, many hardware troubles can be fixed with simple solutions.

Loose Cables

If your printer, monitor, or other external hardware suddenly stops working, don’t panic! Chances are a cable worked itself loose due to vibration or movement. Check that all relevant power cables and data transfer cables like HDMI, USB, or Ethernet are firmly plugged in at both the device and power source. Secure any loose connections by pressing the cable ends flush with their ports.

Power Cycling

Power cycling means turning a device off and on again. This resets programs and electrical components to refresh connections. To power cycle consumer electronics, locate the power button or switch and turn them off completely for 10-15 seconds before powering back on. Allow a minute or two for the device to restart its system software after being powered back on.

If issues persist through power cycling, there may be a larger electrical issue at play. Contact an electronics repair technician for further inspection.

Hardware Updates

Manufacturers periodically release updated components like drivers and firmware to fix bugs and optimize performance. If your hardware exhibits random glitches, crashes, or can’t complete certain tasks, updating hardware could help resolve things.

Refer to your device brand and model number to visit the official support webpage. Here you can check for available updates to install. Be sure to carefully follow any instructions to successfully upgrade firmware, drivers, or bios system files.

Hardware Updates
Hardware Updates

Software & App Troubleshooting

Beyond physical equipment, we also rely heavily on software programs and mobile apps in everyday life. App crashes, frozen screens, error messages, and interface problems are among the most common software issues. But don’t abandon hope of using your favorite apps and programs just yet! Here are some constructive software troubleshooting steps.

Update and Upgrade Software

Similar to hardware components, applications and software platforms often push updates too. Updating to the latest software version squashes pesky bugs and optimizes app performance. On a smartphone or tablet, enable automatic updates in your device settings to maintain all apps with ease.

On computers, periodically check for available updates manually. Running updates requires restarting programs and devices when prompted. Also consider upgrading to a newer software release if available, for access to more features and stability.

Reinstall Apps

If updates didn’t help resolve problems with crashing apps or strange interface behavior, try reinstalling the troubled app. First uninstall the program completely, which clears out any corrupted files. Then visit the app store or source to download a fresh install file. Run through the installation process as normal to rewrite clean data. Often, this wipe and-reload approach gets apps functioning smoothly again.

Restart and Reset

One of the simplest troubleshooting techniques for app malfunctions is closing and reopening the program. Use your device or computer OS features to fully quit out of the misbehaving app. Then reopen it and log back in to essentially refresh the app’s state. Alternatively, you can restart the entire system to clear app memory and reload active programs from scratch.

In severe cases of app instability, resetting the app to its default factory settings could be your last resort. Be aware that you may lose app data or customizations during the reset. Refer to the app support site for precise steps to factory reset when necessary.

Seek Technical Support

While troubleshooting basics can solve many common issues, don’t hesitate to contact application or hardware support teams as needed. Product specialists can diagnose complex or recurring problems that require advanced solutions. Support reps may offer guided troubleshooting tailored to your case, plus warranty and repair options for severely malfunctioning devices. Managing issues early and leveraging available support channels helps prevent frustrations down the road.

Internet Connectivity Issues

Whether using Wi-Fi or mobile data, staying connected is vital for our computing needs today. Spotty internet and lost connections diminish our ability to work, access entertainment, and communicate across devices. By pinpointing the source of connectivity problems, though, you can get your access restored pronto.

Check Account Status

If your internet usage randomly drops, first, make sure any related accounts are in good standing. Log into your ISP account portal, or open your mobile carrier app to view billing and data status. Pay off any outstanding balances, resume paused or canceled service plans, add data packs if needed, and confirm payments are processing normally going forward. Handling billing issues proactively keeps the data flowing!

Reset Network Equipment

For home Wi-Fi networks, basic connectivity issues can often be resolved by rebooting network devices. Power cycle your modem box and Wi-Fi router box by unplugging them from electricity completely for one minute. As the equipment restarts, check that router lights indicate normal functioning. Also restart your connected device like a computer or phone to sync it with the freshly rebooted network equipment.

Test Speeds and Signal

Poor performance from laggy internet could indicate a weak network signal reaching your device. Using speed test sites, examine your internet speeds and latency across different locations in your home, office, or area of use. If speeds and connectivity falters in certain spots, it signifies a poor router signal or mobile data coverage. Contact your ISP or mobile carrier regarding improving signal reach to your space if needed.

Additionally, inspect your router and modem placement. Keep equipment centrally located away from walls, windows, or devices causing signal interference. Relocating devices even a few feet or upgrading router hardware can sometimes work wonders for boosting speed and reliability!

The Takeaway

Today’s digital customer experience environment relies heavily on multilayered technology from hardware infrastructure to software programs powering each channel’s interaction. While tech troubles can’t always be avoided, arming yourself with constructive troubleshooting strategies helps resolve problems decisively. Getting familiar with hardware components, software functions, internet protocols, and more paves the way for DIY fixes when things go wrong. 

Stay proactive by routinely checking system updates, checking connectivity health, researching product support materials in advance, and more. Save installation guides, warranties, gear manuals, and any other technical references for all of your essential electronics and accounts. These smart maintenance habits bolster your ability to troubleshoot and bounce back from common device or app malfunctions and frustrations.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.