When to Call an IT Professional & When to Fix Tech Problems Yourself

 Computers have become intertwined in our daily lives, both in our businesses and our personal lives, to the point that when anything goes wrong, sometimes we’re prone to panic. IT calls generally fall into a small group of symptoms: websites displaying error messages, inability to access data, slow internet or computer processing, the printer won’t accept print commands. And while these issues are common, they are frustrating and interrupt the flow of work. When these problems arise, you need to know when it’s something you can take care of yourself or when you need to involve an IT professional.

DIY IT Solutions

Slow Processing

The operating system will struggle to write files quickly if your computer’s hard drive is full. Move items into the cloud and delete unwanted files to clear out the clutter. Better housekeeping rather than an expensive memory upgrade or replacing equipment is the likely solution.

Draining the machine’s short-term memory, there may be too many processes running in the background. Close programs or applications you aren’t using. Consider whether you need 50 browser tabs and/or 10 apps open at the same time.

Slow Downloads

First, run a test to find out your download and upload speeds are consistent with those advertised by your internet provider. One way to hit the accelerator involves the Domain Name System (DNS), which converts numerical internet protocol addresses into web names. There are many useful tools and apps for finding the best DNS server for your location. Once you’ve changed your router’s DNS server, every computer or device using that router will be updated for faster downloads and web browsing.

Wi-Fi Signal Loss

Unreliable wireless connection can be a disaster for client relations, with web and video conferencing now commonplace. The initial troubleshooting for this issue is switching the router off and back on again. If that doesn’t solve the problem, the wireless router first used to set up the network may be overloaded because too many devices are demanding wi-fi access. You can avoid bottlenecks by installing multiple access points like switching hardware such as desktop PCs and printers to a wired connection. Finally, you may need to reposition the router.

Printing Issues

Mundane printer issues, aside from paper jams and replacing ink cartridges and toners, tend to revolve around ensuring that drivers and software are installed on the computer you want to print from. If the driver has become corrupted, it needs to be reinstalled. Your computer’s control panel or system preferences can help point you in the right direction.

Syncing Work Emails

The use of personal devices presents new challenges in relation to security and connectivity—as well as the pressure these extra systems place on the network. One of the most common requests involves syncing work emails. “Push” needs to be enabled so new data goes to your device from the server.

Solutions for an IT Professional

Sudden Restarting

If your computer is restarting constantly, it could be a virus or adware. Your computer may also be overheating due to too many processes or a faulty fan. In these cases, you need IT technical support right away. If you took some precautions, you work may still be recoverable. Otherwise, you have to restart from scratch yourself.

Website Certificate Issues

Certificate errors reveal themselves as dialog boxes warning that the site you tried to access may have malicious data. Sometimes, you can acknowledge the risk and continue to the website. Other times, you are locked out completely. If you get certificate issues popping up from trusted websites, your system clocks may be out of sync. Security certificates sync up with your system’s clock and if it doesn’t match, the page might not load.

Check your computer’s clock to see if it displays the correct date and time and time zone. If the time changed on you, it could be a sign of a virus, malware, or other issue that requires IT support services sooner rather than later.

Popup Ads

Excessive popup ad malware still affects many business computer systems. Those popup ads are not just annoying, you may have inadvertently downloaded some. They can be a serious security breach. Don’t wait to repair this issue. Have your computers checked and cleaned as soon as possible.

Accidental File Deletion

You may not even realize it happened until it is too late. You were working on a crucial project and suddenly the file is gone. Always check your computer’s fail-safe location: the recycle bin/trash, you’ll need IT support if you cannot locate the file yourself.

USB Issues

There may be a problem with the connection, if your flash drive or other USB device, works fine on some computer systems but not others. It also could be a problem with the device itself. IT support services can resolve the problem and determine where the problem actually lies.


Having a proactive approach to IT boosts productivity whether you’re tackling day-to-day problems yourself or using a specialist IT support service to ensure a quick resolution for issues that may be too big or technical to handle.