Frequently Asked IT Questions

Working in IT support for so many different kinds of businesses, we get asked a wide range of questions about common ...

Working in IT support for so many different kinds of businesses, we get asked a wide range of questions about common occurring IT issues. That’s why we’ve created the below list to help you troubleshoot some common IT issues yourself.



My computer crashed – what do I do? 

There are few things more frustrating than when you’re working hard and your computer suddenly crashes. There are so many reasons as to why your computer may crash or freeze, it's not always easy to know why or what to do. Most of the time a simple restart will fix the problem. If it doesn’t, open the Task Manager to see which program isn’t responding, and close it. Most of the time this should do the trick.

Why isn’t my computer turning on? 

The first thing to do is check the power cord is fully plugged into the wall socket, and it’s switched on. I know it sounds silly but we've all done it at one point or another. If you’re using a plug strip, then ensure that it’s completely plugged into the wall, and the power strip is turned on.  Some plug strips have built-in circuit breakers (this looks like a black or red button that’s near the power switch). Reset it to see if that turns your computer on.

What happens if my hard drive dies? 

Your hard drive will typically store all your files: word docs, videos, photos… if that fails and you don’t have a backup, then it can cause serious issues. Hard drives have a limited lifetime, usually 3-4 years, It’s important that you always back up your important files. We recommend using Microsoft Sharepoint or another cloud solution so you’ll always have your documents available, should your hard disk fail. Keep an inventory sheet on your hardware ages and plan to replace hardware every 4 years at most.

Why can’t I send or receive emails? 

One of the most common reasons why you can’t send/receive emails, is because your computer isn’t connected to the internet. If your connection isn’t the issue, then check your email server isn’t encountering any issues – if that is the problem, you will need your IT team to help. Another common cause is if your emails are set to the offline mode. To reconnect, just click on the Send/Receive tab, and check if the Work Offline button is shaded. If so, you will need to click it to get your email back online.

Why am I unable to open email attachments? 

If your inbox is full, then you won’t be able to receive any attachments that are sent, so the first step is to delete any emails you no longer need. Another common cause is that the sender has attached a file that’s too big, which is why you can’t receive it. You may also be using advanced security settings, which will quarantine any spam or suspicious looking emails. Take a look at your Junk messages to see if your emails have been blocked under one of these policies. If you're using Microsoft 365 for your email, you can check your quarantined email and release emails that you know are legit. Follow these steps to do so:

Why is my monitor black?

If you’ve stepped away from your computer for a while and you’ve found your screen has turned black, it’s likely just gone into sleep mode. Moving your mouse around will have it back up and running. If that’s not the case, then click the power button on the monitor to see if it’s turned on. You should also check the back of your computer to ensure your monitor and all cables, are properly plugged in.

What do I do if I get a “No Signal Input” Message?

A “no signal input” message appears when there is no image displayed from your PC to your monitor. If this happens, then first of all, you should check that your monitor is correctly connected to the computer, and no cables are loose. You can do this by disconnecting all cables that are plugged into the back of the monitor. Finally, reconnect all the cables to see if that resolves the issue.

How do I get rid of the blank space around my screen saver?

If you’ve recently changed your screen’s resolution, sometimes the monitor may not auto-adjust to the correct size. Try to either change the resolution back to the original setting, or manually adjust the monitor yourself. Adjusting the horizontal or vertical width will usually solve the issue. You can also google by looking up your monitor model settings and troubleshooting.

Why Is my mouse not going where I want it to?

If you have a desktop computer, then you’re most likely using an optical mechanical mouse; and the most common reason for it acting erratically is because it’s dirty. Clean your mouse with a sanitizer wipe and if it’s still acting erratically, then it’s likely to be defective and will need replacing. To confirm this, plug the mouse into a different computer to see if it behaves in the same way. It may be that the batteries need replacing, so it’s worth replacing them with new ones, to see if your mouse starts working again.

Why has my mouse or keyboard stopped working? 

If your mouse or keyboard has stopped working, and it isn’t because it’s frozen, you’ll need to check that they’re connected properly. For wired ones, check they’re plugged in correctly into the computer. If your mouse or computer is wireless, make sure that the dongle is plugged in and that both accessories are switched on. And when in doubt, replace the batteries.

How do I clear the print queue?

A print queue is a list of all documents that are scheduled to be printed, and you’ll want to clear this if you no longer want to print all of the documents. To clear your print queue, simply locate your printer settings, and right click on the correct printer. You’ll then see a list of all documents, which you can then right click and cancel.

My wireless printer won't connect?

The answer that no one likes to hear but usually works, shut down the printer, wait a minute or two and then restart it. It will usually reconnect to the internet on it's own. If not, you will need to go into the network settings to try to reconnect it. If that still doesn't work, call us.

How do I fix a paper jam? 

If the paper has jammed, then the first thing you need to do is turn the printer off. If you can visibly see the paper, then manually remove it – being careful you don’t tear it. You should also open the printer door to see if there is any more paper that’s stuck inside. Once you’ve removed all of it, you should be able to turn the printer back on and use it again. Following the instructions on the printer display should usually get you back up and running.

I'm not able to connect to the company server from home? 

You will need to check about the SSL VPN access – this could be through a terminal server, or cloud services, depending on what your company prefers. To find your computer’s name, go to your Control panel click on System. When the window opens, you will see your Computer Name under the Computer name, domain and workgroup settings. IHere, you’ll see your internet access details and machine name. You can try to reconnect through settings or call us,

Can I turn my windows computer off without doing a shut down?

Technically you can just shut your computer off by pressing the power button, as opposed to using the Start button. However, you should only do this if there’s an issue with your computer and it won’t switch off. We would only advise this as a last resort, because it can cause issues such as data loss. Microsoft created the shut down feature to ensure that a computer goes through all the steps it needs to before turning off. That’s why if you just shut it down using the power button and then restart it, it comes up with a warning saying that your computer didn’t shut down properly.

Can I get a virus on a Mac? 

Yes, yes and yes, it’s a myth that Macs aren't vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and viruses. To help prevent this, as a minimum you should invest in anti-virus software, and ensure your OS is kept up to date at all times.

How do I delete my browsing history?

If you’re using Google Chrome, click on More and History, then click on Clear Browsing Data on the left-hand side. If you want to clear everything, then select the beginning of time. Microsoft Edge works similarly too: to view your browsing history, select settings, history and Clear all History.

How Do I Delete My Cookies? 

If you’re on Google Chrome, to delete your cookies you should click on the three dots in the right-hand corner, then Settings and Advanced. Under Privacy and Security, click on Content Settings, Cookies. You can then click Remove All under All Cookies and Site Data, and confirm by clicking Clear All. If you’re using Microsoft Edge, then click the three dots, then Settings and Choose What to Clear. Click on the Cookies and Saved Website Data box, and then clear it.

How Can I Browse in Private or Incognito Mode? 

You may decide to use incognito mode for various reasons: it keeps your browsing activities private, will automatically delete your history, and you won’t pick up any cookies either. If you’re using Chrome, select the More button (3 dots in the top right hand side), and select New Incognito Window. In Edge,, press Ctrl+Shift+P to open a private tab (Side note- your history is not 100% invisible, even in incognito mode.)

How Do I Change My Default Browser? 

To make Chrome or Microsoft Edge your default browser, open Chrome or Edge, then click More Settings. You can then choose to select Chrome or Edge under the Default Browser section.


How Do I Save Favorites and Bookmarks?

Favorites and Bookmarks are the same thing, it just depends which browser you use, as to what they’re called. To save a URL as a bookmark in Chrome, click on the three dots on your chosen page, and select Bookmark this page. For Microsoft Edge, click the star on the top right corner, then you can choose to add the URL to either your favorites section.

How Do I Clear My Password History? 

If you want to clear your password history on Chrome, then click on the three dots in the right-hand corner, and Settings. By clicking on Show Advanced Settings, you can manage your passwords and delete any saved passwords. To do this in Microsoft Edge, click on More Actions, Settings, Advanced Settings. Scroll down to Manage my Saved Passwords, then select which passwords you’d like to delete.

Microsoft Office FAQs

Word, Excel and Outlook:

How Do I Retrieve an Unsaved File? To retrieve a document, click on File, Recent, then scroll down to Recent Documents:

Word documents: Recover Unsaved Documents

Excel: Recover Unsaved Workbooks

PowerPoint: Recover Unsaved Presentations

You will then find a list of unsaved files – select the file you want, open it and Save As. Tip: Use Ctrl + S to save changes to your documents regularly.

How Do I Add a Shortcut to My Desktop? 

Adding a shortcut to your desktop is easy, just right click on your chosen file, then click Send to Desktop. Alternatively, right click anywhere on your desktop and select New then Shortcut, and browse to your chosen file or destination.

How Do I Know If My PC or laptop Is up to Date? 

Operating systems should be set to automatically update, so they should stay up to date. Some companies will enforce this as a policy in which case you will see a message to let you know this is managed by a system administrator.

How Do I Restore Files From My Recycle Bin? 

Open your recycle bin to find all of your deleted files. To restore the files you want, simply right click on it, and select Restore.

I hope these frequently asked IT questions come in handy and you find them easy to use. Of course, if you need more assistance, we are here to help you solve all of your business's IT issues. If you have a question about IT and think that we should add it to this post, add your comments below. We would love to help as many people as possible with their IT pains as possible.

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