Have you tried turning it off and on again?

You’re sat at your desk with a pile of work, and several documents and programs open – none of which you can imagine closing within the next several hours. Then your computer starts to play up.

Horror of horrors – you pick up your phone to ring your London IT consultancy, and all you get in return is: ‘Have you tried turning it off and on again?’. The prevailing ‘IT guy’ catchphrase brought into humorous light by Channel 4’s ‘The IT crowd’ is in actual fact of life – unfortunately not a joke, but instead something you must deal with in life. While the parody lives on however, so does the question itself. But why? If your computer isn’t performing, can a restart really help fix it? In short – yes, it often can. The question has become a cliché, but the reason for asking remains the same; it’s a simple action that can fix a multitude of errors. As difficult as it is to pay for a not-exactly-cheap London IT consultancy, and in the throes of an IT crisis have to hear such seemingly meaningless words, before getting angry – find out the truth behind this.

Why do they ask?

Your IT support company London isn’t being lazy by asking you to do this; they are in fact ruling out minor system errors. The fact is that restarting a computer is a way of defining whether this is an issue for the IT department or not. There are around seven commands that run automatically when you a restart a computer. Without restarting the system, those seven commands turn into seven manual troubleshooting steps – so the restart saves time. What type of problems require a reboot?

• ‘My computer is being slow!’
• ‘I’m connected to the internet but my browser won’t recognise it’
• ‘That document just won’t print!’
• My PC is overheating

Dealing with any of these issues? The truth is that a restart often fixes the more common computer problems – and PC troubleshooting should always start with a reboot. Restarting simply refreshes your confused or clogged computer and gives it the opportunity to start again. That way, if the problem persists then you know to tell your IT guy that yes, you’ve tried turning it off and back on again, and the problem has not been resolved! Windows has been created to react to certain errors by restarting – and any time you’ve seen the dreaded blue screen of death, you may have noticed it tells you that it needs to be shut down to prevent damage. In the case of a less serious problem, windows may not prompt you to do this, but will usually be grateful when you do.

Next time your computer plays up, save all of your documents, properly close all of your programs and hit restart. If the computer still has problems, call your IT guy now. Don’t rush into grabbing the phone book and looking up ‘IT support company London’ – give your London IT consultancy a chance. They know what they are doing. Now really, have you turned it off and back on again?

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