Our IT support helpdesk encounters a wide range of frequently asked questions (FAQs) from business users. However, some issues can be resolved fairly easily without having to wait in line for a member of our IT support helpdesk team to become available.
In this article, we’re going to list a handful of the most frequently asked questions we receive at our IT support helpdesk — and provide you with solutions by yourself.
Although our IT support helpdesk resolves a high turnover of queries quickly, some of the questions we are asked by business users can be resolved in under a minute by addressing them yourself. This could mean you can fix the problem quicker than it takes you to get to the front of the queue.
I can’t access my work email from home
This is a common issue remote workers encounter on the first day. The problem usually occurs because accessing a work email from a home computer requires a webmail portal such as Microsoft Outlook that allows you to access your work email through a web browser.
The remedy is, therefore, to open your preferred web browser and type the URL provided by your IT department for accessing webmail. It’s often in the format “https://webmail.company.com” or similar.
Did you get an email from your in-house team and write down the URL. Probably not, or you wouldn’t be phoning your IT support team about your email.
Once you know what web portal your company is using, setting up email is straightforward. Use your existing login credentials, receive a two-factor authentication notification to your phone, enter the code and access your email.
I’m working from home and can’t access the company network. What should I do?
Connectivity issues to the corporate network, including VPN and remote access happen all the time. The reasons are varied and many — too many to list remedies for all of them, but there are a few checks you might want to look into before contacting your IT support team.
Common resolutions include:
- Check you are connected to the internet
- Verify your login credentials for the network are correct
- The network is under maintenance (check your email for notification)
- Check your firewall and software security settings are not denying you access (this can sometimes happen after an update)
- Clear browser cache and cookies
- Check your VPN client is installed and correctly configured
- Try accessing the network from another device
- And if all else fails, turn your computer off and turn it on again (hey, you never know, sometimes it works!)
My computer is running slowly. What should I do?
Business users often seek assistance from an IT support helpdesk when their computer slows. IT professionals may be able to troubleshoot performance issues for you, but if you can’t resolve the issue, check for malware, or upgrade the hardware.
1. Oftentimes, slow computer performance can be resolved by closing energy-zapping programs like editing software. Too many open internet browsers and file transfers also slow down your computer.
2. Use Task Manager on Windows or Activity Monitor on macOS to identify processes or applications that are consuming excessive CPU or memory. You can end or restart problematic processes from here.
3. If your on-board storage space is full, this also slows down your computer. Move data to cloud storage or on to an external hard drive.
I’m having trouble printing. Can you fix it?
Printing problems, such as printer errors or document formatting issues, are frequent IT support requests. Troubleshooting printing issues can be a bit complex, but there are several steps you can take to diagnose and potentially resolve the problem.
1. Check Hardware Connections
Ensure that your printer is properly connected to your computer or network. Verify that all cables and connections are secure. If it’s a wireless printer, make sure it’s connected to the correct Wi-Fi network.
2. Verify Printer Power and Status
Ensure that the printer is powered on and in a ready state. Check for any error messages or blinking lights on the printer’s control panel that may indicate issues.
3. Clear Print Queue
Sometimes, print jobs can get stuck in the print queue, causing new print jobs to fail. Clear the print queue by following these steps:
On Windows: Go to Control Panel > Devices and Printers, right-click on your printer, and select “See what’s printing.” From the menu, click “Cancel All Documents.”
On macOS: Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners, select your printer, and click the “Open Print Queue” button. Delete any pending print jobs.
4. Check Printer Driver
Ensure that you have the correct and up-to-date printer driver installed on your computer. Visit the printer manufacturer’s website to download and install the latest driver for your printer model.
5. Restart the Printer and Computer
I accidentally deleted an important file. Can you recover it?
Accidentally deleting an important file can be distressing, but there are steps you can take to attempt file recovery. Here’s a quick-step-by-step guide.
1. Check the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (macOS)
If you deleted the file recently, it might still be in the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (macOS). Open the Recycle Bin or Trash, locate the file, and restore it to its original location.
2. Use File History or Time Machine (Windows and macOS
If you have enabled File History (Windows) or Time Machine (macOS) for backups, you can recover previous versions of files. Search for “File History” (Windows) or “Time Machine” (macOS) in your system settings or use the built-in search to access these features and restore the file from a previous backup.
3. Restore from Backup
If you have a backup system in place (e.g., external hard drive backups, cloud-based backups, or network backups), you can restore the deleted file from your backup. Access your backup solution and locate the file in a previous backup version.
4. Check for Shadow Copies (Windows)
Windows may create “shadow copies” of files that can be used for recovery. Right-click on the folder where the file was located, select “Properties,” and go to the “Previous Versions” tab. If there’s a previous version available, you can restore it.
5. Use File Recovery Software
If you don’t have a backup or if the above methods didn’t work, consider using file recovery software. There are many third-party file recovery tools available for both Windows and macOS. Examples include Recuva, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard (Windows), or Disk Drill (macOS). Follow the instructions provided by the software to scan for and recover deleted files. Be sure to install the software on a different drive or location to avoid overwriting the deleted file.
6. Stop Using the Drive
To maximise the chances of file recovery, avoid using the drive where the file was deleted for any new data storage or file operations. Continued use of the drive may overwrite the deleted file, making it unrecoverable.
7. Prevent Future Data Loss
To avoid future data loss, regularly back up your important files and documents. Consider using automatic backup solutions, external hard drives, cloud storage, or network-attached storage (NAS) devices.
Remember that the chances of successful file recovery depend on several factors, including how much time has passed since the file was deleted, whether the storage space has been overwritten, and the effectiveness of the recovery method used. Therefore, it’s essential to act quickly and follow the appropriate steps to increase the likelihood of recovering your deleted file.
I received a suspicious email. Is it a phishing attempt?
When you receive an email from an unknown sender or an email that looks remotely suspicious (think spoof emails), you should exercise caution and avoid clicking any links or downloading attachments.
The best course of action is to delete them. But emails you think are borderline dangerous but could be safe, should be reported to your IT support team for further clarification. We can check to see whether any malware can be detected on the file and open any attachments or links in a safe environment.
For more information about how to detect phishing emails check out our article: What is Phishing?
My mobile device won’t sync with my email/calendar. Can you assist?
If your mobile device is not syncing with your email and calendar, it can be frustrating, but there are steps you can take to troubleshoot and resolve the issue. Here’s the general advice our IT support helpdesk team provide to help get email and calendar syncing correctly on a mobile device:
1. Check Internet Connection
Ensure that your mobile device is connected to the internet, either through Wi-Fi or mobile data. Syncing requires an active internet connection.
2. Verify Account Settings
Double-check the account settings on your mobile device to ensure they are correctly configured for email and calendar syncing. Here’s how to do it.
For iOS (iPhone/iPad)
Go to “Settings” > “Mail” or “Accounts & Passwords.”
Select your email account and verify the settings, including the incoming and outgoing server information.
For calendar syncing, go to “Settings” > “Calendar” and select your calendar account to review settings.
Open the “Settings” app.
Depending on your device and Android version, you may find the email settings under “Accounts,” “Email,” or “Users & Accounts.”
Select your email account and review the settings.
For calendar syncing, check the calendar settings in the “Calendar” app or within the email app settings.
3. Check Account Credentials
Ensure that you have entered the correct email address and password for your account. Typos or incorrect credentials can prevent syncing.
4. Test Sync Manually
Some devices allow you to manually initiate a sync. Try manually syncing your email and calendar to see if it works
On iOS, go to “Settings” > “Mail” or “Calendar” and select “Accounts” to manually sync your accounts.
On Android, in the email or calendar app, you may find a “Refresh” or “Sync” option in the app’s menu.
5. Verify Server Status
Check if the email and calendar servers of your service provider are operational. Sometimes, server issues can affect syncing. Visit the provider’s status page or contact their support for updates.
Clear App Cache (Android)
On Android devices, clearing the cache of the email and calendar apps can sometimes resolve syncing problems. Go to “Settings” > “Apps” > select the email or calendar app > “Storage” > “Clear Cache.”
6. Update the App
7. Re-add your Account
8. Enable Sync Settings
In some cases, your device may have sync settings disabled. Make sure sync is enabled for email and calendar in your device’s settings.
9. Perform a Factory Reset (Last Resort)
As a last resort, you can perform a factory reset on your mobile device. However, this should only be done if other troubleshooting steps have failed, as it will erase all data on your device.
I think my computer is infected with malware. What shall I do?
If you suspect that your computer is infected with malware, it’s essential to take immediate action to prevent further damage and protect your data and privacy.
Our IT support helpdesk team will tell you to disconnect your computer from the internet and the business network to prevent the malware from communicating with its command and control servers or spreading to other devices on your network.
An IT professional will then take your device and perform various checks including deep anti-virus scans, data backup, software and operating system updates, password renewals, firewall protection and removal of unauthorised browser extensions.
Micro Pro — Meet Our Award-Winning IT Support Helpdesk
Our celebrated award-winning IT support team excel in the delivery of Strategic IT Support for businesses of all sizes. Since our inception on 2007, our motto has been to deliver fast and efficient resolution and exceptional business IT support for local businesses in London and the southeast.
Over the last 16 years, we’ve developed a reputation amongst our clients as a reliable IT support partner by consistently being responsive, knowledgeable and proactive. You will struggle to find a more committed IT Support helpdesk in London and the southeast.
Contact us today so your IT issues can be resolved quickly and smoothly. Our IT support helpdesk is waiting for your call.