Have you tried turning it off and on again?

It’s a question we ask over and over, with the answer usually being no. “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” It’s such a common phrase it’s become a trope in TV shows like The Big Bang Theory and I.T. Crowd. Although it seems like computers, routers, phones, and other devices should be able to be turned on and stay on; they often have problems after a period of time. In a large number of cases restarting your devices is all that needs to be done.

Lucas detailed in a previous column the procedure to restart all your devices when a printer isn’t working, and this also works in many other cases. If your phone, tablet, or even smart TV isn’t connecting to the internet, the first thing you should do is try restarting your device. If that doesn’t work, restarting the router is the next step. Trying this first can save you a lot of time and money if it fixes your issue!

Although restarting your device can resolve a lot of problems there is a point where you should get it replaced before it goes out. If you have to restart your router every week or more, it’s on it’s last leg and should be replaced before it completely stops working. The same goes for computers, although they can be repaired rather than replaced. As a general rule, if you have to restart about once a month it’s time to start thinking about a budget for a replacement.

Just remember anytime something electronic isn’t working, the first question your IT professional will ask is probably “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” and you might just save yourself some headaches.

Updated: October 1, 2018 — 10:12 am