My Super Simple, Super Frugal, Quick Fix for Faulty Technology

posted by Andrea | 11/8/2017
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Although I am fairly good at navigating my way around the internet (I’ve even learned quite a bit of HTML coding for my blog), I am essentially worthless when it comes to “fixing” any type of faulty, broken, or malfunctioning technology.

Thankfully, I’m good at following instructions, so I can watch a YouTube video or call customer service for help!

That said, over the years, I have learned one super simple, super frugal, quick fix for faulty technology that has worked over and over and over again for me…

Shutdown and Unplug Your Device!

I know… it sounds totally lame and not very “techie” at all. But you would not believe how many times this simple piece of advice has worked for me!

I’m to the point now that whenever any piece of technology, any gadget, or even any any appliances is acting up, the very first thing I try is to shut it down (or turn it off) and completely unplug the item from any power source (this would include removing any batteries).

A Few Examples:ย 

  • My phone battery was draining SO quickly, even after troubleshooting via support forms on the internet. Then I completely shut down the phone, waited a minute or two, turned it back on… and (just like magic) no more battery issues!
  • My desktop computer was running slowly and my pictures weren’t transferring over from my phone. I shut it down, unpluged the power cord for a minute, plugged it back in, and things were back up and running smoothly again.
  • Our microwave was acting up… until I unplugged it and plugged it back in again.
  • Our printer wasn’t feeding the paper correctly even after I verified I had it in the tray correctly. I simply shut it down, unplugged it, and started over again — no more paper problems!
  • Our Chromecast kept “disconnecting” in the middle of watching a show and I’d have to reconnect it and start the whole process over again. However, after unplugging the Chromecast from our TV and then plugging it back in again, it now stays connected.
  • Our wireless internet router periodically has various problems sending and receiving a signal. I wasted so much time on hold with customer service until I got smart and simply unplugged it, waited 30-60 seconds, and plugged it back in again.

I realize this is so simple you might not believe it could work — but I actually talked with an AppleCare Support tech about a year ago, and they verified that unplugging a piece of technology is actually a very good way to “fix” any weird issues.

Apparently, so many of our electronics have computerized elements inside, and unplugging them is one REALLY SIMPLE way to “reset” those internal computers again.

Of course, this quick fix won’t work for every tech issue you encounter — but considering it’s completely free, super easy to do, and only takes a few seconds, it’s probably worth a shot the next time you experience an issue with your technology!

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26 comments

  1. Pat

    11/10/2017

    I have an iPhone 7. It gets crazy every few weeks. I shut it down, wait a few minutes and start it back up and it works fine again for a few more weeks. We used to take the battery out but you canโ€™t do that anymore.

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  2. Debra Martin

    11/10/2017

    Every time I call the Apple Tech out line…they ask if I have turned off the item and let it rest a bit. Now I know the off button and the breaker box can save phone calls and repair visits, not always, but often!
    Good post!

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  3. blinkbonnie

    11/10/2017

    This worked for my 13 yr old dishwasher. It stopped and wouldn’t run thru a cycle. I called the repair man and he explained how to reset the control panel. It still didn’t work and he said to shut off the breaker, wait overnight and try again and it works fine now.

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — that’s great! Saved you a bunch of money I’m sure!

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  4. Veneta | Becoming Life Smart

    11/08/2017

    That’s a very good point, Andrea! I’ve done this before but never thought about it as an actual strategy to fix something. I’m going to make a point of trying this first anytime I have an issue with faulty technology. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Andrea Reply:

    sometimes the simplest things are the most effective — I love it when that happens!

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  5. Erin M

    11/08/2017

    I did this with my clothes dryer within the last few months. It wasn’t staying on after I let pressure off the power button. After unplugging it and plugging it back, we’re back in business!

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh yeah, I’ve had to do it with my washing machine before too!

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  6. JJ

    11/08/2017

    Yesss!!! Haha!!!! One time I called my dad crying from college because my printer wasn’t printing. He asked if I had put in a nww cartidge, and I told him I had. He then asked if I had taken the clear “tape” off the bottom of the cartidge. Nope! A simple fix! Great post!

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh the drama of faulty technology! I’ve definitley shed my fair share of tears over technology that I can’t get to work!

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    JJ Reply:

    That is totally understandable! Especially with an online job, it’s a necessity for cooperative technology! My online job requires video chats with my students(every time!), so it is stressful when things aren’t up and running. Actually this morning I had an issue with my mic, so I pulled it out and plugged in again and then restarted. Phew! I thought of your post!

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — I always shy away from video things because I feel like so many things can go wrong! Glad you got your video up and running!

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  7. Lee Cockrum

    11/08/2017

    I just had to do this for my next door neighbor’s television! She called to say that she couldn’t get it to turn off, or to turn on. (That made me scratch my head as I figured that off or on were the only 2 available options!) It turned out that the screen was frozen! I guess that is sort of a third option between off and on! Thankfully the unplug and replug after about 10 seconds worked like a charm! Made me look amazing!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — you’re the hero!

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  8. Meghan

    11/08/2017

    At my work, you donโ€™t dare call IT until you shut down your device. Nothing is more embarrassing than sitting next to the IT guy while he shuts down your computer and โ€œfixesโ€ the problem.

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  9. Jean

    11/08/2017

    This reminds me of another quote which makes me smile because it is so true:

    โ€œAlmost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.โ€

    โ€• Anne Lamott

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    Andrea Reply:

    this is great! Thanks for sharing Jean!

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  10. Susie

    11/08/2017

    Makes sense. Batteries are DC power and the electric grid is AC power (if l got them right)… Thomas Edison vs Tessla. My husband is the technical one and says batteries are a big disruption to the grid. Lol, here I sound like I know something and I should look it up to make sure my facts are right.

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — you do sound very knowledgeable! Who cares if your facts are a little off ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. Caroline

    11/08/2017

    This reminds me of the British television show, The IT Crowd. The running bit is that every phone call is answered “Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

    So simple, yet so effective.

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    Laura Reply:

    I was JUST going to post this! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    Amy Reply:

    Ha ha ha! That is awesome!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I haven’t heard of that show, but it’s GREAT advice!!

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    JoDi Reply:

    LOL – IT Pro here, and that is the first thing we ask people. It fixes the majority of problems.

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh good — glad to know I’m not alone and that even the pros recommend this tip!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Brandette Winblad Reply:

    GREAT Show! My husband is an avid techie, so the running line from the show “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” is a common saying in our house. We find it so funny.

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