When Your Electronic Device Stops Working

Technology can be confusing. When a device stops working, it makes matters worse. You wonder if you did something wrong, or if there is something wrong with the device.   Knowing the steps to take to troubleshoot the problem can save you from frustration, and help you get up and running again.

Technology may stop working as it should because of user error (i.e., you hit a button and messed up settings).  Other times, there can be a defect in the device’s software or hardware.  Go through the following steps to fix or isolate the problem and determine if the device needs to be repaired.


Troubleshooting Electronics – Tips & Tricks:

These steps begin with the easiest way to get out of an unwanted menu screen or frozen device and progress to more extreme measures of resetting the device to factory settings.  Start with step No. 1 and try each step before moving on to the next. There is no need to continue if any step fixes the problem.

For devices with a Remote:

  1. Press EXIT, CANCEL, RETURN or BACK — or a button that has a single arrow pointing to the left (not near the play/pause buttons).
  2. If the problem is with a smartphone, close the app completely (end the task in Android, swipe the app away on an iPhone or iPad), or FORCE QUIT a program on a computer.

For devices with a Power button or not:

  1. Press and hold down the Power button on the device for several seconds (count to 10 or more). If it turns off, count to 30 and turn it back on with the same power button.
  2. Some devices don’t have power buttons, or may not shut off.  In these cases, unplug the device’s power cord.  Wait 30 seconds or more, then plug it back in.

For devices connected to a TV:

  1. If it is a device that is connected to a TV – a Roku box, media player, Blu-ray player, etc.
  2. Turn off the TV and device.
  3. Then disconnect the cable(s) that connect the device to the TV.
  4. Try reconnecting the device to a different TV input if possible. (Remember that you will find the device on a new input if you make a change.)
  5. If it is a device that is connected to a TV is still not working, it could be the failure of the cable itself.
  6. Connect with a new (or different) cable. Use a cable that you know is working on another device: Disconnect the cable from the other device at the device (leave it connected to the TV). Connect the cable to the device that isn’t working.
  7. If this solves your problem, reconnect the original device and buy a new cable for the device that isn’t working.

iPhone Troubleshooting & More:

If your iPhone, iPad or iPod freezes, won’t react to touch, or stops working:  

  1. First, try to restart the phone by pressing and holding the power button on the top of the phone.  
  2. Swipe right on the red bar, count to 10 and power the phone back on.
  3. If that doesn’t fix the problem, or if the power off screen doesn’t appear, reset the phone (it won’t affect your apps or settings).  Press and hold the home button on the bottom while pressing and holding the power button on the top of the phone. Once the screen goes black, count to 10 and power back on with the top button.  
  4. If that doesn’t work you may need to restore the phone by connecting to iTunes on your computer. Be sure you have been regularly backing up your phone, as a restore will cause you to lose your settings and apps.
  5. If a device is still giving you problems, you may need to reset it.  Before you do, consider calling the customer help line for your device so you don’t have to reconfigure it from scratch.
  6. If you see a menu screen, navigate to “Reset to Factory Settings” or “Reset to Defaults.” Once this is complete, you will have to log in to the different apps and setup accounts. 
  7. If you can’t see a menu screen, press the reset button on a device. The reset button may be a small hole into which you push an opened paper clip. Hold the reset until the device restarts. If all else fails, call the customer service tech support line for the device. 
  8. Once you have tech support on the line, you’ll save time by telling them which troubleshooting steps you’ve already completed. Be calm.  I know people who man those customer service lines. There will be an answer, even if it is a repair or replacing the device.  
  9. Hope this helps! -  Barb Gonzalez ~ The Simple Tech Guru

Read Barb’s Recent Blogs & Guides

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