I'm having trouble with my technology; can you help me troubleshoot?


Library staff can help troubleshoot your technology, but there are some things you may want to try yourself. Here are our best troubleshooting tips.


  • If a site isn't working, try closing the site, or logging out, and then re-opening or logging back in. Often, this will reset your session.
  • Restart the software program you're using. This involves closing it, then opening it again (e.g. close all tabs open in your browser, and close the browser).
  • Restart your computer. Power it down, then start it back up again. It often helps to give it a real break before you boot it up again. If you need a global reset, choose "shut down" rather than "restart," and manually start it up after a minute or two.
  • Reset your modem and/or your router (applies if your normally awesome Internet connection fails). Sometimes you'll need to have your modem, router, and computer all off at the same time to reset the connection properly.

Try the Same Thing in a Different Order

If something seems like it "should" work, but won't - particularly if you have many moving parts - consider trying to reach the end goal through a different step-by-step process. Sometimes computers need one element to be in place before they'll execute the next element, so order can matter a lot. You may need to try a few different orders before you find the 'right' way. This trick is especially helpful if you are using open source software.

Try Using Similar, but Different, Software

This is a great trick if you're using any online application. Anything you access through a web browser might behave oddly due to the browser, not the actual program itself. Each browser has unique quirks, and no one browser works perfectly for everything. Best to have at least two, or even three.

If Chrome won't display something, try using Firefox (or Safari. Or Internet Explorer. Or any other browser).

If Excel isn't working, try using Google Sheets or Numbers (on a Mac).

If you don't have PowerPoint (Windows) or Keynote (Mac), try using Prezi or Google Slides.

Check Your Settings

If you're trying to do something in a browser, and it's not working as expected, check your browser settings. If you have a pop-up blocker installed, it may be preventing links from opening. You may need to clear your browser's cache, or delete your browser history. Previous settings could be getting in the way of new tasks. 

Don't Forget to Log Out

If you're using VMware, make sure you log out when you're finished, to ensure you have completely ended your session. VMware is delivered through the cloud, and failure to log out may cause difficulty when you next use it, as the system will try to continue your previous session, instead of starting a new session.

Get Help From Google

It's likely that the issue you're experiencing has happened to someone else already. Search Google for tips on resolving the issue.

Some things that will help you get more relevant Google results:

  • Use specific versions (numbers or words). Rather than saying "Windows", try "Windows 10". In terms of browsers, try including a version. Instead of  "Firefox", try specifying "Firefox 40." 
  • Play with keywords. If a search for "Excel Formula" doesn't work, try "Excel Calculation" or "Excel Addition."

Think Laterally

Clarify your goal. Then ask yourself whether an alternative vehicle could get you where you need to go. Usually there is some way you can get what you need using a different piece of hardware or software (or maybe not even using a computer at all!!).

For example, if you need to download something off a website, but can't find a way to do it, try taking a screenshot. Or, if you need to embed a video in a discussion board post but can't figure out how to work the embed code, ask yourself if a link would suffice.

Back everything up, and SAVE OFTEN

Never assume you can rely on your technology.

If a file is important, keep a second copy. Even if it is online / hosted in the cloud, keep a copy on your own computer or on a USB stick.

What happens if your Internet goes down and you can't work on your project, but you need to finish it by midnight? If you have that back-up copy, you'll be laughing.

Save your work OFTEN. If you work in the cloud, often your documents will be saved automatically. However, it doesn't hurt to check. What if you've lost the Internet connection without realizing, and your work hasn't saved? Don't lose hours of work because you forgot to save, or make a back-up copy.

Check the IT Portal

RDP IT Services' portal may have an answer for you, but if you don't find what you need, you can log in with your RDP username and password to submit a question to the IT Services staff. 

If you need further assistance, please contact IT Services | ServiceDesk@rdpolytech.ca.


  • Last Updated Jan 31, 2024
  • Views 448
  • Answered By RDP Library

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