What does the word troubleshoot mean? You’ve probably heard it mostly in relation to computers, right? If you ever run into a problem with your computer, you’re always told to first do some troubleshooting. But, what does it mean exactly? How are you supposed to know what to do?

Well, troubleshooting simply means isolating the problem that you are experiencing so you can work toward fixing it completely. Also, troubleshooting is mostly a process of elimination and it can often be going on a whim and just guessing what’s wrong.

When you’re having a problem with something within your system, you should first figure out where the problem lies and compile some possible reasons why it’s happening. You should then investigate your reasons, starting with the most obvious or the most easiest to fix. Troubleshooting usually refers to a hardware problem (whereas debugging is related to software problems).

Let’s say you’ve been having problems with your mouse. It basically just quit working as well as it usually does. So, what could be the problem? Well, to solve the issue, just start troubleshooting. The most obvious reason (to me, anyway) would be that it might just be a little dirty and it needs cleaned out. Another possible reason could be that the cord got a little loose and it just needs pushed back in. Or it could be a power problem or the mouse could just be dead (hopefully that’s not the case, but it does happen!) Now, start from the beginning. Clean out your mouse and if that doesn’t help, try the next troubleshoot option. You’ll eventually figure out what’s wrong and be able to fix it.

If you ever have a problem that runs past any troubleshooting you can do, there’s always technical support from the manufacturers of the product. But, you should always try to fix the problems yourself first.

~ Erin