Below are four questions submitted to me in their entirety:

“How can I get my search bar and home tab back on my home page?”

“I miss my list of “Favorites”. Is there something similar I can use as easily?”

“My tablet is not working. How can I remedy this?”

“I can’t open my mail app.”

These folks were looking for some advice from WorldStart, but didn’t provide enough information to where I could begin to help them. It’s very important to include the necessary information when you’re looking for tech help. Whether you’re asking a question at WorldStart or posting in a forum or sending an e-mail or chat message to tech support for a product.

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Here are some important details to include when looking for assistance.

The device you’re using. Is it a PC, smartphone or tablet? In some cases, the brand and model can be very important.

The operating system. Are you running Windows or using a Mac? Or maybe a mobile operating system like Android or iOS?

The version of the operating system. Is it Windows 10 or Windows 7? Android Lollipop or Marshmallow?

What specific program or app are you asking about? For example, if you’re missing your favorites – where are they missing from?  Internet Explorer? Firefox? Edge?

You’ll also want to be able to explain what’s happening in a few sentences. Think about a formula like “When I….. this happens.”

“When I press the power button, the tablet won’t turn on.”

“When I try to send a message in Outlook, I get an error.”

Let’s talk about errors. They’re important. If you see one, do your best to get a screenshot of it or at least try to write down specifically what it said. That can be very helpful in figuring out the problem. Sometimes you can just copy an error, put it in a Google search, and find an answer without having to contact anyone.

If you’ve done some troubleshooting yourself, make sure to include a brief explanation of that.  If you’re sending an email, make sure you have a subject line that’s relevant to the issue. “Issue with Mail App in Windows 10” or “Samsung GS4 won’t power on.”

Remember, the person you’re dealing with is probably dealing with dozens if not hundreds of other people with issues, so it doesn’t hurt to jog their memory.

This will make it much easier for people to help you.

~ Cynthia