How do you troubleshoot email problems?
Have you ever had email problems? What is your approach to resolve email problems? If you expect to be able to resolve an email problem, you have to understand how mail works. The first thing that most people do to troubleshoot any computer problem is to reboot the computer. That isn’t really the best approach. You need to isolate the problem. “It doesn’t work…” isn’t enough.
Did you notice any error messages when you turned on the computer? Were there any error messages when you started your email application? Your computer consists of a collection of applications or programs. Is there a program causing a problem with email? Do you open a browser such as Google chrome to read your email? Do you start a program such as outlook to read your email? Microsoft has added to many people’s confusion about email. Did you know that there is an email client, outlook, and a mail server, outlook.com?
If you use the browser to connect to your email provider and read your email, you are using webmail. If you open outlook, the program to read your email, you are using an email client to read your email. The email client downloads your email from the email server and is displayed on your computer. There are pros and cons for each approach. The best approach depends on the user. There is not one solution best for everyone.
The first thing to check and it doesn’t matter how you read your email, is to check your network. Are you able to connect to the Internet? Is anyone else’s computer having connection problems? Another computer makes diagnosing a network problem easier. If one computer can connect, you have a good connection.
Is the network provider’s hardware active? Are there lights on it? Many times, the network provider will reconfigure their network equipment. A modem restart is sometimes required to resolve a configuration issue.
Open a browser and check your home page. Don’t just be satisfied if something is displayed on the browser. Is it really active? Are you able to click on links and see the screen change? Browsers keep “cache”, pronounced “cash”, and will display “remembered” information about webpages that are accessed frequently.
If you have determined that your network is ok and the problem is your computer, check the cable from the network provider to the computer or wireless connection. Network wires on the floor are easily damaged and can hours of unnecessary troubleshooting time. If you check the wires, make sure that they are connected properly. Do you know the proper places to connect your network equipment?
Don’t make assumptions without the proper information. Following common sense diagnostic procedures makes troubleshooting much easier.