Six Things to Try When a Web App Isn’t Working as You Expect

It has happened to all of us at one time or another. You see a cool demonstration of a web app but it doesn’t work the same way when you try it. Or worse, it worked just fine at home but doesn’t work when you try it with a room full of students. Before you call the help desk, try the following six things.

1. Is it you or is it the website? An easy way to find out is to visit then enter the URL of the website you’re trying to use. If you’re familiar with the Windows command terminal you can also try pinging the address of the site you’re trying to use. Here’s a short video about both of those things.

2. Is your browser updated? This isn’t as common as it used to be, but in some instances of a site not working properly the cause can be traced to using an outdated version of a web browser. If you’re using an older version of a browser, not only will some sites not work correctly, you are also opening yourself up to more potential security threats.

3. Do you have cookies enabled? Many websites require cookies in order to offer you the best possible experience.

4. Are you using a pop-up blocker? It is not uncommon for a website to use a pop-up window for account log-ins. If the pop-up is blocked, you won’t be able to log-in.

5. Have you allowed camera and or microphone access? If you’re trying to use a web-based video or audio editing tool, you’ll need to make sure your camera and microphone are accessible. 

6. If none of the steps above have resolved the problem, restarting your computer just might be the thing that fixes your problem. In fact, you might be surprised how often that works. It’s the reason IT help desks ask you to do that when they answer the phone.

All of the steps above are outlined in the PDF that is embedded below.

For more tips and resources like these, subscribe to my weekly newsletter.