What's the most common IT help request you get from friends and family?

Are you the IT specialist in your circle of friends? What tech questions do you field at the dinner table? Take our poll.
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112 readers like this
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WOCinTech Chat. Modified by Opensource.com. CC BY-SA 4.0

We are approaching that time of year when many folks are visiting family members or reconnecting with old friends during the holiday season. Your loved ones may or may not be the most tech-savvy. Our readers tend to fill the sysadmin role after hours. What kind of IT requests do you receive?

The compatibility of the operating system could affect your ability to assist. If you typically use an Android device, are you up for the challenge of troubleshooting an iPhone problem? How many times do you get some form of the question, "How do I _____ in Windows?"?

Many people ask for help with selecting the best app or shopping for a computer. Do you find yourself constantly trying to influence friends to switch to Linux?

There's also the dilemma of whether or not to give a tech item as a gift. If you give someone a tablet, are you on the hook for providing the recipient with ongoing IT support? 

We're curious: What's the most common IT help request you get? Take our poll. What's the strangest or most challenging request you've received? Tell us your story in the comments. 


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Lauren is the managing editor for Opensource.com. When she's not organizing the editorial calendar or digging into the data, she can be found going on adventures with her family and German shepherd rescue dog, Quailford. She is passionate about spreading awareness of how open source technology and principles can be applied to areas outside the tech industry such as education and government.


I get asked about all of them but my commonest questions are about MS Windows viruses - removal and reccomended anti virus software. These I try to answer as best I can along with... why not try using Linux?

I get a lot of questions of "how do you do this on my phone".

I guess the usual tasks. I am in charge of installing programs, learn how to use them to teach other users, connect devices to the network... I thought that going to the dark side would rid me, but no :D

Usually it's mitigating pop-up adware, a feature Windows 10 introduced with it's GUI, notifications from the antivirus or booting slowness of that OS.

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