Get help with your devices
Find out how to support your users and get the help you need with laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers.
Local authorities (LAs), academy trusts, schools and colleges own the devices they receive, and will need to support their users. This should include solving general IT problems (such as password resets and installing software) so that the user can get the most benefit from their device.
LAs and academy trusts should provide support for schools, children, young people and families.
If your school or college owns devices, you need to provide support to the pupils and students you loan them to.
These help guides can be shared with the children and young people using the devices:
- Getting started with your Microsoft Windows device
- Getting started with your Google Chromebook
- How to get started with your 4G wireless router
How to use the Support Portal for help
The Support Portal provides the information you need to manage the laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers you receive from us. This includes:
- BIOS and local admin passwords needed to reset and add software to DfE Restricted Microsoft Windows devices
- how to raise a request to replace a faulty device you’ve received from us
- charges for replacing a device if the repair is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty
- how to request a 4G router SIM to be unbarred or reactivated
- how to give someone else access to the Support Portal
Who can access the Support Portal
For devices ordered during the 2020 summer term
The people who ordered devices could decide who to give Support Portal access to. This included people known as ‘key’ and ‘technical’ contacts, who might work for a trust, LA or a school.
For security, only some of these people are able to view local admin and BIOS passwords for these devices in the Support Portal:
- devices given to LAs for social care: only LA users can view device passwords
- devices given to LAs for schools: LA users and school technical contacts can view device passwords
- devices given to trusts for schools: only trust users can view device passwords
If you need to have or give access to view the Support Portal, please contact us. If you have access to the Support Portal but cannot view the passwords for some devices, please contact us and provide the serial numbers for the devices you need to reset.
For devices ordered from the 2020 autumn term onwards
Anyone nominated to order devices in TechSource from the 2020 autumn term onwards will automatically have access to the Support Portal.
They’ll also be able to view local admin and BIOS passwords for their devices. Please use the Get help with technology service to give colleagues access to the Support Portal to view device passwords.
Reporting a faulty device
If your laptop, Microsoft Windows tablet or 4G wireless router develops a fault, we’ll arrange to replace it.
Find out how to get a replacement for a faulty device, the cost to replace a damaged device, how to service and repair an Apple iPad, and other warranty details.
Replacing DfE settings on Microsoft Windows devices
Please see our guidance on preparing Microsoft Windows devices for information on resetting devices and installing your own software, including how to view local admin and BIOS passwords.
Enrol DfE iPads in Apple School Manager (ASM)
Our Apple iPad guidance provides instructions on how to find and use the reseller ID for your device.
Help with 4G wireless routers and data
If you have technical issues with 4G wireless routers
If you receive a router that will not start, please check that it’s fully charged. If it still will not power up, contact us with the order number and the IMEI number on the device.
If a user reports that their router powers up but will not connect to the internet, there are a few options to try before you report a fault. Please ask the user to check if:
- another device (such as a smartphone) has a connection to see if there are issues in the local area
- the SIM card has been removed - if it has, ask them to put it back into the router and try to connect again
- the laptop or tablet they’re using can connect to the internet another way, for example by using free wifi or tethering it to a mobile phone
- they can clear the cache on the web browser they’re using, then try to connect again
Checking 4G wireless router status
Trusts and local authorities should use the Support Portal to check the status of each router, and raise a support request if needed. Login details were provided when you placed your order, but if you’re unable to access the Support Portal, please contact us.
LAs and trusts can use the Support Portal to:
- check if a router’s data cap has been reached (the data cannot be increased)
- reactivate a SIM that’s been removed from the router
- deactivate a SIM if the router is lost or stolen
- request a replacement router
- reconfigure a router
- request connectivity support
Schools and colleges will need to ask their trust or local authority to access the Support Portal on their behalf. Contact us if you’re unsure who to ask.
If a user runs out of data
We cannot increase data limits if a user has used 20GB within a month. Please advise them that their data allowance will reset on the first day of the next month, and that data should only be used to access remote education, with ‘Standard Definition’ (SD) video selected where possible.
How to contact DfE for help
If you work for a local authority, academy trust, school or college and need help with any of the devices provided by this programme, please contact us. We aim to respond within 5 working days.
Replace a faulty device
Device ownership and distribution