Troubleshooting Common Computer Problems

People increasingly rely on computers in many aspects of life but if you are not very tech savvy, the idea of troubleshooting issues with your computer can be daunting. While you may not be able to fix every issue that arises with your computer, it is good to know some basic troubleshooting techniques. Because there are many different things that can go wrong with computers, troubleshooting is often a process of trial and error.

General Troubleshooting Tips

Some computer issues may be easy to fix while some may require you to take several different approaches before finding the right solution. Once you start troubleshooting, write down everything that you do. This will enable you to not have to repeat yourself if you wind up needing to try a different technique. It is also helpful to write down your steps in case you need to seek help in fixing the issue. One of the first steps of basic troubleshooting is to simply restart the computer and see if the issue corrects itself. You can also try checking all of the cables to ensure that everything is properly connected. You may also want to take notes on any error messages you receive so further research can be done if necessary.

Figuring Out the Problem

Figuring out what is wrong with a computer often involves trial and error and you must use the process of elimination. It can be helpful to make a list of things that could be causing your computer problem, and then one by one test them. Once you know exactly what is wrong with your computer, it will be easier to find a solution for fixing it.

Common Computer Issues

Oftentimes, computer problems can be fixed with some simple troubleshooting such as closing and then reopening a program you are having trouble with. You should try simple solutions before taking more drastic measures and possibly spending money when you may be able to fix the problem yourself.

  • Applications Running Slow – If you are running an application and it is being slow, the first thing you should do is try closing and reopening the application. You can also check for any available updates to the application.
  • Applications Freezing – Occasionally an application will freeze, or become stuck. If this happens and you are unable to close the window, you may need to force the application to close. On a PC, this can be done by holding the control, alt, and delete keys, and then opening the task manager. When using a Mac, this can be done by holding the command, option, and escape keys, and then you can click on end task.
  • Cannot Start Computer – If you press the power button and your computer does not start up, check to see if the power cord is firmly plugged in. You should also check the outlet to make sure it is working correctly. If you have your computer plugged into a surge protector, make sure that it is turned on, and try resetting the surge protector.
  • Computer Running Slow – If all of the programs on your computer are running slow, you should check for viruses and malware by running a scanner. If you are running out of space on your hard drive, deleting some unnecessary files or programs may help speed things up. The disk degragmenter should also be run periodically.
  • Sound Not Working – If sound on the computer is not working, begin by checking the volume level and the audio player controls. Check the cables to make sure that the speakers are connected correctly and test out headphones to see if you can hear anything.

Many common computer issues can be solved if you have the patience to figure out the problem but solving more difficult issues may require some extra help. If you determine that you are having a more difficult problem that requires a drastic solution, it may be best to seek the help of a professional.

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