Do you know what to do if your screen goes blank? What if you can't seem to close an application, or can't hear any sound from your speakers? Whenever you have a problem with your computer, don't panic! There are many basic troubleshooting techniques you can use to fix issues like this. In this lesson, we'll show you some simple things to try when troubleshooting, as well as how to solve common problems you may encounter.
If you're having an issue with your computer, you may be able to find out what's wrong using the process of elimination. This means you'll make a list of things that could be causing the problem and then test them out one by one to eliminate them. Once you've identified the source of your computer issue, it will be easier to find a solution.
Now you want to make sure the printer and computer are communicating correctly. If you recently downloaded an update to your operating system, it might interfere with the printer. But you know there haven't been any recent updates and the printer was working yesterday, so you'll have to look elsewhere.
You check the printer's USB cord and find that it's not plugged in. You must have unplugged it accidentally when you plugged something else into the computer earlier. Once you plug in the USB cord, the printer starts working again. It looks like this printer issue is solved!
Sometimes your computer may become completely unresponsive, or frozen. When this happens, you won't be able to click anywhere on the screen, open or close applications, or access shut-down options.
If you still haven't found a solution to your problem, you may need to ask someone else for help. As an easy starting point, we'd recommend searching the Web. It's possible that other users have had similar problems, and solutions to these problems are often posted online. Also, if you have a friend or family member who knows a lot about computers, they may be able to help you.
Keep in mind that most computer problems have simple solutions, although it may take some time to find them. For difficult problems, a more drastic solution may be required, like reformatting your hard drive or reinstalling your operating system. If you think you might need a solution like this, we recommend consulting a professional first. If you're not a computer expert, it's possible that attempting these solutions could make the situation worse.
Now you have some basic knowledge for how to fix your computer if something goes wrong with it! For more info on how to make your computer and Internet experiences as smooth as possible, visit our Internet 101 section. Or check out our entire Technology Basics category, which includes the Digital Literacy section with information and tips on mastering all things digital!
While every computer is unique, there are some common computer problems and solutions that are worth learning so that you can better use your PC. Read below for a list of five common computer problems, what might cause them, and some easy solutions you can implement yourself.
Anytime you are using a PC and it is not working the way you intend it to, that's a problem. Everything from sticky keys to memory failure can be frustrating and prevent you from using your computer properly. While a common joke these days, "turning it on and off" is the best first step to troubleshooting computer issues and can save you tons of time and hassle. Another great first step is to test the cables you are using as well before jumping further into troubleshooting. When power cycling a PC or replacing cables doesn't work, there are some more approachable solutions you can try before reaching out to a professional help.
One of the most common problems users have with their computer is that it is "running slow." This can be caused by many different things. However, typically it is referring to the time it takes to turn on the PC, open programs, or do just about anything. In some extreme cases, this can even mean input lag from your keyboard to what appears on the screen. This issue can be incredibly frustrating, because it can affect multiple programs or areas on your computer and seriously reduce productivity.
Just running your operating system takes a base amount of resources, so if you have a pesky program using too much of your computer, it can struggle to run the OS. This can cause common slowdown issues like input lag. An easy way to check to see what program is hogging your resources is by using Task Manager.
To do this, right-click your taskbar and click Task Manager. On the top of the Task Manager window, you will see a tab that reads "Performance." You can click this tab to see how much of your computer resources are being used at one time. Suppose these values are at or near 100%. In that case, you can close excess programs as needed until your computer is running comfortably again. A good rule to remember is to only open programs you are actively using. This ensures your computer is running optimally at all times.
Pressing the power button on your computer and having nothing happen can feel like the end of the world. Luckily, power issues do not necessarily mean the entire PC is broken or that data has been lost. Both desktops and laptops can refuse to turn on for a number of reasons. Sometimes it can even be just a peripheral such as an external monitor that is having problems and stopping the PC from turning on entirely. If you press the power button to start your PC and nothing happens, do not panic. Remember to give the computer a moment to fully power-on before pressing the power or reset button again. If you are still having issues, try some of the quick fixes below!
Laptops are more prone to power issues than desktops due to their external power supplies and internal batteries. If there is any damage to a laptop charger or internal battery, most modern laptops will prevent themselves from powering on to prevent the faulty equipment from causing any more damage. When possible to do safely, you can fully power-down and unplug the machine, then remove the battery before trying to turn off the PC again. If this solution solves the problem, then most likely, it is time to replace your battery. If this does not fix the issue, try using a different AC adapter with and without the battery to determine if either of those devices is causing the startup issue.
With desktops, power issues are more straightforward but can be more complicated. 99% of desktop computers will have a power button on the front of the case and a power switch on the back of the case near where the power cord plugs in. Desktop computers will not power unless the power switch in the back is turned on, and the button in the front is pressed. This is always the first thing you should check when experiencing power issues on a desktop PC. If this does not solve your problem, you can carefully open your case when the computer is powered off to see if your power supply is connected properly to your other computer components. It is safe to reseat connections and remove any excess dust or debris in the case. However, it is not recommended for average users to remove or change internal power supply connections.
Sometimes the most annoying problems are not with your computer itself but rather with the peripherals you are trying to use with the machine. Keyboards and mice see a tremendous amount of daily use, so it is not uncommon for them to fail on occasion. Other devices such as microphones or presentation-based remotes can have complicated setup processes that can create potential issues later down the road. When any of these devices fail to work properly, they can create costly and annoying downtime that is not ideal for any user.
The first thing to check when an external device is not working is its connection to the computer. Cables can easily break, or ports can be obstructed. Before getting into any more serious solutions, it is always best practice to try using different cables or connections on your machine to see if a device will begin working again.
If the cable or hardware itself is not the issue, you can try reinstalling drivers to see if that fixes the problem. Drivers are the software your PC uses to communicate with and utilize hardware properly. All devices from keyboards to Wi-Fi cards have drivers. Sometimes, they can become corrupt or fail to update properly, and that can create problems when trying to use your devices.
A quick way to see if you are having driver issues is to check Device Manager. This is an area of your settings you can get to by searching or right clicking your start menu. Once in Device Manager, you will see a list of all the hardware connected to your computer. If any piece of hardware has issues, there will be an exclamation point next to the device. This means the device is detected by your computer but not working as intended.
Virtual meetings have become standard these days, and so have a host of audio issues that can make using your PC unbearable. Microphones can get accidentally muted, or audio sources can switch within different programs. Hardware can fail, but it is uncommon. More often than not, sound issues can be resolved from within the operating system. However, there are multiple ways to access and change sound settings, so troubleshooting issues can be frustrating when waiting for a virtual meeting or video call to start.
When all of your devices connect as intended, and you are still having audio issues, the next step is to check and see if your volume is low or muted from within your operating system. If you are still experiencing audio problems, the last thing you can check is your playback sources. By right clicking your speaker icon, you can bring up your audio settings, which will show you a list of available audio devices. You can then test each one with the press of a button and ensure the proper device is selected for your PC. 2b1af7f3a8