No matter what computer you happen to be dealing with, there will inevitably come a time when you have to deal with computer problems. Seeking technical support whenever this happens can not only prove costly, but may not always be necessary.
According to some of the best online tech support services in the business, most common computer and tech problems could be fixed by users themselves. Here we take a look at some of these common problems and solutions for how you can fix them on your own.
A Simple Restart Sometimes Works Wonders
Sometimes all a malfunctioning system needs is a simple restart, which is super easy to do. Running a Windows Update can also sometimes solve PC problems, because it provides users with important fixes for bugs that can really improve computer performance. Check your devices too, and disconnect and reconnect anything that could possibly be the culprit. Try all of these solutions before resorting to a computer technician to save yourself some money.
Speed Up A Sluggish Computer
Sometimes when dealing with such frustrations as videos that buffer at a snail’s pace, or slowly loading webpages, it is not the fault of the computer. These issues might actually be caused by a poor broadband connection.
Some simple checks to perform to see if it actually might be the PC itself causing the slowness include making sure that there is enough available free space on the hard drive. If you find that your hard drive is pretty clogged up, this may be the culprit. The solution is to perform a few hard disk maintenance tasks such as freeing up some hard disk space will certainly help to make your machine run more efficiently once again.
Next, go into the System Configuration box by clicking on the Windows logo on your task bar and typing in “msconfig” in the box, then press “enter”. Choose the Startup option with the System Configuration box and take a look at the items that are checked. These are the applications that are automatically launching when the computer is started. The more applications opening upon start up, the slower the performance of the computer.
Disable anything unnecessary such as Spotify, Google Update, etc. Be sure not to check anything associated with the Microsoft Corporation or anything else of importance such as your antivirus program. If in doubt about the important of a certain checked object, it may be best to leave it alone and stick with the ones you are certain about. After you’ve disabled all unnecessary start up items, reboot the machine and you should notice improved speed and performance.
[Read also: Boost Computer Speed While Staying On Budget]
Downloading is Taking Way Too Long
You can perform a simple test to check your computer’s download and uploading speeds by visiting SpeedTest.net.
Your result should show at least 50% of what your Internet provider has advertised as their performance speed, and your ping result should be less than 100 milliseconds. If this checks out okay, your culprit might be a download torrent program operating in the background, which slows things down substantially.
You can also check to see if your network card has any new updates available. If that is the case, download the latest driver to help improve download speeds.
Other common download problems may involve the modem or router. Reset the modem or router by disconnecting it for a couple of seconds, then plugging it back in promptly. If all else fails, contact your Internet service provider, as there may be a connection problem on their end that they can reset for you.
[Read also: How to Improve A Slow Internet Connection]
Spontaneous Restarting Problems
If restarting issues are the problem, first make certain these are not routine restarts such as those that occur with Windows updates. After you have ruled this out, work on updating your drivers for the motherboard, network card, and graphics card.
Other issues such as overheating, an adware infection, or a virus may also be behind such issues as restarting.
If you are noticing strange noises in addition to the restarting, this could mean that the computer require a thorough cleaning to solve the problem.
[Read also: Why Does My Computer Shut Off By Itself Unexpectedly? – Common Causes and Fixes]
Pop-Up Ads Keep Popping Up
Annoying pop-ups that keep occurring are typically the sign of adware. You may have inadvertently installed this on your computer any number of ways. The many system utility tools offered online to clean up adware rarely truly take care of the problem. To deal with this problem, perform a full computer scan on your machine using a reputable antivirus program. Find and remove the adware with your antivirus if possible. If this fails, then try downloading a malware removal program and disable the antivirus before running the program.
If you’re having problems pinpointing the exact type of adware, search reputable tech sites or forums about what you are experiencing. Chances are, other PC users are dealing with this too and the site may offer step by step instructions for removal of a particular threat. To be extra safe, run more than one antivirus or anti-malware program separately, to ensure you’ve cleared the infection.
Your Browser Looks Odd
If you’ve noticed something isn’t quite right about your browser, your computer may have fallen victim to browser highjacking. These are an especially scary type of malware infection that takes over your browsing and searching and can lead you to misleading web pages designed to cause more infections to your system or even compromise your personal information.
Using a reliable real-time antivirus is important, as well as watching what you download. These infections can come bundled with some downloads you might get online. If the antivirus fails to prevent an infection use the antivirus and an anti-malware program to remove the culprit. The browser should also be uninstalled and then reinstalled.
Security Certificate Issues
Many times when PC users receive the message that there is a problem with a website’s security certificate, it is simply a result of the system’s clock being incorrect. Security certificates are synced with the clock of the computer and if the battery for the clock of your computer is older it might cause this issue. Simply click the clock in the system tray and adjust the settings of date and time and it should resolve most of these issues.
Repeatedly Disconnecting From WiFi
Problems with wireless connections can be caused by everything from the ISP, to the router, to the computer itself. Make sure the wireless card on your PC has the latest drivers and try troubleshooting problems with connections by clicking on the WiFi icon on the task bar of the machine.
Another culprit may be the location where you are using the computer. Some areas, even within the same house, receive much weaker signals than others. So in order to keep your WiFi within range, you might try switching locations to see if this resolves the problem.
Most printer issues involve having out-of-date printer drivers. Sometimes turning the printer off then back on will resolve printing issues. Also, check that there is enough ink and paper for the printer to perform. Check the print queue and see if the printer is online and to check it’s current status. Be sure that the “Use printer offline” option has not been checked. In the case of a clogged inkjet printer, you can refer to this article for the tips on how to clear the stubborn clog away.
Unable to Open Email Attachments
Many times if you are unable to open an attachment in an email , it is because you do not have the proper software. This is very common with file extensions such as .pdf. In these cases, you can simply download a free PDF reader online. For other problematic file types, look at the three letters in the file extension and then search for a program that opens these types of files.
Certain Programs Not Working With A New PC
If a former program you used with another PC is no longer working, you may need to download certain required plug-ins such as Flash or Java. Or, in some instances, it may be your former software that is not compatible with the newer computer. This is especially true of older programs when attempting to use them on new PCs.
When All Else Fails, Get Help!
If these simple fixes are not working to resolve your problem, or if you encounter something you are not comfortable attempting on your own, by all means call a qualified computer technician. You may also wish to do this if you are fearful of attempting something yourself which will in turn void any warranty you may have on your computer.
There are many computer issues that can be easily resolved right from home, without having to call in an expert. Try these simple fixes first to save yourself money and hassle.
[Suggested reading: Simple Fixes for Laptop Keyboard Problems]
[Top Image credit: Jeanie, Flickr]