Computers are such an integral part of our lives today. Technology has been able to completely change the way we do virtually everything from ordering food and turning off the lights to driving our cars and communicating with others across the globe. While technology is great when it works, it can be difficult to repair when it doesn’t.
There is no end to the different potential computer problems that can happen at a moment’s notice, and knowing how to fix these issues can be a problem. With this in mind, here are five of the most common tech issues that tend to plague our computer-driven world today—and most importantly, how to troubleshoot them.
Problem 1: A Slow Computer
Nothing can be as frustrating as dealing with a slow computer. However, there are actually a number of different solutions that can help get your device up to speed.
- Make sure that your machine is the actual issue. If you are struggling with buffering videos or slow downloads, your broadband connection may actually be to blame.
- Check your computer’s storage. Make sure that you have enough free space on the hard drive that is holding your operating system. Clear out as much space as possible—your operating system needs room to create files while it is up and running. If your hard drive is filled up, it will only impact your computer’s performance.
- If you have a Microsoft device, run the System Configuration tool. It can help you with slow performance times, especially if you have multiple apps opening at once when you boot up your computer. This tool will let you disable services and programs that are automatically starting when starting your computer. You may be surprised by how much of an impact this can make.
Just because your computer is moving slow, it doesn’t mean that you can’t breathe some new life into your device and give your machine a little more pep in its step. These simple fixes are easy ways to turn your computer around for the better.
Problem 2: Disconnecting Wi-Fi
When your Wi-Fi doesn’t work it can really slow you down. Sometimes correcting Wi-Fi issues is as simple as calling your provider. However, when your internet provider swears your internet should be up and running—it is time to dig a little deeper. When your Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting on you, you may be scratching your head on how to get to the bottom of the issue. It could be your router, your ISP, your computer.
Here are some of the most common ways to solve these connectivity issues:
- Confirm your computer is close enough to your wireless router. A weak signal can cause your Wi-Fi to disconnect frequently.
- Make sure your computer’s wireless car has the latest drivers on it. Update the wireless card if it hasn’t been updated in a while—it is a common fix for this problem.
- Put Windows in charge by using the Windows “troubleshoot button” it is located right by the Wi-Fi icon and while it doesn’t always get to the bottom of the issue, it is pretty good at spotting problems you may have not been able to find.
If you check your provider’s website connectivity map to find that your area is technically supposed to be online, these are the three steps you need to take first to try to get the issue resolved. It can save you a lot of time spent on the phone waiting for a representative.
Problem 3: Printer Doesn’t Print
You’ve checked the paper, ink and toner, and you confirmed that you’re sending the document to the right printer, yet you still can’t seem to get your computer to print off your documents. So, what’s next?
The first thing to do is to make sure that your printer’s drives are up-to-date. Then go with the old standby of restarting your printer. With printers, sometimes unplugging your printer, waiting a minute, then plugging it back in can actually help even more than a standard restart.
Go to the print queue, and make sure you check the status of each job and the status of your printer. This is your detailed look at any potential printer problems that may come up. While you’re in the print queue dashboard, make sure that you look for the tab that says “Use Printer Offline.” This should not be selected.
Problem 4: Super Slow Downloads
If everything on your computer works fine, except for downloads, then there are a few different ways that you can approach this common issue. First, use a connectivity tester such as SpeedTest to determine what your download and upload speeds are. Tools like this will let you know how your connection is really performing.
If your speeds seem strong, or least relatively decent, the next step is to make sure that you aren’t accidentally downloading or uploading anything in the background. There are many torrent programs that will run in the background and that can impact your download speeds.
You should also check your network hardware. Updates for this type of hardware are not as common as system updates, but your manufacturer may offer a new driver download option. This can help with download speeds and connection problems.
Of course, you can always try the router and modem reset button after this. Again, this may seem like a rather obvious or simple solution—but a great deal of successful tech troubleshooting is knowing when to try the “obvious” options, as sometimes the simplest of solutions are the most effective.
Problem 5: Email Attachments Aren’t Opening
You receive email attachments, but simply can’t open them. It is a frustrating problem, but fortunately it is one that is super simple to fix. In most situations, this problem is happening because you didn’t have the software needed to view the file. Typically, it is because you are trying to open a .pdf file and don’t have a PDF reader, or you haven’t updated your PDF reader recently.
If it isn’t a PDF, look at the three letters that are after your file name (or where the PDF letters were). This will tell you what type of file it is, such as .PNG. Simply search for these three letters and “reader” online and you will be able to find a reader that can open these files for you. This is a simple fix that will prevent you from having to ask your sender to create a new file for you.
When in Doubt… Try the Magic Cure
It may sound rather simple, but if you are ever facing a tech issue that you simply cannot crack—just hit restart. It is such a simple tactic but it one that works with a majority of tech issues. Many times, giving your computer time to restart and refresh is just what it needs to get back on track and start working on its own. You would be surprised to find how many times your computer can repair itself with a simple restart.
Another easy solution that applies to virtually any tech problem is a simple upgrade. Make sure that your operating system is fully updated when you have tech issues. These updates are designed to provide performance fixes and solve common bugs that impact your computer, so failing to do updates often means failing to arm your computer with the tools it needs to run to the best of its ability.
Want to Learn More?
Do you have a knack for computer repair? Do you want to be able to troubleshoot problems like this on your own with expert training? Carolina Career College has a Desktop Support Technician Program that will give you the training you need to be able to troubleshoot network and operating system issues for today’s leading companies. There is such a high-demand for expertly-trained technicians in today’s market, and we can help you get the education required to excel in this field.
Our Desktop Support Technician Program will prepare you for technical opportunities that involve trouble shooting, installing and maintaining network hardware, operating systems and software. This program includes CompTIA A+ Certifications as well as CompTIA Network+ Certifications. You can also get Microsoft Specialist Certifications with our program such as Windows 7, Configuring 70-680.
Here at CCC, we want you to have a career that you love and to succeed in high-demand fields such as tech support. This is why our nationally accredited organization offers individual attention, with small student-to-staff rations as well as career support and placement for all of our students. If you think a career in IT could be in your future, contact CCC today to learn more about our Desktop Support Technician Program today!