Are you sitting behind your computer wondering why it’s taking five minutes for your internet browser to open? Or are you suffering from annoying lag time trying to open certain programs? Computer problems happen all the time and trying to figure out the problem is almost like rocket science. Many of us aren’t computer scientists, so diagnosing the problem can take way longer than it needs to.
However, there are simple troubleshooting procedures you can try on your computer when it breaks down. Below, you’ll find four troubleshooting ideas that can save you time so you can get back to work.
1. Restart Your Computer
This is probably the oldest trick in the book, but restarting your computer might be the only thing it needs in order to run like normal again. When you browse the internet, run programs, or play games, your computer stores important information in something called random access memory (RAM). RAM is responsible for the speed of your computer, and without it, everything will take much, much longer.
However, having too many programs running at once can cause your computer’s RAM to run slowly. Restarting your computer can flush out unimportant and temporary data bogging down your computer. Restarting your computer can also:
- Increase performance speed
- Reducing memory leaks
- Fix bugs that slow down processing speeds
- Save you time
2. Troubleshoot in Safe Mode
Every computer has an operating system, such as Apple’s Mac operating system or Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Both of these operating systems have something called Safe Mode, which allows you to make repairs to your operating system. Safe Mode limits your computer’s operating system to its most basic functions so you can make important decisions on whether you need to reinstall any operating software from a disk.
Once you boot your operating system in Safe Mode and diagnose the problem, your computer should automatically restart normally after you’ve fixed the problem. However, sometimes your computer can get stuck in Safe Mode. If you’re wondering how to get out of Safe Mode, follow these steps:
- Double click the System Configuration tool or access it by using the Windows + R keys
- Type “msconfig” then hit enter to display the menu
- Select the “Boot” tab
- Uncheck the “Safe boot” box if it’s selected
- Restart your computer.
3. Run a Virus or Malware Scan
Malware, such as viruses and spyware, are a common reason for software and programs to freeze, crash, or stop working. Malware is designed to damage computers and can even hijack important information stored on your device. Malware often attacks your computer when a user doesn’t have an internet security software program installed, uses removable media with malware, such as USB drives and CDs, or downloads illegal content.
To ensure vicious viruses and malware don’t crash your computer, having an antivirus software installed can battle harmful intruders waiting on your downfall.
4. Look at Recent Hardware and Software Changes
Another reason your computer may be acting slower than normal is due to recent hardware and software changes. Installing new software can sometimes conflict with other installed software, causing your computer to freeze or act up. For example, installing multiple antivirus software can cause each of them to conflict with each other, which is why it’s best to stick to one antivirus software you’re used to.
Additionally, changes to your computer settings can cause your operating system to run slower than normal. To troubleshoot this problem, you can reset your default settings in your Windows Control Panel or System Preferences on your Apple computer.
A final troubleshooting idea can be to uninstall the software and then reinstall it. This process can remove temporary files wasting space and will ensure when you reinstall the program, all of the correct files and folders are there.
Computer problems are never fun. Finding the root cause of your computer’s issue can be a pain if you don’t have experience with how they work. These troubleshooting ideas, from simply restarting your computer to going in Safe Mode to manually diagnosis the problem, are great starting points to get your computer up and running again. And if you’re still having tech problems, it may be time to get your computer serviced by a professional.