Basic Troubleshooting Techniques for the Beginner

If you’re having trouble with your computer, it pays to have some troubleshooting know-how so that you can limit downtime. Few things are worse than having a computer that isn’t working as it should. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out what’s wrong and get it up and running.

Continue reading for some basic Windows troubleshooting tips for beginners. They can also be a refresher if you already know the ins and outs of troubleshooting your way to a fix.

Make a Note of Every Step In the Process

When you begin the troubleshooting process, ensure your write down all the steps in the process. Doing so means you won’t have to get stressed out over trying to remember how you resolved a specific issue. It’ll also help you to steer clear of whatever errors may have caused the issues in the first place. Yet another reason to write down all the steps is you will — if the need arrives to get help from someone else — be able to show what you’ve already done. 

Start With the Easiest Stuff First

It can be easy to overreact when your computer isn’t working. But the solution is oftentimes simpler than it might appear. That’s why it’s essential to start off by doing something as simple as checking the cables. If your computer hardware isn’t working right, check the cables. Don’t just look. Ensure the cables are properly connected. Sometimes the solution to a computer problem is simply restarting the computer.  

What to Do If an Application Freezes

It can be annoying when an application freezes. When this happens, you won’t be able to use the application. And it might not even be possible to close the window. It can be a frustrating ordeal. What to do? One option is to force quit the program. You can do this by simultaneously pressing and holding the Control, Alt, and Delete keys on your keyboard. This will open your computer’s Task Manager, and you’ll then be able to select End Task to close the program. 

Yet another option is to restart your computer. By so doing, you’ll be able to close all programs — including the frozen application. You can then turn on your computer and reopen the program that had been frozen.

What to Do If an Application Is Running Sluggishly

What should you do if your application starts running sluggishly — to the point where it’s almost unusable? You don’t have to put up with a program that’s operating slowly. You can usually fix the problem by closing and then reopening the program. If this tip works, great. But if it doesn’t, another tip involves updating the program. You can do this by going to the Help menu and looking for Check for Updates. If you’re running an outdated version of the program, update it. 

What to Do If Your Computer is Frozen

An application isn’t the only thing that can freeze. It’s also possible for your computer to freeze so that it’s unresponsive. Since you won’t be able to access shutdown options when your computer is frozen, you’ll have to try other things to rectify the matter. Start by pressing down and holding the Control, Alt, and Delete keys simultaneously. That should bring up the Task Manager option, enabling you to close whatever program is causing the issue. 

If that doesn’t work, the next step is to perform a hard shutdown. That’s done by pressing and holding the power button until the computer shuts down. You should then be able to restart the computer. 

These are some basic troubleshooting techniques to know about. One thing to keep in mind is that not everything is so straightforward. Sometimes you’ll encounter a problem that’s difficult to figure out. You may need to take some time out to go for a walk, hang out with some friends, or even enjoy a homemade pizza from an outdoor pizza oven. Taking a break will help you to rest your brain before you get back to the task of troubleshooting later.