10 Common PC Problems — and How to Fix Them
Although the PC's (personal computers) rise and proliferation has made both work and play much easier for their owners, there are few things more frustrating than having to deal with PC problems. Learn more about ten of the most common PC problems and how to fix them yourself with minimal effort.
Your PC Refuses to Power On
Many PC problems can drive you towards an angry response, but if your PC will not turn on in the first place, you are essentially left with a very expensive hunk of metal and plastic. If you are experiencing such an issue, the first step is to check that the PC's power supply is plugged in and functioning correctly, check the power outlet for a tripped circuit, or consider using a different power charger (if available). Other potential solutions include unplugging faulty peripheral devices, checking if your monitor or screen is working correctly, and, if all else fails, copying your files and performing a factory reset on your PC.
Trouble Staying Connected to Your Wi-Fi Network
You might not be aware of this, but if your Wi-Fi disconnects from your PC regularly, your power settings are likely causing the issue. If you make use of the "power saver" settings on your PC, the default option limits the amount of power going to your network card. This issue can be easily resolved by opening Advanced Settings in the Power Options menu, then selecting Wireless Adaptor Settings > Power Saving Mode > Maximum Performance. This will ensure that you do not experience Wi-Fi issues due to a lack of power.
Issues Occurring After the Most Recent Windows Update
New PC problems after a Windows update are a fairly common problem due to the potential for files being accidentally corrupted as they download, drivers failing to update, and so on. However, the solution is straightforward, thanks to Windows' built-in version history and troubleshooting mechanisms. Simply restore your PC to an earlier version before the updates took effect and manually reinstall them to resolve the problem.
Wireless Printer Not Working Correctly
A faulty printer is one of the more annoying malfunctions to experience, particularly if you are rushed for time and trying to get physical paperwork produced in short order. Potential solutions include checking the printer to ensure ink cartridges are correctly installed, that it has paper, and resetting the printer itself to refresh your connection. In addition, checking that the drivers which facilitate communication between your PC and printer are recently updated is also advisable.
PC Randomly Restarts for No Good Reason
Random restarts can be particularly infuriating during bouts of intense concentration on work or leisure activities, potentially causing the loss of multiple hours of effort. There are several options for fixing this issue, including investigating if your PC's motherboard, network card, and graphics card are running the latest software drivers and scanning your PC for malware, viruses, and the like. It might also be due to your motherboard overheating and engaging the restart for safety reasons, so you should check if your fans are working properly and free of dust.
Having a Non-Responsive or Frozen App
If you experience a frozen or non-functioning app, the easiest way to fix it is to press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open the Windows Task Manager and manually close the program. If such issues continue to occur, you should check if you need to download any updates or, failing that, consider uninstalling and reinstalling the app in question.
PC Starts Running Very Slowly
Depending on the age, capabilities, and amount of data present on your PC, you may start to notice that everything from opening apps to surfing the internet is taking much longer to accomplish than it used to. You might simply have too many unused programs gumming up your hard drive, so consider deleting any app you have not used in three to six months. Another potential solution includes checking if your firewall or antivirus software is inadvertently interfering with your PC's operation.
Peripheral Devices Like Mice and Keyboards Not Working
If you are having issues with your keyboard and mouse not working correctly or at all, it can be tough to get anything accomplished on your PC. If your peripheral devices are wireless, you should check to see if they are fully charged. For wired peripherals, it is worth checking to see if the problem lies with a given USB port or the peripheral itself. Other solutions include running the Hardware and Device troubleshooter in Windows, checking if any devices need to have their software updated, and booting your PC in Safe Mode to see if there are issues with third-party apps.
Unable to Open File Attachments from Emails
If you cannot open a file attachment emailed to you by a friend, colleague, or family member, there is a good chance that you simply do not have the correct software installed. To successfully open a . PDF file, for example, you will need to have downloaded and installed a free version of Adobe Acrobat to access the file's contents. You should check the file extension to determine if you have the right app or program to open the file and download one if necessary.
Excessively Long Boot Times When Loading Windows
If you find that your PC takes forever to boot, it might be worth disabling any unnecessary apps to reduce the overall boot time. After opening the Settings Menu, select Apps > Startup to see a list of which apps automatically boot and their impact on your startup time. Simple toggle the switch next to whichever app you want to disable and significantly improve your boot times.
Whether you are having issues with staying connected to the internet, your PC refuses to turn on, your preferred apps are not working correctly, or you experience problems after a major software update, these issues can cause stress and lost productivity. These solutions will help you get your PC working in short order, allowing you to proceed with your work or leisure activities as desired.
*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.
About Dan VanPatten: Dan is a full-time technology writer with interests in gaming, gadgetry, and all things PC tech related. He writes about a variety of topics including technology news, product reviews, and software. His experience stems from years of experience writing & producing content for technology newsletters & publications.