Do You Know How to Troubleshoot a Computer?

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If you’ve ever used a computer, at one time or another something has probably gone wrong. Did you panic? Or do you have an idea of how to troubleshoot a computer?

How to Troubleshoot a Slow Computer Program

One of the most common, but frustrating, problems with computers is when something you’re working on runs slowly. Maybe it’s a program or app that just doesn’t run like it should. The first step is to close it down, wait a few minutes, and then reopen it. Did that help? If not, check to see if you’ve missed any program updates.

On an Apple product, choose system preferences and click on software update to see if there are any available. Choose “update now” to install them. On a PC with Windows, click the start button and type update and click “check for updates.” Perform them as needed. You may be able to set your computer to automatically notify you when updates are available. You can also do an online search for a program update if you aren’t sure whether one is available. Be sure you know which program version you have so you know whether it’s the most recent. You can usually find your version number by clicking on the program name within its menu, then “About.”

What If All Computer Programs Run Slowly?

Even more frustrating than when one program runs slowly is when they all do! There are a few ways you can try to solve this problem.

First, close any programs and files you don’t need. Each open file and program uses processing power and memory, so it’s a good practice to only use the computer resources you need. You can also shut down and restart your computer. This will give your computer a fast refresh and ensure that you don’t have unnecessary files and software open.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may be running low on space on your computer’s hard drive. Delete programs and files you don’t need to free up space. If you want to save files but don’t need regular access to them, like old school documents or photos, you can purchase an external hard drive and save the files to it. Then you can plug the external drive into your computer when you need to access them, without taking up space on your computer’s hard drive.

Another cause of a slow computer could be a virus. If you don’t have antivirus and malware software, you need it. The software should prevent viruses and catch anything threatening in a regular scan of your computer so you can remove it.

How to Troubleshoot a Frozen Computer

If you can’t seem to do anything on your computer—even close programs—there are actually a couple actions that might help. On a Windows computer, you can restart the Windows Explorer. Do this by holding down Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Task Manager. Then find Windows Explorer in the Processes tab and click Restart.

Similarly, on a Mac, you can restart Finder. Hold down Command+Option+Esc to access the Force Quit Applications options. Then select Finder and click Relaunch.

You can also manually shut down your computer. Just hold down the power button for a few seconds, until the computer turns off. When you press the power button again, your computer should function normally again.

If you’re able to solve these computer troubles, you might have what it takes to be an IT superhero. How would you like to be part of the multi-trillion-dollar IT industry? Information Technology is critical to businesses across the country and the world and needs trained professionals to keep things running.

At Charter College you could train to enter the field through the B.S. in Computer Information Systems program in as little as two years. Contact Charter College to learn how to get started.