Nowadays most of us are so reliant on technology that when something goes wrong with your computer it’s serious—like a power outage or the water supply being cut off. Everyone would want their system to be back up and running as soon as possible, but it’s often easier said than done.
Anyhow, you’d be surprised by just how many PC related issues can have the same simple root cause. Before you turn to professional help—which is advise-able in a lot of instances— you should run these simple steps to see if you can get the problem fixed yourself.
Many common computer problems are the result of outdated or unpatched software. It can range from infection of ransomware or even erratic keyboards that output the incorrect letters on being clicked.
Updates depend mostly on your operating system. Most software updates should be handled automatically. If not, make sure you periodically apply any pending updates.
It’s also important to update your other applications, including the web browser and your antivirus program. The update feature is fairly prominent in any program, but you can consult the built-in help if you are confused.
A virus scan
The most obvious and effective: Fire up your antivirus software and launch the most thorough scan available. You should also ensure that it’s kept updated constantly so that it can detect the most recent wave of bad code.
Viruses and other malware can result in computer crashes and slowdowns. It’s worth opting for a scan if your system seems sluggish, or starts suddenly displaying strange behavior, or is suspect to too much ads.
There are plenty of antivirus programs available for Windows because of it’s history of being frequent targets of malware. The macOS is comparatively more secure, but one can never be fully sure of staying safe. It’s always a good idea to have an antivirus program (or two) handy to troubleshoot security issues.
Tackle the bloat
Leaving older, unused programs on your hard drive may seem pretty harmless, but with more and more redundant applications, it means the load on your operating system increases, and the files on your system get broken up and spread out further—something known as fragmentation. The end result is that the amount of free storage space becomes limited.
Symptoms of this are your computer running more slowly, crashing at odd instances, or displaying some other kind of buggy behavior. You can uninstall unwanted applications from the Apps/Programs section of Windows Settings, or by simply dragging the app shortcut into the Trash on macOS.
Having too many extensions and add-ons installed on your browser can lead to a similar slowdown or erratic behavior. So limit your extensions to the ones you actually need and use.
Generally, the less bloated your system, the fewer problems you’ll face. In addition to removing obsolete apps, it’s better to remove unneeded files as well.
These 3 tips might not be the solution to every problem you face but they will enable you to rule out some basic possibilities as far as root causes go. If all else fails, it’s time to reach out to your friendly local PC repair shop.
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