The Ultimate Guide To Troubleshooting Common Computer Problems

September 8, 2023
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Computers have become an integral part of our lives in today’s digital age. From staying connected with loved ones to completing work assignments, we rely on them for many tasks. However, like any other technology, computers are not immune to issues. Whether you’re a tech-savvy senior or a novice, encountering common computer problems can be frustrating. 

This comprehensive guide will walk you through troubleshooting these issues step by step. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to tackle everyday computer woes easily.

1. Computer Won’t Turn On

One of the most common issues seniors face is a computer that won’t turn on. Before panicking, follow these steps:

  • Check the Power Source 

Ensure the computer is plugged into a functional power outlet. Sometimes, the problem is as simple as a loose plug.

  • Inspect the Power Button

Ensure the power button is working correctly. Dust and debris can sometimes obstruct the button’s functionality.

  • Battery Check 

If you’re using a laptop, ensure the battery isn’t completely drained. Connect it to the charger and wait a few minutes to see if it powers up.

Computer Won’t Turn On

2. Slow Performance

If your computer is crawling like a tortoise, it’s time to boost it:

  • Check for Malware 

Run a reliable antivirus program to scan for malware and viruses that might slow your computer down.

  • Clear Unnecessary Files 

Delete temporary files, browser cache, and old downloads. Use the built-in Disk Cleanup tool to help with this.

  • Upgrade Hardware

Consider adding more RAM or upgrading your hard drive to a solid-state (SSD) for a significant performance boost.

3. Frozen Or Unresponsive Computer

When your computer freezes, it can be exasperating. Try these steps:

  • Force Restart

Press the power button for 10 seconds to force a shutdown. Then, turn it back on.

  • Close Unresponsive Programs

Use the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) to force-close any unresponsive programs.

  • Check for Software Updates

Outdated software can cause stability issues. Ensure your operating system and drivers are up to date.

4. No Internet Connection

A computer without an internet connection is like a car without fuel. Troubleshoot it this way:

  • Check Wi-Fi or Ethernet

Ensure your Wi-Fi is on, and if you’re using an Ethernet cable, ensure it’s securely connected.

  • Router and Modem

Restart your router and modem by unplugging them for 30 seconds, then plugging them back in.

  • ISP Issues

Contact your internet service provider (ISP) to verify if there are any known outages in your area.

5. Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD)

The infamous blue screen can be terrifying, but don’t worry, there’s a way out:

  • Note the Error Code

The error code is displayed on the blue screen. This code can provide clues about the problem.

  • Update Drivers

Outdated or incompatible drivers are often the cause of BSODs. Update your graphics and chipset drivers.

  • System Restore

If all else fails, use System Restore to revert your computer to a previous state before the BSOD occurred.

Blue Screen Of Death

6. Unwanted Pop-Ups And Adware

Pesky pop-ups and adware can be a nuisance. Still, you can regain control:

  • Adware Scanning

Use reputable adware removal tools to scan and remove unwanted programs.

  • Browser Extensions

Review your browser extensions and remove any suspicious or unnecessary ones.

  • Safe Browsing

Be cautious when downloading software from the internet, and always opt for the custom installation option to deselect unwanted extras.

7. Inadequate Storage Space

Running out of storage space can be a common issue, especially if you store many files and photos on your computer. Here’s what to do:

  • Delete Unnecessary Files

Go through your files and delete anything you no longer need.

  • External Storage

Consider investing in an external hard drive or cloud storage services to offload some data.

  • Disk Cleanup

Use the built-in Disk Cleanup tool to remove temporary files and free up space.

Inadequate Storage Space

8. Printer Problems

Printing issues can be frustrating, but they are usually quickly resolved:

  • Check Connections 

Ensure your printer is connected correctly to your computer and powered on.

  • Driver Updates

Update your printer drivers to the latest version from the manufacturer’s website.

  • Print Queue

Clear any stuck print jobs from the print queue to allow new print tasks to proceed.


Navigating the world of computers, especially as an older adult, can sometimes feel daunting. However, with the proper guidance and some troubleshooting know-how, you can overcome common computer problems and enjoy a smoother digital experience. Remember to stay patient, take your time, and don’t hesitate to seek assistance from tech-savvy friends or family members if needed. With practice, you’ll become more comfortable and confident in resolving these issues on your own, allowing you to make the most of your computer and all the opportunities it brings to your life. Happy troubleshooting!