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20 Most Common Windows Problems (And Solutions to Fix Them)

Filed under Software

Windows is one of the most commonly used PC operating systems. Smartphone operating systems also make use of the Windows software. However, any software wouldn’t perform flawlessly over time, a fact which is also true of Windows.

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Hence, below are some common problems that Windows users often face. They are presented with some solutions that may help out:

1. Problems with Program Compatibility
Windows XP, Vista and 7 have this problem many times. In order to solve this issue, the user should Google the program’s name and version, along with their Windows version.

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Prevention is always better than cure, so Windows users should take care to avoid installing software that is not listed as compatible with their version of Windows. If a program won’t run after installation, try editing the version of Windows from the program’s compatibility settings. If all else fails, you need to try running the program as an administrator, or open the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter in Windows 7.

2. System Restore Stops Working
Again, Windows, XP, 7, and Vista may show this issue when you try to restore your computer to an earlier state. For this problems, try booting into Safe Mode by pressing F8 when you restart your PC. Then try to run System Restore from there. With Vista and Windows 7, another option is to run System Restore from the Windows disc.

3. Missing Icons from the Taskbar
If some icons disappear from the Taskbar notification area, Windows users may try two options. First, they could press the Windows key and the R key at the same time. Then type ‘regedit’ and press “Enter”. Alternatively, they could reboot, log off, and sign back in.

4. Sleep Option Won’t Work
If a Windows PC won’t sleep, there may be a device that’s configured to take it out of standby. You can identify the offending program by pressing the Windows key and “R”, typing “cmd”, and pressing “Enter”. From there, you can open the Device Manager and find the devices listed. Then you can find an Advanced or Power Management tab related to the responsible device. Untick the boxes that wake this device, then close Device Manager.

5. Text is Too Small

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If you want to enlarge the text on your screen, you just have to right click the desktop and choose “Personalization/Properties”. Then click Display, or Adjust Font Size (DPI). Alternatively, you can go to the Settings tab, and click Advanced. You would see an option to change the text size, which you may do according to your needs. After selecting the size, your might have to reboot your PC.

6. Constant Rebooting after Windows Update

If the cycle of rebooting after an update just doesn’t seem to stop, the Windows user should end the updates with the help of System Restore. If there is no Windows disc available, you can find an option for access recovery options. Alternatively, you may press F8 during the reboot and then choose the “Repair Your Computer” option.

7. Missing Songs from Windows Media Player
This issue may be resolved by clicking “Start”, selecting “All Programs”, then “Accessories”. From XP, you can select the Command Prompt, or choose to run the media player as an administrator. You can switch to the folder where your music files are. You can then type “attrib -s *.* /d /s” and press [Enter].

Once this is done, open Media Player and press “F3”, choose Tools > Advanced > Restore Media Library (in Windows 7) for renewed access to your music.

8. Windows Driver Problems
Driver problems lead to hardware issues. In order to deal with most problems in hardware, then, the Windows Device Manager is the first place to look. You can troubleshoot driver problems from there by pressing [Windows] + [R], typing “devmgmt. msc” and pressing [Enter]. Get error details of the offending hardware device by double-clicking on it.

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The General tab would display the error code and problem description. Try pressing the troubleshoot button or searching online to resolve the error.

9. Readyboost Conflict
This issue may come up in Windows Vista and 7. To resolve this, go to Start>rightclick Computer>Manage>Storage>Disk management. You can see a drive that is responsible for the problem. You can then disable this device from the Intel Turbo Memory Console.

10. Folder Settings Forgotten
If your folders refuse customization and other actions, you may have to edit the Registry keys, namely BagMRU and Bags. The easy way to do this is to open the Microsoft Fix It Center tool and run the “Diagnose and repair Windows Files and Folder Problems” wizard.

11. Rebooting after Blue Screen

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One may avoid unexpected reboots by unticking the “Automatically Restart” option from under “Startup and Recovery”. Your Settings within My Computer would allow you access to this area.

12. Startup Programs are Blocked
This problem usually means that an older program is trying to start up with elevated privileges. You can counter this by getting an update or looking for a newer program.

13. File Sharing Issues
To resolve such issues, make sure all your devices are on the same network and the same workgroup. You can do this by going to Start>right-click Computer>Properties>Computer Name>File and Printer Sharing. In case the last option is disabled, you should enable it. Alternatively, you could check the Network and Sharing Center in some Windows versions.

14. Running Low on Memory

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To resolve this, use the System Control Panel to go to Advanced Settings. Then click “Change”, and make sure to select either “Automatically manage paging file for all drives” (in Vista or Windows 7) or “System managed size” (in Windows XP).

15. No Sound
To resolve this issue, you need to open “Sound” or “Sounds and Audio Devices” in the Control Panel, and select Audio or Playback. Verify that the playback device is set to default (such as speakers or headphones).

16. Video Display Problems
If the screen goes too light or dark while playing videos, or the color balance is skewed, the video may have special “overlay” settings in place of Windows’ own. You can then right-click the desktop and select the Nvidia or ATI option. You can then choose “Personalization” or “Properties”. Then go to Settings and the video/advanced option.

17. Problems in Starting
If Windows won’t load, use its installation disc and then restart your PC. Select the option to boot from CD. Pick the language, click “Next”, and then go to “Repair Your Computer”.

18. Start Menu out of Order
For fixing this, go to Start > All Programs, then right-click to select “Sort by Name”. Then, browse in Registry Editor to find browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer\MenuOrder. Then choose Edit> Permissions. Go to Advanced and unselect “Inherit from parent the permission entries…”. Then click Copy > OK.

Next, you may select your username from a list and unselect the “Allow” box for Full Control. Click Apply, and then select the Administrators Group. Do the steps again.

19. File Opening with the Incorrect Program
Right-click the file and select Open With. Then choose the program you need to open the file. To make sure this doesn’t happen again, use the option “Always use the selected program…”

20. No Mouse Cursor in Media Center
To resolve this issue, simply disable mouse trails. Go to the Mouse Control Panel, switch to the Pointer Options tab, then unselect “Display pointer trails”.

Wrapping Up…

While the makers of Windows constantly come up with fixes, patches, and updates, there are still quite a few bugs. Luckily, it’s not too hard to work them out with a little bit of research, patience, and determination.

Guest Author: Joseph Carey

Joseph Carey is an IT Professional and Pro Software Developer. In addition, he also works as an ace academic writer for Essay Star. As a blogger, he likes sharing tips on IT topics, blogging trends, and web development practices.

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