Easy solutions to common computer issues

This article endeavours to offer a selection of easy solutions to some common computer issues.

The majority of people use computers at least once a day in some capacity. The largest companies and authoritative bodies rely heavily on computers in the day-to-day running of their business. The importance of information and communications technology cannot be underestimated and it is therefore essential that as a society, we have an understanding of how to overcome general computing issues in order to function efficiently.

Although some of the more complicated problems will require specialist support, there are some valuable considerations and measures that can be undertaken by any user to ensure reliable and continuous computer use is available.


One of the most common causes of sluggish or intermittent behaviour with many devices is quite simply that it hasn’t been updated. Applying software updates to your computer or laptop is a significant step to preventing computer malware in the future. The process is relatively inconvenient and takes a few moments and can apply greater security for future use. The majority of systems offer automatic prompts to the user and in a matter of a few clicks; greater protection and smoother running will be available. To find out whether automatic updates are available on your device, simply check in the control panel, locate and launch ‘Windows Update’ and then ‘Change Settings’. The ‘Install Updates Automatically (recommended)” option will be available here. Microsoft recommend updating your computer or laptop as often as possible as it is the best way to prevent or repair known problems. Certainly, the best advice is to not disregard update alerts and to make this a frequent habit.

Slow programmes and downloads

Another infuriating common computer issue is slow-running programmes and sluggish internet pages. Even the most cautious of computer users who are careful about their download contents, accumulate clutter through their use. In order to counteract this, a simple clean-up should restore speed and efficiency to your device. To do this, firstly run a scan on your antivirus software to assess and address and problems.

Secondly, a Disk Clean-up [PC] should go a long way to reviving your computer’s abilities. This option is located through Start: All Programs: Accessories: System Tools: Disk Clean-up (for Mac, the route is Applications: Utilities: Command Prompt and then type “sudo rm -fr /tmp/*” and Enter).

Another great measure in speeding up your computer’s abilities is to uninstall unused programs. This will free up some space and allow your computer to work more quickly. To do this follow the route Start: Settings: Control Panel: Add/Remove Programs or Uninstall Program (for Mac, drag and drop unwanted programs into the Recycle Bin). For slow downloads, run a test using speedtest.net. The ideal speed should be at least 50 per cent of your Internet service provider’s advertised speeds, with a ping under 100 milliseconds.

Printing issues

Finally, addressing problems with printing and ink can feel like a minefield. There are a variety of common ink and printing problems such as ink/water balance which requires frequent alterations to the press to maintain quality. This can be addressed by adding water repellent varnish to the ink and by adjusting Fountain Concentration pH to a 4.5-5.0 range. Small spots that appear on prints (often referred to as ‘Hickeys’) can be controlled by removing dust and shavings from the rollers.

Basic common computing issues need not cause mammoth disruption to users. Sometimes a user might get lucky and the go to solution of ‘turn it off and back on again’ may do the trick. But realistically, having these handy tips to mind will likely make computer and laptop use simpler and less infuriating.

Slow computers ‘add to workplace stress’

Using slow computers can add to workers’ ‘frustration and stress’, it has been explained.

Clare Evans, a time management expert, says that people have a lot of things to do but little time in which to do them – meaning that waiting for a file to download or a screen to load can increase stress levels.

She comments that planning according to how long the computer will take to load can be a more effective use of time than simply waiting.

Evans suggests that during this period, a worker could make coffee or do filing.

‘One of the key things is actually planning your time so that you’re not leaving things to the last minute when it gets even more frustrating that you’re waiting for a file to print before you dash out the door,’ she adds.

A recent survey by The TechGuys found that around 56 per cent of people get frustrated within ten seconds of waiting for their computer to load, open a file or load a document.

The report found that over a year a total of 19 million hours are being lost in Britain’s workplaces.

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