Nearly all of us have had to deal with a computer error at one point, which can be frustrating if you are experiencing it for the first time. When it crashes, it can cause you to lose many valuable hours of work. What is even worse is that PC and Mac error codes are often full of technical jargon. So, you may not know exactly what went wrong.
For most users, when a computer stops responding or behaves unusually, the first thing that comes to mind is that the device has a virus. True, the issue could have been triggered by some sort of malware, but that is not the case all the time. Sometimes, you may encounter computer errors because you haven’t maintained your device.
Surprisingly, most people maintain their vehicles to ensure they are running smoothly, but they often forget that computers need the same attention. Computers play an important role in our lives, so it only makes sense to give them adequate attention. If you fail to do so, you will most likely encounter computer errors.
Fortunately, there are simple measures you can implement to prevent these errors from happening. To make things easier for you, we have recommended seven tips that will help you avoid common computer errors and speed up your computer. But before that, let’s take a look at some common computer problems.
Common Computer Problems
- Blue Screen of Death (BSOD): It is one of the most recognizable computer errors that you are likely to encounter. You have probably encountered one already. When the BSOD occurs, a PC becomes unresponsive for a few seconds and then throws up an error message on a blue screen. Unfortunately, these error messages are sometimes indecipherable.
- Slow Startup: A slow-booting computer is also one of the annoying computer problems that you may encounter. Thankfully, it is one of the easiest to fix. Multiple programs running in the background are usually the culprit.
- Windows Update Issues: PCs are pretty stable and usually load updates automatically. However, there are moments when you may encounter a problem when updating your Windows. One of the common causes of this problem is incompatible software.
- An Application Won’t Install – Applications may fail to install for many reasons. It could be because of insufficient hard disk space, which means you have to clean up the disk.
- Misbehaving apps: Once in a while, apps may act strangely – perhaps they open and close without any warning. The causes are usually diverse, so it is always advisable to save your data before troubleshooting the issue. Sometimes, you may have to uninstall the app and then reinstall it back.
Computer Maintenance Tips
Update Your System
Whether you are running macOS, Linux, or Windows, always keep your operating system current. Keeping your system updated will prevent many computer errors. Operating systems, applications, browsers, and their plugins are frequently updated by their developers to patch security flaws. So, if you are running an outdated or unpatched version of the software, your device is at risk.
The easiest way to manage this risk is by setting your operating systems to install updates automatically. Windows 10, specifically, has auto-updating features to keep your PC secure. What you need to do is to activate them.
Clean Up and Defrag Your Hard Drive
If you have got a bloated hard drive, filled with unnecessary files, it is high time to clean it because it could slow down your computer. Getting rid of these files can give you a speed boost and prevent memory-related and disk space-related errors.
So, to prevent these errors from occurring, scan for and clean up unwanted files on your hard drive regularly. If you are running Windows 10, you can use the built-in Disk Cleanup program or one of the numerous high-quality Windows error solutions. There are several excellent Mac cleaning tools, too.
Dust accumulates inside your computer’s case over time. If left unattended, it can clog up fans, thus interfering with the normal airflow and increasing the internal temperature. If you have a large amount of dust build-up, the CPU’s temperature could rise to a level where it causes your computer to crash. So, with your machine clogged, the heat might damage your hardware.
To prevent this problem, ensure your computer enjoys uninterrupted airflow. Your device needs proper cooling. So, you need to open your computer’s case occasionally to check for dust build-up. If you spot any dust, clean it out with a can of compressed air.
We must point out that getting rid of dust inside your laptop will most likely be an uphill task. As you know, laptops aren’t designed to be easy-to-open. So, you should spray compressed air into your device’s fan vent regularly to dislodge dust before they build up. For serious cleaning, you might be forced to open your laptop’s case.
Besides cleaning the dust, you shouldn’t obstruct the air vents. For instance, if you are using a laptop with an air vent, don’t let it sink into your bed, as your blanket may obstruct its vents. Similarly, if you have a PC with a tower, don’t press up its air vents against the wall.
Always Scan Your Computer with a Reliable Antivirus Program
It may look like a no brainer, but you shouldn’t use a computer without an active antivirus program. That’s the first step to keep your device virus-free. But you should note that installing antivirus software is only one half of the equation. The other half is maintaining it, and your antivirus has to be kept up to date.
You should also avoid using more than one antivirus at a go, as this will only worsen things. Antivirus programs hook deep into your operating system to check applications before they run. So, if you have two antivirus programs attempting to do the same task at the same time, conflicts will definitely arise. These programs will prevent each other from working or see each other as malware, which may cause a system crash.
If you want a second opinion, for instance, using a PC repair tool with antivirus capabilities, deactivate your antivirus for a moment. After the scan is complete, reactivate it.
Avoid Using Power-Hungry Graphic Cards
Performance accessories are usually cool. But are they actually necessary? Sometimes, you don’t need them at all. A majority of high-powered graphics cards will suck down more power. So, it will be worth to leave them out if you don’t play games on your computer.
Another related control measure you may want to implement is changing your power setting, especially if you are running Windows 10. While Windows 10’s Power saver plan can save energy, it might slow down or shut down your PC, with an error message. In short, try to balance power consumption and performance needs.
Don’t Install Suspicious Programs
Some nefarious developers bundle free software with malware that becomes active upon installing the program. So, you should be careful when installing software or browser extensions. Before installing any program on your system, ensure that you have gone through the complete information about it.
Disable Startup Programs
One of the reasons your PC crashes or slows down is that you have several programs loading in the background. The sad reality is that you rarely or never use most of these programs. So, stopping them wouldn’t limit you in any way.
To halt programs that run on startup, use the Task Manager. Here is what you should do:
- Type ‘task manager’ into the search box and hit Enter.
- Open the Task Manager and click the More details button at the bottom of your screen to access all the tabs.
- Now, click on the Startup tab and identify the programs you want to stop. If you are unfamiliar with a specific program, right-click on it and select Properties to give you more details about it.
- To stop a program from running in the background, right-click on it and choose Disable.
That’s it. The next time you restart your PC, the system will be less concerned with the disabled programs, eliminating unnecessary slowdowns and crashes.
While the above tips aren’t the only things you need to do to keep your devices in good working condition, they can prevent common computer problems. In most cases, your computer will show some signs before it crashes. Learning to read signs of imminent failure can, therefore, save you money. System hangs, slow processing speed, and booting issues are all signs of computer problems that should be treated right away because they often get worse.
And if your device crashes for some reason, try to diagnose the problem. If there is an error message, take note of it. If it slows down, write it down. If data is missing, jot it down too. After that, try to fix the problem, if it is something you can manage; otherwise, contact a professional to help you fix the issue.
Besides implementing the above tips, consider using system repair software. If your computer suffers from a common problem, the best PC or Mac repair tool will detect and fix it. Some of these tools may also help you free up disk space, sort out faulty apps, and optimize your computer for optimal performance.
As a Journalist by profession, April Reyes has extensive experience in writing about various topics under the sun, including technology, gadgets, travel, social media, and digital marketing. If she’s not writing articles for Software Tested and Outbyte, she’s either watching her favorite TV series or playing video games.