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This tutorial includes a list of the most common problems in Windows 10 and 11 and basic tips to solve them. Nearly any Windows problem can be fixed using its own tools: system utilities and troubleshooters, advanced booting, Command Prompt, Control Panel, and the latest hardware drivers. Are you experiencing any of the issues below? There is a solution for each one.

Content

  • 1. Unresponsive Applications
  • 2. Slow PC
  • 3. Blue Screen Errors
  • 4. Hard Disk/SSD Failure
  • 5. Mouse and Touchpad Issues
  • 6. Registry Errors
  • 7. Audio Not Working
  • 8. Windows Login Problems
  • 9. BIOS Issues
  • 10. USB Ports Not Working
  • 11. Monitor/Display Problems
  • 12. Bluetooth Not Working
  • 13. Windows Won’t Download or Install Updates
  • 14. Wi-Fi Disabled Suddenly
  • Frequently Asked Questions

1. Unresponsive Applications

When a Windows application freezes, nothing moves on the screen, and even other programs feel unresponsive. Apps mostly behave like this because of overheating in the cabinet/laptop bottom and memory issues.

  1. To unfreeze the stuck applications, open the Task Manager using Ctrl + Alt + Del or from Run command Win + R followed by taskmgr.
  2. Right-click to end those tasks in “Processes.” If you managed to save your work, perform a clean reboot.

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To determine an external cause of overheating, verify there aren’t any power supply issues. Check your laptop’s battery and AC adapter for any signs of trouble: if they have swollen in size, it’s time to replace the hardware.

Cleaning up the cooling fan may be required for a very old computer. If you have insufficient RAM, consider adding more of it.

2. Slow PC

Close on the heels of applications freezing, a slow PC is the bane of every Windows user. It can make completing the most basic tasks torture.

You can speed up your Windows 11 or 10 device even if you aren’t planning to upgrade the RAM anytime soon.

  1. Replace any antivirus with Windows Defender, the only antivirus you’ll ever need.
  2. Open the Windows tool, Disk Cleanup, in the search bar, which frees up space on your computer by erasing Windows updates, Windows upgrade log files, temporary files, Recycle Bin, and memory dump files.

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  1. Disable startup apps from “Settings -> Apps -> Startup.” The only startup tasks you really need are services, such as Intel Graphics Command Center and Realtek Audio driver. Everything else is optional.

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  1. Consider a cloud download of your Windows operating system. It downloads the latest system files from Microsoft’s servers to give you a fresh Windows installation. Once you click “Reset PC” in “Settings -> System -> Recovery options,” the option is displayed in a key step as shown.

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  1. Periodically clearing the browser cache for Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge can also give you a slight boost in performance. If you’re using an older PC, consider uninstalling any RAM-intensive software and games.

3. Blue Screen Errors

There is no simple explanation for blue screen errors, but they do cause annoyance. Also known as bug check or stop code errors, they expose the fault lines of third-party software, hardware, Microsoft code, or some corrupted memory.

Each blue screen error has its own stop code that is displayed on the screen, such as “0x000000xyz.” They can be viewed in Event Viewer, which opens from Win + R by typing eventvwr.exe or eventvwr.msc.

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After you see a blue screen, analyze dump files generated by the crash using Debug with Windbg. The best way to fix these errors is using Windows advanced startup menu (aka boot menu). To launch this, go to “Settings -> System -> Recovery -> Advanced Startup -> Restart.”

Use one of these options in the advanced startup menu:

  • Uninstall Updates: usually, the blue screen is caused by incompatible drivers or third-party software.
  • System Restore: reverting the operating system to an earlier date and time when the problem wasn’t there.
  • Startup Repair: use if you havea blue screen due to boot issues.
  • Factory Image Restore: reverting the PC back to the condition in which it was shipped (to be used only in extreme cases).

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Outlined below are many other ways to deal with blue screen problems, depending on the stop code error source:

  • Kernel data in page error
  • Critical process died error
  • WDF_violation error

In rare cases, the blue screen crashes may be caused by hardware. Look under the hood in motherboard and the power supply for the exact reason.

4. Hard Disk/SSD Failure

Whether you use a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD), they can fail due to short circuits, data corruption, physical damage – or could just wear out.

To get a hardware health report for your HDD/SSD, run the following code in Command Prompt (Admin mode). If the answer is “OK,” the hard disk failure is down to software errors that can be easily fixed.

wmic followed by diskdrive get status

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For any hard disk errors you’re facing, employ the following holy trinity of Command Prompt fixes (Admin mode).

Chkdsk

This command does a complete health check of the hard disk. For more specific disk drive checks, modify it as chkdsk C:/f/x/r or chkdsk D:/f/x/r.

You should see a message similar to “Windows has scanned the file system and found no problems. No further action is required.” If not, move on to the next tool.

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System File Checker

You can use sfc/scannow, which repairs the Windows-protected files and replaces corrupted drivers.

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DISM

Next up, execute the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) commands in the order below:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /scanhealth  DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /restorehealth

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SSD users should set their Power mode for “Best performance” in “Settings -> System -> Power & battery.” You don’t want your laptop to power off every time, as frequent discharging is not healthy for your SSD.

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Moreover, defragment your hard drive disk (HDD) if you use one. This will eliminate any problems due to bad sectors in your disk drive. For SSD users, there are comparable disk optimization tools.

5. Mouse and Touchpad Issues

Another annoying issue is the mouse lagging behind in receiving inputs, or the touchpad freezing for no reason.

If you’re using a touchpad on a laptop, go to “Settings -> Bluetooth & devices -> Touchpad.” Leave the Touchpad toggle on when a mouse is connected. Enable all default touchpad sensitivity options.

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You can correct your mouse settings from “Settings -> Bluetooth & devices -> Mouse.” Make sure “Left” is the primary mouse button and that the mouse pointer speed is at a comfortable level. Keep all the default options enabled.

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After clicking on additional mouse settings, select a desirable pointer speed from the “Pointer Options” tab.

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If the mouse or touchpad just aren’t working properly, they can be fixed via Device Manager. Open it by typing Win + R followed by devmgmt.msc. Select the desired mouse or touchpad hardware drivers. Right-click it to view its “Properties” and update or reinstall the drivers.

6. Registry Errors

A corrupt registry in Windows 11 or 10 is a den of future troubles, as it spells DLL errors and crashes. It may occur in the course of using a computer frequently.

The best way to keep the Windows registry healthy is to clean boot your Windows device.

  1. Open the “System Configuration” app from the search bar or by typing msconfig in the Run menu.
  2. Head to “Services” and check “Hide all Microsoft services.”

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  1. Click all third-party services, such as Google and other apps. They will need to be disabled. After a restart, Windows will offer a clean boot environment.

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  1. The DLL errors in the registry can be traced to one of the key classes in the Registry Editor. Open it from Run command by typing regedit.
  2. Navigate to the exact path of any software causing trouble and create new keys or DWORD (32-bit) values by following troubleshooting requirements.

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  1. The issues due to a corrupt registry are generally resolved after a simple Windows update. You can also use the sfc/scannow and DISM.exe commands in Command Prompt for additional protection.

7. Audio Not Working

If a laptop or desktop PC fails to produce any sound, you can no longer listen to music, movies, and YouTube or attend videoconferencing calls. Follow the steps below to troubleshoot.

  1. Go to “Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Sound.”
  2. This will open a pop-up where you can see a checkmark next to the playback device you’re using. If it’s headphones, you will not receive any audio on the laptop speakers and vice versa. Do check for issues with wireless headphones.

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  1. Windows 11 and 10 offer a default troubleshooter for each error source. Search for the “Find and fix problems with playing sound” troubleshooter option and enable it to apply repairs automatically.

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  1. After running this troubleshooter, the audio problems should disappear. You can fix audio driver issues by restarting audio services from services.msc in Run.
  2. Turn off the option for sound effects and enhancements by going to “Settings -> System -> Sound -> Speakers.”

8. Windows Login Problems

The most probable causes for sign-in problems in Windows are forgotten passwords or PINs. Therefore, it’s essential to store them safely. (Consider using a password manager for web, desktop, and mobile.)

If you still can’t log in, you might have multiple accounts on your Windows device. You can access them using netplwiz in the Run menu. Removing unnecessary accounts can fix login problems immediately. Restart the computer to ensure the problem is fixed.

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To avoid login problems in the future, instead of shutting down from the Lockscreen window, go back inside the logged-in desktop for a proper shutdown.

For repeat troubles with login, sign in using Safe mode and run the Startup Repair tool as covered above. You can also “Disable fast startup” from “Power Options” in the Control Panel.

9. BIOS Issues

While a corrupt BIOS is enough cause to replace your computer or hard disk, in most cases, it’s a simple maintenance issue. You can access the BIOS menu by pressing the boot keys repeatedly after a Windows reboot. Depending on your PC manufacturer, the boot keys could be F2, F6, F12, or Esc.

Once inside the BIOS Settings menu, look for an option that says “Load defaults” (ours is at the bottom under “Maintenance”), as it will load the BIOS defaults specific to your computer.

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Once you set Factory or the current BIOS defaults, your Windows device will restore its settings after a quick restart.

Note: you will never face any BIOS issues if you have enabled UEFI mode.

When you notice errors such as “This PC can’t run the current version of Windows,” or the computer is stuck in the BIOS boot screen forever, you have to check and update the BIOS information. Otherwise, you shouldn’t handle BIOS settings.

10. USB Ports Not Working

Sometimes your PC or laptop won’t respond well to inserting or removing a USB device. If there is nothing wrong with the USB drive, it would indicate the USB ports may have malfunctioned.

  1. If there is no physical damage to the USB port, but it isn’t working properly, go to the necessary driver in Device Manager and check its “Properties.”
  1. The status may show “This device is working properly.” If it doesn’t, restart your computer and check it one more time.

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  1. Right-clicking the USB driver in Device Manager leads to other options that let you install and update the drivers.

11. Monitor/Display Problems

Are you facing issues in your monitor or display such as black screens, blank screens, haziness, or a distorted view? Just as with mice, keyboards, and other peripherals, these issues can be resolved from Device Manager.

Go to the monitor you use and right-click it to view the driver properties. If it shows a status such as “This device is working properly,” you’re good to go. However, if the drivers are shown as outdated, you need to update and reinstall those as in the previous example.

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Here’s a simple trick to ensure there is no conflict with the monitor display. As it depends on the Power supply, you can accelerate it to ensure a timely display of graphics. Go to “Shutdown settings” from “Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Power Options -> System Settings.” Check “Turn on fast startup.”

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If you’re using multiple monitors on Windows, ensure that the primary and secondary monitors are properly marked. The scale of display resolution should be according to computer screen size recommendations.

12. Bluetooth Not Working

Bluetooth is an integral part of the Windows experience. Whether it is mice, touchpads, headphones, USB devices, and smart gadgets, things don’t feel the same when Bluetooth stops working.

  1. Go to “Settings -> Bluetooth & Devices” and ensure your target Bluetooth hardware is paired successfully. Keep the Bluetooth toggle on for your device.

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  1. If there is continued trouble with Bluetooth pairing, run a troubleshooter for Bluetooth. In Windows, this option is available by going to “Settings -> System -> Troubleshoot -> Other troubleshooters -> Bluetooth.”

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  1. After running the Bluetooth troubleshooter, you may notice a few changes to your system. It will fix small issues, such as troubles with Bluetooth radio.

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Following a simple restart, the Bluetooth pairing will be successful. If you continue to face problems, uninstall and reinstall the secondary Bluetooth device. You may additionally have to fix a few drivers from the Device Manager.

13. Windows Won’t Download or Install Updates

This problem can surface when you’re upgrading from a current version of Windows to something higher. You may find that Windows is taking way longer to download or install the updates.

  1. In most cases, the problem can be fixed with a simple PC restart and by refreshing the update screen. Go to “Check for Updates” and see whether the glitch is gone.
  2. If you still can’t pursue the necessary updates, run a troubleshooter for Windows Update from “Settings -> System -> Troubleshoot -> Other troubleshooters.”

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  1. Running the Windows Troubleshooter can help you fix any security settings, missing files, or service registration problems. The same results can be achieved using SFC, DISM, and other file path correction tools.

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14. Wi-Fi Disabled Suddenly

Your computer Wi-Fi is what makes everything come together. If the Wi-Fi stops working suddenly, you can’t connect to the Internet. To fix Wi-Fi issues in Windows, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to “Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center.” This will open a Network Connections window.
  2. Choose your desired Wi-Fi connection to disable and enable it.

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  1. Ensure that the Wi-Fi router has not been giving you any trouble recently.
  2. Make sure you didn’t turn the Airplane mode on by mistake. You can disable it from “Settings -> Network & Internet.”
  3. If your Wi-Fi fails to show up altogether, try enabling SSID broadcast and a few other things.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common Windows error messages?

The most common error messages in Windows 11 and 10 are:

  • Boot device not found
  • DLL errors
  • Update errors
  • Security certificate errors
  • Blue screen of death (BSoD) errors
  • Access denied
  • Slow or no Internet connection

Why does Windows 10 sometimes become unstable?

Windows 10 is unstable because it lacks support for cutting-edge features, such as Trusted Platform Module (TPM), Virtualization-based Security (VBS), and UEFI Secure boot. While Microsoft intends to support Windows 10 until the end of 2025, you should consider migrating to Windows 11, as it offers more stability thanks to an error-free user interface and several advanced functionalities.

How do I know if my Windows apps are faulty?

If you keep the SmartScreen filter on in Windows Security, it will alert you whenever downloaded apps cause trouble. It will also prevent you from installing such apps.

Image credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Sayak Boral.

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