Today’s article is a quick tip on how to fix the Windows 8.1 issues you’re likely to run into while using Microsoft’s shiny new OS. However, most problems do not require booting into Safe Mode or following the 10 Steps to Fix Wi-Fi Issues.
Microsoft has also gotten smarter and has included many tools and reference guides in the OS itself to diagnose and fix problems. I have found that teaching my clients to use these built-in tools saves me a lot of time because they can solve problems themselves in Windows 8.1. In this article, I will introduce the built-in troubleshooters in Windows 8.1 that can help you solve common problems.
Windows 8.1 troubleshooters
Before I show you some of the troubleshooters, let’s take a look at how to access them in Windows 8.1. First, open the Charms bar by pressing Windows Key + C or by moving your mouse to the upper or lower right corner of the screen. Click “Search” and type “Troubleshoot” in the search box.
Click on the first result, “Troubleshoot,” and the main window will appear where you can start troubleshooting computer programs. The main interface is broken down into categories such as Programs, Hardware and Sound, Network and Internet, System and Security.
You can select from the list shown or click on the View All link in the upper left corner. I usually click on it to see all the options.
As you can see, there are quite a few troubleshooters. You can fix homegroup problems, fix internet connection problems, check your network adapter configuration, get help with printing problems, fix sound problems, fix problems with Windows updates, and more. If you click on one of the troubleshooters, you will see a pop-up dialog as shown below:
They will all have a little More button at the bottom that you want to click to see more options. We recommend that you select the Apply the fix automatically check box and click the Run as administrator link. Running the troubleshooter as an administrator will allow Windows to find more potential problems. When you click Next, the troubleshooter will start trying to find any problems. For example, when I ran the Printer Troubleshooter, it checked the spooler service for errors and gave me a list of printers to see which one I was having problems with.
Before Windows 7, these troubleshooters were useless and did little to nothing. However, starting with Windows 7 and definitely Windows 8, they can fix a wide range of problems without any user intervention. If a problem is found, the troubleshooter will try to fix the problem on its own. This works in most cases, unless it is a serious problem. On the same Windows 8.1 computer, I had problems with Windows Update that the troubleshooter resolved:
You can click View Details to see exactly what issue was found and fixed. In my case, it looked like one of the Windows Update components was not configured correctly.
That’s all! Using the troubleshooting tools built into Windows 8.1 is always a good first step. If the troubleshooter isn’t working, it’s time to start searching on Google for a solution, but hopefully you won’t either. Enjoy!