How to fix problems in Windows 8.1 / Windows 8

Today’s article is a quick tip on how to fix the problem in Windows 8.1, which you will surely use Microsoft’s shiny new OS. However, most problems don’t require booting into safe mode or following a 10-step guide to fixing WiFi problems.

Microsoft has also gotten smarter and includes a lot of tools and help guides within the operating system itself to diagnose and fix problems. I’ve found that teaching my clients how to use these built-in tools saves me a lot of time as they can fix problems on their own in Windows 8.1. In this article, I will talk about the built-in Windows 8.1 troubleshooters that can help you fix common problems.

Windows 8.1 Troubleshooter

Before I show you some troubleshooters, let’s see how to access them in Windows 8.1. First, open the Charms bar by pressing Windows key + C or moving your mouse to the top or bottom right of your screen. Click Search and then enter resovle problem in the search box.

Click on the first result, Resovle problem, and the main window will pop up where you can start troubleshooting your computer program. The main interface is divided into categories like Program, Hardware and Sound, Network and Internet, and System and Security.

You can choose from the list displayed or you can click See all link at the top left. I tend to click that so I can see all the options.

As you can see, there are quite a few troubleshooters. You can fix problems with your homegroup, fix Internet connection problems, check network adapter configurations, get help with printing problems, fix audio problems, troubleshoot Updates Windows and many other problems. If you click on one of the troubleshooters, you will get a pop-up dialog like below:

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All of them will have some Advanced button at the bottom, which you want to click to see more options. It’s a good idea to keep Apply auto repair check and click Run as administrator link. Running the troubleshooter as Administrator will allow windows to find more possible problems. When you click Next, the troubleshooter will start trying to detect any problems. For example, when I ran the Printer troubleshooter, it checked the spooler service error and gave me a list of printers to see which one I had problems with.

Before Windows 7, these troubleshooters were pretty useless and didn’t do much. However, starting with Windows 7 and certainly more in Windows 8, they can really fix a wide range of problems without any user input. If a problem is detected, the troubleshooter will attempt to fix it on its own. Most of the time this works, unless it’s a serious problem. On a Windows 8.1 computer, I had several Windows Update issues that were fixed by the troubleshooter:

You can click View details to see exactly what problems are detected and fixed. In my case it looks like one of the components for Windows Update is configured incorrectly.

It’s about it! Using the troubleshooters built into Windows 8.1 is always a good first step. If the troubleshooter doesn’t work, it’s time to start looking for a solution, but hopefully neither will you. Enjoy!

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