10 common Windows problems and how to fix them

If you’ve upgraded to the latest Windows version, you’ll know that it’s a big improvement on its predecessors and has some great features. However, like every other operating system, it’s not perfect and you will sometimes run into problems. Fortunately, very few PC problems are without a solution. Here are 10 of the most common Windows problems and how to fix them.

1. Not enough space to install a Windows update

If you want a quick way to free up tens of gigabytes of space, we recommend CleanMyPC. It will uninstall apps and all their files, clean up Windows Registry database, and remove temporary files that are still hanging around. It can remove files automatically, after scanning your PC, or you can choose to review the results of the scan and decide for yourself what to delete. You can download it for free here.

Another way to deal with this problem is auto free up space on your hard drive or SSD. One way to do that is to use the Built in Disk Cleanup tool.

If you use Windows 11, you can find Disc Cleanup this way:

Go to the Taskbar (at the bottom) and click on the 🔎 Search icon.
Type in 'Disk cleanup'
Click on the app icon that pops up to the right.

  • Under the Files to delete heading, choose which file types you want to remove
  • If you’re not sure about which file types to get rid of, select each one in turn and read its description
  • When you’ve selected the file types to delete, click OK

You can also free up space by manually archiving and removing large and old files and uninstalling applications, however, it will take much of your time.

2. PC boots slowly

There are a number of reasons Windows might be booting slowly. The first two things to check are that Windows is up to date and hasn’t been infected with malware.

To check for malware:

  • Click on the Start icon
  • Go the main Settings app
  • Go to Privacy & Security > Windows Security

    Using the Windows Security app you can enable anti-virus protection and check the entire system for threats.

Another possibility for a slow-booting PC is that your Autorun list has too many apps in it. 

To manage your Startup apps:

  • Go to the Start menu and choose Settings.
  • In the Settings app, select Apps.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the panel for Startup options.

    There is another option is to disable startup programs, that slow down your PC's boot. The simplest way to do that is to use CleanMyPC. It allows you to manage autorun applications in just a few clicks. 

3. Files open in the wrong application

Most of us double-click a file to open it, but if the file association in Windows is broken, as it often is, it won’t open in the app you expect it to. You can fix that by clicking on the Start menu and choosing Settings. Click on the System tab and look for the category labelled “default apps.” In there, you can choose what app opens each type of file and specify an app for different file extensions.

4. Windows uses 4G data when you don’t want it to

If you’re using a personal hot spot to connect to the internet over 4G, the last thing you want is for background processes and downloads to eat up your bandwidth. 

  • Click on the Start menu and choose Settings
  • Click Network & Internet
  • Select Wi-Fi, then click on your last connection to view its properties
  • Switch “Metered connection” to the ON position

5. You can’t play DVD movies

Windows 11 doesn’t have its own built-in DVD player anymore. Probably because Microsoft assumes everyone watches movies online. You can pay to download a DVD player from Microsoft, but a better idea is to download VLC instead. It’s free and will play your DVDs.

6. Too many notifications

Action Center in Windows is great for keeping all your notifications in one place. However, it can quickly become cluttered with messages you’re not really interested in from apps you hardly ever use. Fortunately, you can switch those off.

  • Go to the Start menu and choose Settings
  • Click on System, then choose Notifications
  • Use the toggle switches to control how and when notifications appear, or if they appear at all. As well as controlling system level notifications, you can set them on a per-app basis.

If you do not longer need the program with annoying notifications, you can uninstall it and forget the pain. CleanMyPC's Multi Uninstaller is the right tool to get rid of such apps completely and for good.

7. Your privacy settings aren’t right for you

The default privacy settings in Windows might be fine for many people, but for lots of others, they’re likely to allow too much access to personal data. Here’s how to change them.

  • Go to Settings from the Start menu
  • Choose Privacy & Security
  • Review the settings in each section and use the toggle switches to adjust them to suit your preference

8. System Restore has gone missing

System restore hasn’t disappeared in Windows 11, but it is turned off by default, for reasons best known to Microsoft. To turn it on, do the following:

  • Click on the 🔎  search icon in the bottom Taskbar
  • Type in: 'Create a restore point'
  • Make sure your C: drive is selected and press Configure
  • Enter the description for your restore point and click on Create > Ok.

9. Too many pop ups in Microsoft Edge

Pop up adverts can be very frustrating. Fortunately, Edge has a built-in pop-up blocker, though it’s off by default. 

  1. Open the Edge browser and go to Settings > Site permissions.
  2. Choose Pop-ups and redirects.
  3. Use the toggle to set Block pop-ups to “On”.

10. Printer trouble

Printers are a common source of trouble, but it can often be easily fixed. 

  • Go to the Settings app and type "Control Panel" in the search bar
  • Under Hardware & Sound go to View devices and printers
  • Right-click on your printer and choose to remove it.

Now, go to your printer maker’s website and download the latest drivers for your printer and follow the instructions to install them.

Windows problems don’t have to cause you nightmares. If you follow the tips here, you can resolve the most common ones quickly and easily. And, don’t forget to download CleanMyPC and let it help you clear space, speed up your PC and fix other annoying Windows issues.