The operating system software required to run any of our computing devices is complicated and prone to configuration errors. Coordinating the dozens of hardware components and peripherals so that everything works the way it is supposed to and when it is supposed to, often fails for inexplicable reasons just when we need it most. This is just the nature of our modern computer-driven world—sometimes computing devices don't work and need to be troubleshooted.
Microsoft Windows 10 is no exception to this common problem. In fact, some people would argue that a Windows device is more prone to configuration errors than most other operating systems. Fortunately for us, developers at Microsoft have incorporated a troubleshooting system into Windows 10 that can, with the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger, find a problem and then correct it with little to no input from the user.
This how-to tutorial shows you how to use the Windows 10 Troubleshooter to find and fix just about any simple configuration problem you will ever come across on your computer.
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The troubleshooter is located under Update & Security on the Windows Settings screen. Click or tap the Start Menu button in the lower left-hand corner of your Windows Desktop and then click the Settings icon to reach the Windows Setting screen. Scroll down if necessary and click the Update & Security item.
Using the left navigation menu, click on the Troubleshoot item to reach the screen shown in Figure A.
As you scroll down the page, you can see there are numerous entries for troubleshooting some of the more common configuration problems Windows 10 users experience on a regular basis. The highlights include:
- Internet connections
- Windows updates
- Blue screens
- Hardware and devices
- Network adapters
- Bluetooth connections
Clicking on any one of these troubleshooting entries will run a specific series of configuration inquiries that will result in one of three possibilities:
- The troubleshooter will find the problem and fix it with no further action required, or
- The troubleshooter will find the problem and suggest a course of action that the user will need to perform to fix the problem, or
- The troubleshooter will not be able to find nor fix the problem. Additional steps may be suggested, but not always.
Regardless of what you attempt to fix, the troubleshooter will not offer much information regarding what it is doing in the background while it runs. As you can see in Figure B, the troubleshooter screen indicates it is working but not much else.
In many cases, Windows 10 configuration problems are minor annoyances that can be fixed simply if you know where to look for the right setting. However, for many users, not knowing where to find a configuration setting is really the primary problem. By using the built-in Windows 10 Troubleshooter, users aren't required to know where a configuration setting is—they can just let the computer fix itself.
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Have you tried using the Windows 10 Troubleshooter? Did it work for you? Share your thoughts and opinions with your peers at TechRepublic in the discussion thread below.
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.