Top 5 strategies for troubleshooting software

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Whether at work or home, no one likes unexpected errors and crashes when you are trying to get things done. It interrupts your workflow and delays other tasks. However, calling tech support and waiting for minutes or even hours for a resolution can be more frustrating. Here are a few tips and tricks you must try before calling professionals.

1. Close unused programs

When you use powerful applications like video editing tools and 3D modeling applications, your system resources are stretched to the limit. From your graphics processors to RAM,  everything is utilized as much as possible. If you have other resource-hogging apps running in the background, these tools may crash and put you in an awkward position. That’s why it’s best to close unused programs. You can do so from:

  • The Task Manager on Windows
  • Command Screen on Mac

2. Restart the app

If closing unused apps doesn’t fix the problem, try restarting the buggy software. Quit the app and restart it from the desktop. If the app has frozen and refuses to shut down, you can force it to shut down.

On Windows:

Hit Ctrl+Shift+Escape to open the Task Manager and sort apps by CPU or RAM usage. Right-click on the app and choose “End Task”. After that double-click on the app to restart it.

On Mac:

If you’re unable to quit a buggy app on Mac, hit the Option+Command+Escape keys while on the app screen to force close it and proceed to restart the app.  

3. Scan for malware

Sometimes app crashes may be the result of a slow system. If you have an old computer, it may not be powerful enough or have outdated components that can’t run the software properly. Contrary to that, if your system has become sluggish recently, it may be due to malware or a computer virus. Use a decent anti-malware and anti-virus tool to scan your system and remove infected files. The next step is to restart the computer and check if the problem is fixed.

4. Downgrade to an older version of the software

Software updates are great since they patch security vulnerabilities and add new features. However, they can also break compatibility with older hardware, and operating systems or even create new issues. If you are facing issues after updating the app to a newer version, consider downgrading it.

5. Look up a solution on a software forum or Reddit

Sometimes niche software comes with niche problems. If you are experiencing a unique bug that has been an issue for a handful of people, even tech support may fail to solve your problem. That’s where you need to call on the community. Look for forums dedicated to the software you use or for a subreddit that’s dedicated to your software.

Search for your problem in the community and check if someone has provided a solution. If the problem hasn’t been raised by anyone, create a new post or issue with screenshots and ask for a solution. If you’re lucky, someone may reply with a solution within that day.

Despite the best efforts of developers, software always comes with bugs that go under the radar. If your problem hasn’t been resolved after using these tricks, it may be time to call tech support or switch to an alternate app. 

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