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What Are the Most Common Computer Software Problems?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are, unfortunately, a number of computer software problems that can plague computer users, including both personal computer (PC) and Mac® users. One of the most common problems is when a particular program becomes corrupted in some way, often leading to the software no longer running properly. There can also be issues with the hardware drivers installed onto a computer, which may cause issues with software and connected devices not communicating properly. Many software problems also arise due to software, especially the operating system (OS,) not being updated regularly, which can prevent known bugs or issues from being fixed for a user.

Computer software problems typically refer to various issues that can arise for a computer user based on the software that is installed onto a computer. Software can become corrupted in a number of ways, through errors that occur during use, improperly shutting down software, and even an error during installation. These can often be fixed by the user either running a repair utility for the software or uninstalling the program and performing a fresh installation. Installer programs that are downloaded may also become corrupted during the download, so it may be necessary for a computer user to download a fresh copy of the installer itself.

Device drivers can also be a common source of computer software problems, as well as hardware problems. Though drivers are associated with hardware and other devices, they are software files that need to be properly installed onto a computer for the computer’s OS to identify and communicate with some connected devices. If computer software problems are occurring for a user related to devices connected to that computer, including video cards not properly displaying computer graphics in a game or video, then updating the related drivers for that device is often the solution to these problems.

Other common software problems can arise when software on a computer is not updated regularly. Many computer programs have bugs and errors in them that simply cannot be found or solved within the development cycle of the software. Solutions to these issues are often released as patches or updates to the software, and many users can find problems resolved by downloading these updates and ensuring the latest version of a program is being used.

There are also some computer software problems that can arise due to the presence of malicious software on a computer. Programs such as viruses, Trojans, and rootkits can do a great deal of harm and create numerous problems once they are on a computer system. This is why it is important for a computer user to use a reputable antivirus program and firewall, and ensure that these programs are regularly updated and active.

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Discussion Comments

By Melonlity — On Feb 14, 2014

Driver problems are major concerns on Windows and Linux hardware because there are more types of hardware than software developers can effectively track. As an example, the particular graphics features of a program may work well on some graphics cards and not others. There's really no such thing as standard hardware when it comes to computers designed for Windows or Linux, so problems do pop up with different programs on a regular basis.

That's one thing that Apple, at least, got right. The hardware is pretty standard and software designers don't have as many factors to consider when designing for Macs.

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