The 6 Most Common Windows 11 Issues and How to Fix Them

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Like any operating system, Windows 11 can run into issues occasionally. Sometimes these issues may be as simple as something that affects your internet connection, causing sites to load slowly. Other issues may persist for longer times, slowing down your entire computer’s performance. Here are some of the most common issues you may experience with Windows 11 and how to fix them.

Why Is Windows 11 Not Working?

Windows 11 can run into any number of issues causing it to work incorrectly. Sometimes, the issues can be tied to glitches or corruption within your computer’s files. Other cases might require you to update drivers or fix compatibility issues within the software itself. Many common issues with Windows 11 can include:

  • Your system needs a restart: Installing new drivers and even updating Windows 11 itself can often require you to restart your computer to fix the issues. If you haven’t restarted your PC in a while, restarting is a great way to address any possible issues you might be experiencing.
  • Your computer’s storage is running low: Depending on what type of storage device your PC uses, you may find yourself running into performance issues with Windows 11 if you have too many files on your computer. Clearing out extra storage space can help your system run smoother, especially if you’re using a Solid-State Drive.
  • Software compatibility issues: Keeping your computer’s software compatible isn’t always easy. If you’ve recently updated, you might find that some of your apps and software don’t have full support for Windows 11 yet. You can check Windows Updates to see if important updates are available and check with the software’s developer to see if they plan to support Windows 11.

How to Fix Common Windows 11 Issues

Despite being extensively tested, every computer offers a different configuration for Windows 11 to work across, and sometimes Microsoft hasn't solved all the issues before releasing a new update. Thankfully, fixing many of these issues is straightforward. Here’s what you need to know to fix some of the most common Windows 11 issues.

  1. Restart your Windows 11 PC. Restarting a computer is an easy
    way to solve many temporary glitches or issues with the system. If you start experiencing problems, be sure to restart your Windows 11 PC to see if that resolves the issue.

  2. Fix Windows 11 slow performance. If you’ve recently made the
    jump to Windows 11, or even if you’ve been running it for a while and have now started to experience performance problems, you can try cleaning out your storage devices to clear up space on your PC. This can often solve performance issues. One easy way to clear up space is to remove junk files from Windows 11.

    Alternatively, if you’ve just recently installed Windows 11,
    allows Windows a few days for the system to get all of the files situated.
    Sometimes it can take Windows a few days to set everything up smoothly. If everything fails, you can try downgrading from Windows 11 to fix performance problems.

  3. Wi-Fi or ethernet connections aren’t working. If you find
    that your Wi-Fi isn’t working, or if your ethernet connection isn’t picking up like it should, you’ll need to open Network & Network > Wi-Fi to ensure
    that you’re connected. From there you can troubleshoot Wi-Fi problems in Windows 11 to figure out where things are going wrong.

    If your ethernet connection isn’t working, then you can
    always try switching to Wi-Fi, or troubleshooting ethernet connection problems in Windows 11.

  4. Update applications and software. As new operating systems are
    released, software and app developers continually update their apps to provide smoother experiences with the changes offered in the updated OS. If you experience issues with your favorite apps or software after installing Windows 11, you may also need to check to see if the app has updates available. You can often update through Windows updates,
    but sometimes you may need to download updates through the app itself.

  5. Sound isn't playing on Windows 11. Fixing this issue may be as simple as unmuting the volume mixer on your Windows 11 PC. If that isn’t the problem, you can always troubleshoot sound issues in Windows 11 to find a solution.

  6. Windows 11 won't shut down. If you find your PC hitting a snag when you try to shut down, an app or other software may be stuck (which stops the shutdown from happening). You may need to open the task manager by pressing Alt + Tab and then try to find any problem apps in the list shown. You can select the End Task button to force close those apps manually.

    Alternatively, you can hard reboot your PC by pressing and holding down the power button. This is recommended only when your PC won't shut down normally, so don't use it to shut your PC down after each use.

  • How do I change the default browser in Windows 11?

    Open the Start menu, and then go to Settings > Apps > Default apps > choose which browser to set as the default. Close Settings app. We go into more detail in our How to Change the Default Browser in Windows 11 article.

  • How do I change where files from the internet download to?

    Open the Start menu, and then select Settings > System (left pane) > Storage > Advanced Storage Options > Where New Content Is Saved. From this screen, you can choose different download folders for apps, music, photos, and other items.

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