Troubleshoot Windows 7 Issues - dummies

By Dan Gookin

Apparently Microsoft has realized the importance of PC troubleshooting and maintenance. Windows 7 features two locations to help you do both: the Action Center and the Troubleshooting window — a special window that contains all sorts of troubleshooting tools.

Access the Windows 7 Action Center

The Action Center window displays a list of pending problems, situations, and potential disasters that might be looming — well, as far as Windows is concerned.

Your first hint of the Action Center’s existence is its notification icon, which looks like a tiny flag. Clicking the Action Center notification icon displays a pop-up list of items that need attention. To act on one of the messages, click it.


You can also visit the Action Center window which lists more detailed information about problems that could be ailing your PC. Important issues are flagged in red, with security issues (the most important) appearing at the top of the window. Less important issues are flagged in orange or yellow.


To visit the Action Center window, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

  2. Click the link Review Your Computer’s Status, found under the System and Security heading.

To act on an item in the Action Center window, click the button associated with the item, such as Run Backup Now, View Message Details, or Check for Solutions.

  • When something requires serious attention in Windows, the Action Center notification icon turns red. Click the icon or visit the Action Center to see what’s up. Or down.

  • You can quickly get to the Action Center window by right-clicking the Action Center icon in the notification area and choosing the command Open Action Center.

Use the Troubleshooting window in Windows 7

For troubleshooting in Windows 7, nothing beats the Troubleshooting window. To display the Troubleshooting window, follow these steps:


  1. Open the Control Panel.

  2. Choose the link Find and Fix Problems, found under the System and Security heading.

Though the Troubleshooting window is truly something to behold, it’s not a harbor for secret and otherwise unobtainable solutions in Windows 7. Nearly all the options presented in the Troubleshooting window can be accessed from other parts of Windows, most often by right-clicking an item and choosing the Troubleshoot command or by accessing the Troubleshooting tab in a Properties dialog box.