I'm running Windows 8.1 on a laptop and I'm increasingly having trouble getting some apps to start. Perhaps the biggest problem is with Microsoft Mahjong. I click on it and get the splash screen but I can't seem to get past that; I don't see the Loading animation and it just sits there. I can wait several minutes and absolutely nothing happens.

Now, I need to do some clarifying. The app does start eventually but it's often after many attempts spread out over several hours. I'm darned if I can figure out why it is so reluctant to get past the splash screen. This problem has been getting gradually worse for several weeks now. It affects other apps too but most of those will start with less need to wait and retry than the Mahjong. I even restarted the computer just now to see if that would help but Mahjong still just sits on the splash screen.

I need someone to walk me through the diagnostic techniques for figuring this out. I'm not sure if my memory is inadequate or I have too many processes running or if something else is wrong.